Cerebrovascular Diseases (Cerebrovasc Dis)

Publisher: S. Karger (Firm), Karger

Journal description

A rapidly-growing field, cerebrovascular research is unique in that it involves a variety of specialties such as neurology, internal medicine, surgery, radiology, epidemiology, cardiology, hematology, psychology and rehabilitation. ëCerebrovascular Diseasesí is a new international forum which meets the growing need for sophisticated, up-to-date scientific information on clinical data, diagnostic testing, and therapeutic issues, dealing with all aspects of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases. It contains original contributions, reviews of selected topics and clinical investigative studies, recent meeting reports and work-in-progress as well as discussions on controversial issues. All aspects related to clinical advances are considered, while purely experimental work appears if directly relevant to clinical issues.

Current impact factor: 3.70

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2013 / 2014 Impact Factor 3.698
2012 Impact Factor 2.814
2011 Impact Factor 2.723
2010 Impact Factor 2.987
2009 Impact Factor 3.535
2008 Impact Factor 3.041

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 3.21
Cited half-life 5.50
Immediacy index 0.48
Eigenfactor 0.02
Article influence 1.12
Website Cerebrovascular Diseases website
Other titles Cerebrovascular diseases (Basel, Switzerland: Online)
ISSN 1421-9786
OCLC 44717733
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • On author's server or institutional server
    • Server must be non-commercial
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a noninvasive and reliable tool for mapping eloquent cortex in patients prior to brain surgery. Ensuring intact perceptual and cognitive processing is a key goal for neurosurgeons, and recent research has indicated the value of including attentional network processing in pre-surgical fMRI in order to help preserve such abilities, including reading, after surgery. We report a 42-year-old patient with a large cavernous malformation, near the left basal ganglia. The lesion measured 3.8 × 1.7 × 1.8 cm. In consultation with the patient and the multidisciplinary cerebrovascular team, the decision was made to offer the patient surgical resection. The surgical resection involved planned access via the left superior parietal lobule using stereotactic location. The patient declined an awake craniotomy; therefore, direct electrocortical stimulation (ECS) could not be used for intraoperative language localization in this case. Pre-surgical planning included fMRI localization of language, motor, sensory, and attentional processing. The key finding was that both reading and attention-processing tasks revealed consistent activation of the left superior parietal lobule, part of the attentional control network, and the site of the planned surgical access. Given this information, surgical access was adjusted to avoid interference with the attentional control network. The lesion was removed via the left inferior parietal lobule. The patient had no new neurologic deficits postoperatively but did develop mild neuropathic pain in the left hand. This case report supports recent research that indicates the value of including fMRI maps of attentional tasks along with traditional language-processing tasks in preoperative planning in patients undergoing neurosurgery procedures. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 03/2015; 39(3-4):202-208. DOI:10.1159/000376612
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background and Purpose: Very few cases of intracranial aneurysms (IAs) in twins have been reported. Previous work has suggested that vulnerability to IA formation is heritable. Twin studies provide an opportunity to evaluate the impact of genetics on IA characteristics, including IA location. We therefore sought to examine IA location concordance, multiplicity, and rupture status within affected twin-pairs. Methods: The Familial Intracranial Aneurysm study was a multicenter study whose goal was to identify genetic and other risk factors for formation and rupture of IAs. The study required at least three affected family members or an affected sibling pair for inclusion. Subjects with fusiform aneurysms, an IA associated with an AVM, or a family history of conditions known to predispose to IA formation, such as polycystic kidney disease, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan syndrome, fibromuscular dysplasia, or moyamoya syndrome were excluded. Twin-pairs were identified by birth date and were classified as monozygotic (MZ) or dizygotic (DZ) through DNA marker genotypes. In addition to zygosity, we evaluated twin-pairs by smoking status, major arterial territory of IAs, and rupture status. Location concordance was defined as the presence of an IA in the same arterial distribution (ICA, MCA, ACA, and vertebrobasilar), irrespective of laterality, in both members of a twin-pair. The Fisher exact test was used for comparisons between MZ and DZ twin-pairs. Results: A total of 16 affected twin-pairs were identified. Location concordance was observed in 8 of 11 MZ twin-pairs but in only 1 of 5 DZ twin-pairs (p = 0.08). Three MZ subjects had unknown IA locations and comprised the three instances of MZ discordance. Six of the 11 MZ twin-pairs and none of the 5 DZ twin-pairs had IAs in the ICA distribution (p = 0.03). Multiple IAs were observed in 11 of 22 MZ and 5 of 10 DZ twin-pairs. Thirteen (13) of the 32 subjects had an IA rupture, including 10 of 22 MZ twins. Conclusions: We found that arterial location concordance was greater in MZ than DZ twins, which suggests a genetic influence upon aneurysm location. The 16 twin-pairs in the present study are nearly the total of affected twin-pairs that have been reported in the literature to date. Further studies are needed to determine the impact of genetics in the formation and rupture of IAs. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 01/2015; 39(2):82-86. DOI:10.1159/000369961
