ResearchPad - stroke https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A rationale and framework for seeking remote electronic or phone consent approval in endovascular stroke trials – special relevance in the COVID-19 environment and beyond]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10274 Enrollment in time-sensitive endovascular stroke trials can be challenging because of an inability to consent a debilitated patient. Often the legally authorized representative is not on site. Remote consent procedures in the US are inconsistent with the majority of sites shunning these approaches. The current pandemic with visitor restrictions highlights the need for enhancing these options.MethodsRemote electronic and phone consent procedures specifically for endovascular stroke trials from two comprehensive stroke centers (CSC) are presented. An overview of the genesis of informed consent procedures in the US is also included.ResultsThe two CSCs identified as Institution-1 and Institution-2 are large tertiary systems. Institution-1 is a non-profit university-affiliated academic medical center in rural geography. Institution-2 is an HCA hospital in an urban environment. Both serve patients through a spoke-and-hub network, have participated in multiple randomized endovascular stroke trials, and have successfully used these remote options for enrollment. A tiered approach is employed at both institutions with an emphasis on obtaining informed consent in person and resorting to alternatives methods when efforts to that are unsuccessful. A rationale for electronic and phone consent is included, followed by step-by-step illustration of the process at each institution.ConclusionTwo examples of remote electronic or phone consent procedures from institutions in different geographic environments and organization structures demonstrate that these options can be successfully used for enrollment in stroke trials. The current pandemic highlights the need to enhance these approaches while maintaining appropriate adherence to ethical and legal frameworks. ]]> <![CDATA[Plasma Galectin-3 predicts deleterious vascular dysfunction affecting post-myocardial infarction patients: An explanatory study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7712 In a previous analysis of a post-myocardial infarction (MI) cohort, abnormally high systemic vascular resistances (SVR) were shown to be frequently revealed by MRI during the healing period, independently of MI severity, giving evidence of vascular dysfunction and limiting further recovery of cardiac function. The present ancillary and exploratory analysis of the same cohort was aimed at characterizing those patients suffering from high SVR remotely from MI with a large a panel of cardiovascular MRI parameters and blood biomarkers.MethodsMRI and blood sampling were performed 2–4 days after a reperfused MI and 6 months thereafter in 121 patients. SVR were monitored with a phase-contrast MRI sequence and patients with abnormally high SVR at 6-months were characterized through MRI parameters and blood biomarkers, including Galectin-3, an indicator of cardiovascular inflammation and fibrosis after MI. SVR were normal at 6-months in 90 patients (SVR-) and abnormally high in 31 among whom 21 already had high SVR at the acute phase (SVR++) while 10 did not (SVR+).ResultsWhen compared with SVR-, both SVR+ and SVR++ exhibited lower recovery in cardiac function from baseline to 6-months, while baseline levels of Galectin-3 were significantly different in both SVR+ (median: 14.4 (interquartile range: 12.3–16.7) ng.mL-1) and SVR++ (13.0 (11.7–19.4) ng.mL-1) compared to SVR- (11.7 (9.8–13.5) ng.mL-1, both p < 0.05). Plasma Galectin-3 was an independent baseline predictor of high SVR at 6-months (p = 0.002), together with the baseline levels of SVR and left ventricular end-diastolic volume, whereas indices of MI severity and left ventricular function were not. In conclusion, plasma Galectin-3 predicts a deleterious vascular dysfunction affecting post-MI patients, an observation that could lead to consider new therapeutic targets if confirmed through dedicated prospective studies. ]]> <![CDATA[Post-stroke infections associated with spleen volume reduction: A pilot study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7682 Spleen volume reduction followed by re-expansion has been described in acute ischemic stroke in both animal and human studies. Splenic contraction might be partially due to sympathetic hyperactivity and might be accompanied by release of splenocytes in the peripheral circulation, leading to immunodepression.AimsTo investigate whether spleen volume changes in the first week after stroke are associated with post-stroke infections, changes in lymphocytes count and autonomic dysfunction.MethodsIn patients with acute ischemic stroke, spleen sizes were calculated from abdominal CT images on day one and day seven. Spleen size reduction was defined as > 10% spleen size reduction between day one and day seven. Post stroke infections were diagnosed during the first seven days after stroke onset using the modified criteria of the US Center of Disease Control and Prevention. We assessed the time course of leukocyte subsets and analysed pulse rate variability (PRV) indices.ResultsPost-stroke infections occurred in six out of 11 patients (55%) with spleen size reduction versus in five out of 27 patients (19%) without spleen size reduction (p = 0,047). Spleen size reduction was associated with a drop in lymphocytes and several lymphocyte subsets from admission to day one, and a higher NIHSS at admission and at day three (p = 0,028 and p = 0,006 respectively). No correlations could be found between spleen volume change and PRV parameters.ConclusionPost-stroke infections and a drop in lymphocytes and several lymphocyte subsets are associated with spleen volume reduction in acute ischemic stroke. ]]> <![CDATA[Stepwise stroke recognition through clinical information, vital signs, and initial labs (CIVIL): Electronic health record-based observational cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0f0adfcb-3c92-4db3-bdce-cd884fd183e7

