The aim of this study was to identify possible clinical factors associated with enteral tube feeding use and duration in acute ischemic stroke patients.
The medical records of 410 acute ischemic stroke patients were reviewed. Brain lesions were classified into nine regions of interest according to the cerebral vascular system. Brain lesion volume, lesion side, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, type of feeding during admission, and demographic characteristics were compared between enteral tube feeding and non–enteral tube feeding groups.
Of the 410 patients, 61 used enteral feeding tubes. The mean age, NIHSS score, and brain lesion volume were significantly higher in the tube group than the nontube group (P < 0.001). Of the nine regions of interest, the right and left middle cerebral artery areas were strongly correlated with enteral tube feeding (P < 0.001). The NIHSS scores were significantly related to the duration of tube feeding (P < 0.05). The NIHSS consciousness subscores were significantly higher in the tube feeding group than in the non–tube feeding group (P < 0.05).
Older age, lesions in the middle cerebral artery territory, and larger lesions were identified as significant risk factors of enteral tube feeding. Especially, the NIHSS consciousness subscore needs to be evaluated precisely because it was the factor most closely related to the implementation and duration of enteral tube feeding.