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background and Purpose: Among patients with acute stroke symptoms, delay in hospital admission is the main obstacle for the use of thrombolytic therapy and other interventions associated with decreased mortality and disability. The primary aim of this study was to assess whether an elderly clinical population correctly endorsed the response to call for emergency services when presented with signs and symptoms of stroke using a standardized questionnaire. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study among elderly out-patients (≥60 years) in Buenos Aires, Argentina randomly recruited from a government funded health clinic. The correct endorsement of intention to call 911 was assessed with the Stroke Action Test and the cut-off point was set at ≥75%. Knowledge of stroke and clinical and socio-demographic indicators were also collected and evaluated as predictors of correct endorsement using logistic regression. Results: Among 367 elderly adults, 14% correctly endorsed intention to call 911. Presented with the most typical signs and symptoms, only 65% reported that they would call an ambulance. Amaurosis Fugax was the symptom for which was called the least (15%). On average, the correct response was chosen only 37% of the time. Compared to lower levels of education, higher levels were associated to correctly endorsed intention to call 911 (secondary School adjusted OR 3.53, 95% CI 1.59-7.86 and Tertiary/University adjusted OR 3.04, 95% CI 1.12-8.21). Conclusions: These results suggest the need to provide interventions that are specifically designed to increase awareness of potential stroke signs and symptoms and appropriate subsequent clinical actions. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 01/2015; 39(2):87-93. DOI:10.1159/000369962
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Precise mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of the stroke unit (SU) are not fully established. Studies that compare monitored stroke units (semi-intensive type, SI-SU) versus an intensive care unit (ICU)-based mobile stroke team (MST-ICU) are lacking. Although inequalities in access to stroke unit care are globally improving, acute stroke patients may be admitted to Intensive Care Units for monitoring and followed by a mobile stroke team in hospital's lacking an SU with continuous cardiovascular monitoring. We aimed at comparing the stroke outcome between SI-SU and MST-ICU and hypothesized that the benefits of SI-SU are driven by additional elements other than cardiovascular monitoring, which is equally offered in both care systems. In a single-center setting, we compared the unfavorable outcomes (dependency and mortality) at 3 months in consecutive patients with ischemic stroke or spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage admitted to a stroke unit with semi-intensive monitoring (SI-SU) to a cohort of stroke patients hospitalized in an ICU and followed by a mobile stroke team (MST-ICU) during an equal observation period of 27 months. Secondary objectives included comparing mortality and the proportion of patients with excellent outcomes (modified Rankin Score (mRS) 0-1). Equal cardiovascular monitoring was offered in patients admitted in both SI-SU and MST-ICU. 458 patients were treated in the SI-SU and compared to the MST-ICU (n = 370) cohort. The proportion of death and dependency after 3 months was significantly improved for patients in the SI-SU compared to MST-ICU (p < 0.001; aOR = 0.45; 95% CI: 0.31-0.65). The shift analysis of the mRS distribution showed significant shift to the lower mRS in the SI-SU group, p < 0.001. The proportion of mortality in patients after 3 months also differed between the MST-ICU and the SI-SU (p < 0.05), but after adjusting for confounders this association was not significant (aOR = 0.59; 95% CI: 0.31-1.13). The proportion of patients with excellent outcome was higher in the SI-SU (59.4 vs. 44.9%, p < 0.001) but the relationship was no more significant after adjustment (aOR = 1.17; 95% CI: 0.87-1.5). Our study shows that moving from a stroke team in a monitored setting (ICU) to an organized stroke unit leads to a significant reduction in the 3 months unfavorable outcome in patients with an acute ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. Cardiovascular monitoring is indispensable, but benefits of a semi-intensive Stroke Unit are driven by additional elements beyond intensive cardiovascular monitoring. This observation supports the ongoing development of Stroke Centers for efficient stroke care. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 01/2015; 39(2):102-9. DOI:10.1159/000369919