Background

Stroke recognition systems have been developed to reduce time delays, however, a comprehensive triaging score identifying stroke subtypes is needed to guide appropriate management. We aimed to develop a prehospital scoring system for rapid stroke recognition and identify stroke subtype simultaneously.

Methods and findings

In prospective database of regional emergency and stroke center, Clinical Information, Vital signs, and Initial Labs (CIVIL) of 1,599 patients suspected of acute stroke was analyzed from an automatically-stored electronic health record. Final confirmation was performed with neuroimaging. Using multiple regression analyses, we determined independent predictors of tier 1 (true-stroke or not), tier 2 (hemorrhagic stroke or not), and tier 3 (emergent large vessel occlusion [ELVO] or not). The diagnostic performance of the stepwise CIVIL scoring system was investigated using internal validation. A new scoring system characterized by a stepwise clinical assessment has been developed in three tiers. Tier 1: Seven CIVIL-AS3A2P items (total score from –7 to +6) were deduced for true stroke as Age (≥ 60 years); Stroke risks without Seizure or psychiatric disease, extreme Sugar; “any Asymmetry”, “not Ambulating”; abnormal blood Pressure at a cut-off point ≥ 1 with diagnostic sensitivity of 82.1%, specificity of 56.4%. Tier 2: Four items for hemorrhagic stroke were identified as the CIVIL-MAPS indicating Mental change, Age below 60 years, high blood Pressure, no Stroke risks with cut-point ≥ 2 (sensitivity 47.5%, specificity 85.4%). Tier 3: For ELVO diagnosis: we applied with CIVIL-GFAST items (Gaze, Face, Arm, Speech) with cut-point ≥ 3 (sensitivity 66.5%, specificity 79.8%). The main limitation of this study is its retrospective nature and require a prospective validation of the CIVIL scoring system.

Conclusions

The CIVIL score is a comprehensive and versatile system that recognizes strokes and identifies the stroke subtype simultaneously.

]]>
<![CDATA[Trajectories of fatigue among stroke patients from the acute phase to 18 months post-injury: A latent class analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc2795b82-f9e4-46cc-9fc3-23c3f213e7d4

Introduction

Post-stroke fatigue (PSF) is a common symptom affecting 23–75% of stroke survivors. It is associated with increased risk of institutionalization and death, and it is of many patients considered among the worst symptoms to cope with after stroke. Longitudinal studies focusing on trajectories of fatigue may contribute to understanding patients’ experience of fatigue over time and its associated factors, yet only a few have been conducted to date.

Objectives

To explore whether subgroups of stroke survivors with distinct trajectories of fatigue in the first 18 months post stroke could be identified and whether these subgroups differ regarding sociodemographic, medical and/or symptom-related characteristics.

Materials and methods

115 patients with first-ever stroke admitted to Oslo University Hospital or Buskerud Hospital were recruited and data was collected prospectively during the acute phase and at 6, 12 and 18 months post stroke. Data on fatigue (both pre- and post-stroke), sociodemographic, medical and symptom-related characteristics were collected through structured interviews, standardized questionnaires and from the patients’ medical records.

Growth mixture modeling (GMM) was used to identify latent classes, i.e., subgroups of patients, based on their Fatigue Severity Scales (FSS) scores at the four time points. Differences in sociodemographic, medical, and symptom-related characteristics between the latent classes were evaluated using univariate and multivariable ordinal regression analyses.

Results and their significance

Using GMM, three latent classes of fatigue trajectories over 18 months were identified, characterized by differing levels of fatigue: low, moderate and high. The mean FSS score for each class remained relatively stable across all four time points. In the univariate analyses, age <75, pre-stroke fatigue, multiple comorbidities, current depression, disturbed sleep and some ADL impairment were associated with higher fatigue trajectories. In the multivariable analyses, pre-stroke fatigue (OR 4.92, 95% CI 1.84–13.2), multiple comorbidities (OR 4,52,95% CI 1.85–11.1) and not working (OR 4.61, 95% CI 1.36–15,7) were the strongest predictor of higher fatigue trajectories The findings of this study may be helpful for clinicians in identifying patients at risk of developing chronic fatigue after stroke.

]]>
<![CDATA[Nomogram to Predict Mortality of Endovascular Thrombectomy for Ischemic Stroke Despite Successful Recanalization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0a1efd6a-6cb0-4341-9bf8-4417979e02eb

Background

The trajectory of ischemic stroke patients attributable to large vessel occlusion is fundamentally altered by endovascular thrombectomy. This study aimed to develop a nomogram for predicting 3‐month mortality risk in patients with ischemic stroke attributed to artery occlusion in anterior circulation who received successful endovascular thrombectomy treatment.

Methods and Results

Patients with successful endovascular thrombectomy (modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction IIb or III) were enrolled from a multicenter registry as the training cohort. Step‐wise logistic regression with Akaike information criterion was utilized to establish the best‐fit nomogram. The discriminative value of the nomogram was tested by concordance index. An additional 224 patients from 2 comprehensive stroke centers were prospectively recruited as the test cohort for validating the new nomogram. Altogether, 417 patients were enrolled in the training cohort. Age (odds ratio [OR], 1.07; 95% CI, 1.03−1.10), poor pretreatment collateral status (OR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.18−3.85), baseline blood glucose level (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04−1.21), symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (OR, 9.51; 95% CI, 4.54−19.92), and baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.03−1.12) were associated with mortality and were incorporated in the nomogram. The c‐index of the nomogram was 0.835 (95% CI, 0.785–0.885) in the training cohort and 0.758 (95% CI, 0.667–0.849) in the test cohort.

Conclusions

The nomogram, composed of age, pretreatment collateral status, baseline blood glucose level, symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, and baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, may predict risk of mortality in patients with ischemic stroke and treated successfully with endovascular thrombectomy.

]]>
<![CDATA[A novel visual ranking system based on arterial spin labeling perfusion imaging for evaluating perfusion disturbance in patients with ischemic stroke]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N32085c18-73a0-407b-8668-9d011597efb2

We developed a visual ranking system by combining the parenchymal perfusion deficits (PPD) and hyperintense vessel signals (HVS) on arterial spin labeling (ASL) imaging. This study aimed to assess the performance of this ranking system by correlating with subtypes classified based on dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) imaging for evaluating the perfusion disturbance observed in patients with ischemic stroke. 32 patients with acute or subacute infarcts detected by DSC imaging were reviewed. Each patient’s brain was divided into 12 areas. ASL ranks were defined by the presence (+) or absence (-) of PPD/HVS as follows; I:–/–, II:–/+, III: +/+, and IV: +/–. DSC imaging findings were categorized based on cerebral blood flow (CBF) and time to peak (TTP) as normal (normal CBF/TTP), mismatched (normal CBF/delayed TTP), and matched (decreased CBF/delayed TTP). Two reviewers rated perfusion abnormalities in the total of 384 areas. The four ASL ranks correlated well with the DSC subtypes (Spearman’s r = 0.82). The performance of ASL ranking system was excellent as indicated by the area under the curve value of 0.94 using either matched or mismatched DSC subtype as the gold standard and 0.97 using only the matched DSC subtype as the gold standard. The two methods were in good-to-excellent agreement (maximum κ-values, 0.86). Inter-observer agreement was excellent (κ-value, 0.98). Although the number of patients was small and the number of dropouts was high, our proposed, ASL-based visual ranking system represented by PPD and HVS provides good, graded estimates of perfusion disturbance that agree well with those obtained by DSC perfusion imaging.