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) has been shown to be beneficial in patients with high-grade symptomatic carotid artery stenosis. Patients with high-grade asymptomatic stenosis may only exceptionally benefit from CEA during periods of increased plaque vulnerability. Imaging modalities to characterize unstable, vulnerable plaques are strongly needed for better risk stratification in these patients. Summary: Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is a novel and noninvasive technique capable to identify several surrogate markers of vulnerable carotid plaques. The use of specific ultrasound microbubbles allows a reliable detection of microulcerations due to an optimized visualization of the plaque-lumen border. As microbubbles are strictly intravascular tracers, the detection of individual microbubbles within the plaque corresponds to intraplaque neovessels. The accuracy of CEUS in the visualization of newly formed microvessels has been confirmed in histological studies on carotid endarterectomy specimens. Together with the formation of adventitial vasa vasorum, intraplaque neovascularization is a strong predictor for symptomatic disease. The phenomenon of late phase contrast enhancement is based on the adherence of microbubble-containing monocytes on inflamed endothelium. Recent studies suggest that late phase contrast enhancement may reflect endothelial inflammation or activation within carotid plaques. The development of conjugated microbubbles that bind to specific ligands such as thrombotic material or neovessels has led to the term 'molecular imaging'. CEUS with microbubbles targeted to P-selectin and VCAM-1, key molecules in leukocyte trafficking, was used to detect an inflammatory plaque phenotype, whereas microbubbles coupled to the VEGF-receptor may allow for a detection of neovascularization. Even though imaging with targeted microbubbles is yet in an experimental stage, this technique can visualize active plaque reorganization with increased vulnerability leading to generation of arterio-arterial embolism. Key Messages: The use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound can be recommended to assess atherosclerotic carotid lesions at risk for rupture. Prospective clinical studies are needed to validate the use of CEUS in patients with high risks of recurrent large artery strokes. In particular, this applies to the detection of intraplaque neovascularization, a well-established marker in preclinical and observational studies, while the clinical significance of late phase contrast enhancement still needs to be determined. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 12/2014; 39(1):5-12. DOI:10.1159/000369123
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: The small vessel disease (SVD) that appears in the brain may be part of a multisystem disorder affecting other vascular beds such as the kidney and retina. Because renal failure is associated with both stroke and white matter hyperintensities we hypothesised that small vessel (lacunar) stroke would be more strongly associated with renal failure than cortical stroke. Therefore, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to establish first if lacunar stroke was associated with the renal function, and second, if cerebral small vessel disease seen on the MRI of patients without stroke was more common in patients with renal failure. Methods: We searched Medline and EMBASE for studies in adults with cerebral SVD (lacunar stroke or white matter hyper intensities (WMH) on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)), in which renal function was assessed (estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) or proteinuria). We extracted data on SVD diagnosis, renal function, demographics and comorbidities. We performed two meta-analyses: first, we calculated the odds of renal impairment in lacunar (small vessel) ischaemic stroke compared to other ischaemic stroke subtypes (non-small vessel disease); and second, we calculated the odds of renal impairment in non-stroke individuals with WMH on MRI compared to individuals without WMH. We then performed a sensitivity analysis by excluding studies with certain characteristics and repeating the meta-analysis calculation. Results: After screening 11,001 potentially suitable titles, we included 37 papers reporting 32 studies of 20,379 subjects: 15 of stroke patients and 17 of SVD features in non-stroke patients. To diagnose lacunar stroke, 13/15 of the studies used risk factor-based classification (none used diffusion-weighted MRI). 394/1,119 (35%) of patients with lacunar stroke had renal impairment compared with 1,443/4,217 (34%) of patients with non-lacunar stroke, OR 0.88, (95% CI 0.6-1.30). In individuals without stroke the presence of SVD was associated with an increased risk of renal impairment (whether proteinuria or reduced eGFR) OR 2.33 (95% CI 1.80-3.01), when compared to those without SVD. After adjustment for age and hypertension, 15/21 studies still reported a significant association between renal impairment and SVD. Conclusion: We found no specific association between renal impairment and lacunar stroke, but we did find that in individuals who had not had a stroke, having more SVD features on imaging was associated with a worse renal function, which remained significant after controlling for hypertension. However, this finding does not exclude a powerful co-associate effect of age or vascular risk factor exposure. Future research should subtype lacunar stroke sensitively and control for major risk factors. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 12/2014; 39(1):39-52. DOI:10.1159/000369777