]]>
<![CDATA[Cognitive Impairment Before Atrial Fibrillation–Related Ischemic Events: Neuroimaging and Prognostic Associations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne7fa5441-e1dc-4d05-b626-6e262ad82371

Background

It is likely that a proportion of poststroke cognitive impairment is sometimes attributable to unidentified prestroke decline; prestroke cognitive function is also clinically relevant because it is associated with poor functional outcomes, including death. We investigated the radiological and prognostic associations of preexisting cognitive impairment in patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack associated with atrial fibrillation.

Methods and Results

We included 1102 patients from the prospective multicenter observational CROMIS‐2 (Clinical Relevance of Microbleeds in Stroke 2) atrial fibrillation study. Preexisting cognitive impairment was identified using the 16‐item Informant Questionnaire for Cognitive Decline in the Elderly. Functional outcome was measured using the modified Rankin scale. Preexisting cognitive impairment was common (n=271; 24.6%). The presence of lacunes (odds ratio [OR], 1.50; 95% CI, 1.03–1.05; P=0.034), increasing periventricular white matter hyperintensity grade (per grade increase, OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.17–1.63; P<0.0001), deep white matter hyperintensity grade (per grade increase, OR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.05–1.51; P=0.011), and medial temporal atrophy grade (per grade increase, OR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.34–1.95; P<0.0001) were independently associated with preexisting cognitive impairment. Preexisting cognitive impairment was associated with poorer functional outcome at 24 months (mRS >2; adjusted OR, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.42–4.20; P=0.001).

Conclusions

Preexisting cognitive impairment in patients with atrial fibrillation–associated ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack is common, and associated with imaging markers of cerebral small vessel disease and neurodegeneration, as well as with longer‐term functional outcome.

Clinical Trial Registration

URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT02513316.

]]>
<![CDATA[Hospital Factors Associated With Interhospital Transfer Destination for Stroke in the Northeast United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nba071630-8a55-42d9-b5bd-9606e74ab0a3

Background

We aimed to determine if there is an association between hospital quality and the likelihood of a given hospital being a preferred transfer destination for stroke patients.

Methods and Results

Data from Medicare claims identified acute ischemic stroke transferred between 394 northeast US hospitals from 2007 to 2011. Hospitals were categorized as transferring (n=136), retaining (n=241), or receiving (n=17) hospitals based on the proportion of acute ischemic stroke encounters transferred or received. We identified all 6409 potential dyads of sending and receiving hospitals, and categorized dyads as connected if ≥5 patients were transferred between the hospitals annually (n=82). We used logistic regression to identify hospital characteristics associated with establishing a connected dyad, exploring the effect of adjusting for different quality measures and outcomes. We also adjusted for driving distance between hospitals, receiving hospital stroke volume, and the number of hospitals in the receiving hospital referral region. The odds of establishing a transfer connection increased when rate of alteplase administration increased at the receiving hospital or decreased at the sending hospital, however this finding did not hold after applying a potential strategy to adjust for clustering. Receiving hospital performance on 90‐day home time was not associated with likelihood of transfer connection.

Conclusions

Among northeast US hospitals, we found that differences in hospital quality, specifically higher levels of alteplase administration, may be associated with increased likelihood of being a transfer destination. Further research is needed to better understand acute ischemic stroke transfer patterns to optimize stroke transfer systems.

]]>
<![CDATA[Identification of Markers Associated With Development of Stroke in “Clinically Low‐Risk” Atrial Fibrillation Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N1b5976b8-a6da-4ad7-8075-7d485613b084

Background

Stroke and thromboembolic events may still occur in “clinically low‐risk” atrial fibrillation (AF) patients as categorized by CHA 2 DS 2VASc score. Our aim was to assess the proportion of “clinically low‐risk” patients using a nongender CHA 2 DS 2VASc (ie, CHA 2 DS 2VA) score of 0 to 1 among patients who experienced AF‐associated stroke and to identify markers associated with stroke in “clinically low‐risk” patients.

Methods and Results

We retrospectively recruited nonvalvular AF patients who experienced embolic stroke between 2013 and 2016 from 9 institutes in Korea. AF patients with CHA 2 DS 2VA score of 0 to 1 at the time of stroke were analyzed and compared with “clinically low‐risk” AF patients without stroke. A total of 3033 subjects with AF‐associated stroke were recruited. Of these, 583 patients (19.2%) had CHA 2 DS 2VA score of 0 to 1. On multivariate analysis, age (≥60 years), N‐terminal pro B‐type natriuretic peptide (≥300 pg/mL), creatinine clearance (<50 mL/min), and left atrial dimension (≥45 mm) were independently associated with stroke. With the combined application of these 4 factors (collectively, ABCD score) to the “clinically low‐risk” patients, the c‐index was 0.858 (95% CI 0.838–0.877; P<0.001).

Conclusions

The present study suggests a new insight into how additional use of markers can further refine stroke risk differentiation among AF patients initially classified as “clinically low‐risk.”

Clinical Trial Registration

URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT03147911.

]]>
<![CDATA[Prevalence and Impact of Venous and Arterial Thromboembolism in Patients With Embolic Stroke of Undetermined Source With or Without Active Cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nafb73fa9-4f88-44df-998d-e5a665d75498

Background

An increased risk of acute ischemic stroke is recognized among patients with cancer. However, the mechanism behind cancer‐related stroke is unclear. In this study, we determined the presence of associated venous thromboembolism and arterial thromboembolism and their clinical impact on patients with cancer‐related stroke.

Methods and Results

Patients with embolic stroke of undetermined source with or without cancer were evaluated for venous thromboembolism (deep vein thrombosis [DVT] and/or pulmonary embolism) and arterial thromboembolism by using Doppler sonography to determine the presence of lower‐extremity DVT and the microembolic signal of the symptomatic cerebral circulation, respectively. Infarct volume was determined by diffusion‐weighted magnetic resonance imaging. The multivariable linear regression and Cox proportional hazard analysis were used to investigate the effect of DVT and microembolic signal on infarct volume and 1‐year survival, respectively. Of 142 screened patients, 118 were included (37 with, 81 without cancer). Those with cancer had a higher prevalence of DVT or microembolic signal than did the noncancer group (62.2% versus 19.8%; P<0.001). Among patients with cancer‐related stroke, DVT was associated with a greater infarct volume in magnetic resonance imaging (beta, 13.14; 95% CI, 1.62–24.66; P=0.028). Presence of DVT (hazard ratio, 16.79; 95% CI, 2.05–137.75; P=0.009) and microembolic signal (hazard ratio, 8.16; 95% CI, 1.36–48.85; P=0.022) were independent predictors of poor 1‐year survival.

Conclusions

Patients with cancer‐associated embolic stroke of undetermined source have an elevated risk of associated venous thromboembolism and arterial thromboembolism, both of which have a significant negative impact on 1‐year survival. The results of this study may enhance our understanding of cancer‐associated stroke and improve risk stratification of patients with this disease.

Clinical Trial Registration

URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/.Unique identifier: NCT02212496

]]>
<![CDATA[Incremental Value of Computed Tomography Perfusion for Final Infarct Prediction in Acute Ischemic Cerebellar Stroke]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf3692917-4c46-470f-b6cb-1ead768f105c

Background

The diagnosis of ischemic cerebellar stroke is challenging because of nonspecific symptoms and very limited accuracy of commonly applied computed tomography (CT) imaging. Advances in CT perfusion imaging provide increasing value in the detection of posterior circulation stroke, but the prognostic value remains unclear. We aimed to identify imaging parameters that predict morphologic outcome in cerebellar stroke patients using advanced CT including whole‐brain CT perfusion (WBCTP).

Methods and Results

We selected all subjects with cerebellar WBCTP perfusion deficits and follow‐up‐confirmed cerebellar infarction from a consecutive cohort with suspected stroke who underwent WBCTP. Posterior‐circulation‐Acute‐Stroke‐Prognosis‐Early‐CT‐Score (pc‐ASPECTS) was determined on noncontrast CT, CT angiography source images, and on parametric WBCTP maps. Cerebellar perfusion deficit volumes on all maps and the final infarction volume on follow‐up imaging were quantified. Uni‐ and multivariate regression analyses were performed. Sixty patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. pc‐ASPECTS on CT angiography source images (ß, −9.239; 95% CI, −14.220 to −4.259; P<0.001) and cerebral blood flow deficit volume (ß, 0.886; 95% CI, 0.684 to 1.089; P<0.001) were significantly associated with final infarction volume in univariate linear regression analysis. The association of cerebral blood flow deficit volume (ß, 0.830; 95% CI, 0.605–1.055; P<0.001) was confirmed in a multivariate linear regression model adjusted for age, sex, pc‐ASPECTS on noncontrast CT, and CT angiography source images and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score on admission. No other clinical or imaging parameters were associated with cerebellar stroke final infarction volume (P>0.05).

Conclusions

In contrast to noncontrast CT and CT angiography, WBCTP imaging contains prognostic information for morphologic outcome in patients with acute cerebellar stroke.

]]>
<![CDATA[The mechanism on phosphorylation of Hsp20Ser16 inhibit GA stress and ER stress during OGD/R]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acc8cd5eed0c48498f9ce

Recent research has demonstrated that small heat shock protein (sHsp) phosphorylation plays a variety of roles in neural cells. While the phosphorylation of serine 16 (Ser16) is blocked, Hsp20 no longer has neuroprotective effects. To further investigate the mechanism underlying this process, oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion (OGD/R) was used with human SH-SY5Y cells and mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells. When SH-SY5Y and N2a cells were transfected with pEGFP-Hsp20(WT), pEGFP-Hsp20(S16A), and pEGFP-Hsp20(S16D) plasmids, the Golgi apparatus (GA) became more swollen and scattered, and many small fragments formed in the MOCK and S16A groups after OGD/R (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network was reduced, and the lamellar structure increased. However, these changes were not as obvious in the WT and S16D groups. Additionally, after OGD/R, Golgi Stress related protein contents were increased in the WT and S16D groups compared with the MOCK and S16A groups (P < 0.05). However, ER Stress related protein contents were decreased in the WT and S16D groups compared with the MOCK and S16A groups (P < 0.05). Our study demonstrates that Hsp20 phosphorylation on Ser16 protects against not only OGD/R-induced GA fragmentation in SH-SY5Y cells and N2a cells via Golgi stress but also OGD/R-induced ER structural changes in SH-SY5Y cells via ER stress. These findings suggest that Hsp20 is a potential drug target for ischemia stroke treatment.

]]>
<![CDATA[High incidence and prevalence of visual problems after acute stroke: An epidemiology study with implications for service delivery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897734d5eed0c4847d26dc

Background

Visual problems are an under-reported sequela following stroke. The aim of this study is to report annual incidence and point prevalence of visual problems in an acute adult stroke population and to explore feasibility of early timing of visual assessment.

Methods and findings

Multi-centre acute stroke unit, prospective, epidemiology study (1st July 2014 to 30th June 2015). Orthoptists reviewed all patients with assessment of visual acuity, visual fields, ocular alignment, ocular motility, visual inattention and visual perception. 1033 patients underwent visual screening at a median of 3 days (IQR 2) and full visual assessment at a median of 4 days (IQR 7) after the incident stroke: 52% men, 48% women, mean age 73 years and 87% ischaemic strokes. Excluding pre-existent eye problems, the incidence of new onset visual sequelae was 48% for all stroke admissions and 60% in stroke survivors. Three quarters 752/1033 (73%) had visual problems (point prevalence): 56% with impaired central vision, 40% eye movement abnormalities, 28% visual field loss, 27% visual inattention, 5% visual perceptual disorders. 281/1033 (27%) had normal eye exams.

Conclusions

Incidence and point prevalence of visual problems in acute stroke is alarmingly high, affecting over half the survivors. For most, visual screening and full visual assessment was achieved within about 5 days of stroke onset. Crucial information can thus be provided on visual status and its functional significance to the stroke team, patients and carers, enabling early intervention.

]]>
<![CDATA[Immunology of stroke: from animal models to clinical trials]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c929c69d5eed0c4843865aa ]]> <![CDATA[High-sensitivity cardiac troponin T as an independent predictor of stroke in patients admitted to an emergency department with atrial fibrillation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75acd5eed0c4843cffc2

Aims

Elevated levels of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hsTnT) are associated with adverse outcomes in numerous patient populations. Their value in prediction of stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is in debate.

Methods

The study population included 2898 consecutive patients presenting with AF to the emergency department of the Department of Cardiology, Heidelberg University Hospital. Associations between hsTnT and stroke risk were assessed using multivariable Cox regression.

Results

Elevated hsTnT levels (>14 ng/L) were associated with increased risk of stroke. Even after adjustment for various risk factors, elevated hsTnT remained independently associated with stroke risk in patients with AF, adjusted hazard ratio 2.35 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.26–4.36] (P = 0.007). These results were consistent across important subgroups (age, renal function, ejection fraction, CHA2DS2-VASc score and main admission diagnosis). For hsTnT, area under the receiver-operating-characteristic curve (AUC) was 0.659 [95% CI: 0.575–0.742], compared to 0.610 [95% CI: 0.526–0.694] for the CHA2DS2-VASc score. Inclusion of hsTnT in the multivariable model for stroke risk prediction consisting of all variables of the CHA2DS2-VASc score was associated with a significant improvement of its discriminatory power.

Conclusion

Elevated hsTnT levels are significantly associated with higher risk of stroke and provide prognostic information independent of CHA2DS2-VASc score variables. Measurement of hsTnT may improve prediction of stroke risk in patients presenting to an emergency department with AF as compared to risk stratification based only on clinical variables.

]]>
<![CDATA[Socioeconomic gap between neighborhoods of Budapest: Striking impact on stroke and possible explanations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe19d5eed0c484e5b4a4

Introduction

Hungary has a single payer health insurance system offering free healthcare for acute cerebrovascular disorders. Within the capital, Budapest, however there are considerable microregional socioeconomic differences. We hypothesized that socioeconomic deprivation reflects in less favorable stroke characteristics despite universal access to care.

Methods

From the database of the National Health Insurance Fund, we identified 4779 patients hospitalized between 2002 and 2007 for acute cerebrovascular disease (hereafter ACV, i.e. ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, or transient ischemia), among residents of the poorest (District 8, n = 2618) and the wealthiest (District 12, n = 2161) neighborhoods of Budapest. Follow-up was until March 2013.

Results

Mean age at onset of ACV was 70±12 and 74±12 years for District 8 and 12 (p<0.01). Age-standardized incidence was higher in District 8 than in District 12 (680/100,000/year versus 518/100,000/year for ACV and 486/100,000/year versus 259/100,000/year for ischemic stroke). Age-standardized mortality of ACV overall and of ischemic stroke specifically was 157/100,000/year versus 100/100,000/year and 122/100,000/year versus 75/100,000/year for District 8 and 12. Long-term case fatality (at 1,5, and 10 years) for ACV and for ischemic stroke was higher in younger District 8 residents (41–70 years of age at the index event) compared to D12 residents of the same age. This gap between the districts increased with the length of follow-up. Of the risk diseases the prevalence of hypertension and diabetes was higher in District 8 than in District 12 (75% versus 66%, p<0.001; and 26% versus 16%, p<0.001).

Discussion

Despite universal healthcare coverage, the disadvantaged district has higher ACV incidence and mortality than the wealthier neighborhood. This difference affects primarily the younger age groups. Long-term follow-up data suggest that inequity in institutional rehabilitation and home-care should be investigated and improved in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

]]>
<![CDATA[Rivaroxaban administration after acute ischemic stroke: The RELAXED study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca1cd5eed0c48452a7cf

The efficacy of early anticoagulation in acute stroke with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) remains unclear. We performed a study to evaluate the risk of recurrent ischemic stroke (IS) and major bleeding in acute IS patients with NVAF who started rivaroxaban. This observational study evaluated patients with NVAF and acute IS/transient ischemic attack (TIA) in the middle cerebral arterial territory who started rivaroxaban within 30 days after the index IS/TIA. The primary endpoints were recurrent IS and major bleeding within 90 days after the index IS/TIA. The relationship between the endpoints and the time to start rivaroxaban was evaluated by correlation analysis using cerebral infarct volume, determined by diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance images within 48 hours of onset of the index IS/TIA. Of 1309 patients analyzed, recurrent IS occurred in 30 (2.3%) and major bleeding in 11 (0.8%) patients. Among patients with known infarct size (N = 1207), those with small (<4.0 cm3), medium (≥4.0 and <22.5 cm3), and large (≥22.5 cm3) infarcts started rivaroxaban a median of 2.9, 2.9, and 5.8 days, respectively, after the index IS/TIA. Recurrent IS was significantly less frequent when starting rivaroxaban ≤14 days versus ≥15 days after IS (2.0% versus 6.8%, P = 0.0034). Incidences of recurrent IS and major bleeding in whom rivaroxaban was started <3 days (N = 584) after IS were also low: 1.5% and 0.7%, respectively. Initiation of rivaroxaban administration in acute IS or TIA was associated with a low recurrence of IS (2.3%), and a low incidence of major bleeding events (0.8%) for 90 days after the index stroke. For the prevention of recurrent attacks in acute IS patients with NVAF, it is feasible to start the administration of rivaroxaban within 14 days of onset. Rivaroxaban started within 3 days of onset may be a feasible treatment option for patients with a small or medium-sized infarction.

]]>
<![CDATA[Efficient design and analysis of randomized controlled trials in rare neurological diseases: An example in Guillain-Barré syndrome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe48d5eed0c484e5b7f7

Background

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) pose specific challenges in rare and heterogeneous neurological diseases due to the small numbers of patients and heterogeneity in disease course. Two analytical approaches have been proposed to optimally handle these issues in RCTs: covariate adjustment and ordinal analysis. We investigated the potential gain in efficiency of these approaches in rare and heterogeneous neurological diseases, using Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) as an example.

Methods

We analyzed two published GBS trials with primary outcome ‘at least one grade improvement’ on the GBS disability scale. We estimated the treatment effect using logistic regression models with and without adjustment for prognostic factors. The difference between the unadjusted and adjusted estimates was disentangled in imbalance (random differences in baseline covariates between treatment arms) and stratification (change of the estimate due to covariate adjustment). Second, we applied proportional odds regression, which exploits the ordinal nature of the GBS disability score. The standard error of the estimated treatment effect indicated the statistical efficiency.

Results

Both trials were slightly imbalanced with respect to baseline characteristics, which was corrected in the adjusted analysis. Covariate adjustment increased the estimated treatment effect in the two trials by 8% and 18% respectively. Proportional odds analysis resulted in lower standard errors indicating more statistical power.

Conclusion

Covariate adjustment and proportional odds analysis most efficiently use the available data and ensure balance between the treatment arms to obtain reliable and valid treatment effect estimates. These approaches merit application in future trials in rare and heterogeneous neurological diseases like GBS.

]]>
<![CDATA[The association of CHA2DS2-VASc score and carotid plaque in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c673079d5eed0c484f37bb6

Objective

The aim of this study was to assess the association between CHA2DS2-VASc score and carotid plaques in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF).

Methods

We conducted a retrospective study including 3,435 NVAF patients who underwent carotid ultrasound examinations from January 2015 to December 2017.We collected the clinical data on the medical records system. Chi-square trend test was used to analyze trends between the prevalence of carotid plaques with an increasing CHA2DS2-VASc score. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was also used to assess the association between carotid plaques and CHA2DS2-VASc scores. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) was used to determine the optimal cutoff points of different CHA2DS2-VASc scores in NVAF patients.

Results

NVAF patients with carotid plaques had higher CHA2DS2-VASc scores compared with patients who did not have carotid plaques (3.01±1.36 vs. 2.55±1.28, P < 0.05). In all participants, male participants and female participants, the prevalence of carotid plaques increased significantly as the CHA2DS2-VASc score increased (P for trend < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that for each 1-point increase in the CHA2DS2-VASc score, there was an associated 37% increase in the prevalence of carotid plaques. ROC curve analysis revealed that a CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥ 2 in male patients (sensitivity, 44.67%; specificity, 75.64%; AUC, 0.639) or ≥ 3 in female patients (sensitivity, 47.24%; specificity, 72.40%; AUC, 0.634) were associated with carotid plaques.

Conclusion

The prevalence of carotid plaques in patients with NVAF was associated with the CHA2DS2-VASc score.

]]>