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Stroke is a common cause of death, and a leading contributor to long-term disability. The cost associated with the disease is great. Several modifiable risk factors for stroke have been found in older cohorts; however, no study to date has investigated the effects of these risk factors from late adolescence. Methods: The study cohort comprised 811,579 Swedish men (mean age, 18 years) that participated in the mandatory military conscription service in Sweden between 1969 and 1986. Some risk factors for stroke, such as body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and cognitive function, were assessed at conscription. Aerobic fitness was also assessed at conscription, using a braked ergometer cycle test. Other risk factors for stroke, including stroke in subjects' parents, and socioeconomic factors including highest achieved level of education and annual income 15 years after conscription, were collected through national register linkage using the personal identification number. Stroke diagnosis among the study participants was tracked in the National Hospital Discharge Patient Register. Results: During a median follow-up period of 33 years 6,180 ischemic strokes and 2,104 hemorrhagic strokes were diagnosed in the cohort at a mean age of 47.9 years. Strong independent risk factors (all p <1.0 × 10-(6)) for ischemic stroke included low aerobic fitness (hazard ratio [HR], 0.84 per standard deviation [SD] increase), high BMI (HR, 1.15 per SD increase), diabetes (HR, 2.85), alcohol intoxication (HR, 1.93), low annual income (HR, 0.85 per SD decrease), and stroke in the mother (HR, 1.31). Similar risk factors were found for hemorrhagic stroke including low aerobic fitness (HR, 0.82 per SD increase), high BMI (HR, 1.18 per SD increase) alcohol intoxication (HR, 2.92), diabetes (HR, 2.06), and low annual income (HR, 0.75). The population attributable risks associated with all evaluated risk factors were 69% for ischemic stroke and 88% for hemorrhagic stroke (p < 0.001 for both). Conclusions: In the present study we have shown that several known risk factors for stroke are present already in late adolescence, and that they are independent of each other. The strongest risk factors were low physical fitness, high BMI, diabetes, low annual income and a maternal history of stroke. Several of the aforementioned risk factors are potentially modifiable. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 12/2014; 39(1):63-71. DOI:10.1159/000369960
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Over time, exposure to cerebrovascular risk factors and carotid artery disease may cause multiple asymptomatic brain cortical and subcortical microinfarcts, which are commonly found at brain autopsy. So far, lack of convenient neuroimaging tools limited the investigation of grey matter ischemic damage in vivo. We applied the Double Inversion Recovery (DIR) sequence to explore the impact of carotid artery disease on intracortical ischemic lesion load in vivo, taking into account the impact of demographic characteristics and vascular risk factors. Methods: DIR was acquired in 62 patients with common cerebrovascular risk factors stratified in three groups according to carotid artery disease severity. Intracortical lesions scored on DIR (DIRlns) were classified by vascular territory, lobe and hemisphere. White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) volume was also quantified on Fluid Attenuated Inversion Recovery sequence (FLAIR). Results: Among demographic characteristics and cerebrovascular risk variables explored, General Linear Model indicated that age and carotid artery disease were significantly associated to DIRlns. After correcting for age, DIRlns load was found to be significantly dependent on carotid artery stenosis severity (F(2, 58) = 5.56, p = 0.006). A linear positive correlation between DIRlns and WMHs was found after correcting for age (p = 0.003). Conclusions: Carotid disease severity is associated with DIRlns accrual. Microembolism and impaired cerebral hemodynamics may act as physiopathological mechanisms underlying cortical ischemic damage. The role of other factors, such as small vessel disease and the possible interaction with carotid disease, remains to be further explored. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 12/2014; 39(1):23-30. DOI:10.1159/000369292
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Reversible vasoconstriction (RV) may cause ischaemic stroke (IS) in the absence of any other defined stroke aetiology. The three objectives of our study were to evaluate the frequency of RV in a prospective series of young IS patients, to describe the detailed clinical-radiological features in the patients with RV and IS, and to compare these characteristics with those of reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS). Methods: We identified between October 2005 and December 2010, 159 consecutive young patients (<45 years) hospitalized for an acute IS confirmed by cerebral magnetic resonance imaging. An extensive diagnostic work-up was performed including toxicological urinary screening for cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines, and the usual biological, cardiac and vascular investigations for an IS in the young. We specifically studied patients with IS and RV, which was defined as multifocal intracranial arterial stenoses confirmed by intracranial arterial imaging that resolved within 3-6 months. Results: Out of 159 patients with IS, 21 (13%, 12 males, 9 females; mean age 32 years) had multifocal cerebral arterial stenoses that were fully reversible at 3-6 months, and no other cause for stroke. IS were located on posterior territory in 71% of cases, and vasoconstriction predominated on posterior cerebral and superior cerebellar arteries. Precipitating factors of IS and RV were the use of cannabis resin (n = 14), nasal decongestants (n = 2) and triptan (n = 1). Most cases (74%) had unusual severe headache, but none had thunderclap headache. None of 21 cases had reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy, cortical subarachnoid or intracerebral haemorrhage. Conclusion: RV was the sole identified cause of IS in 13% of our cohort. These young patients with IS and RV may have a variant of RCVS, related to an increased susceptibility to vasoactive agents in some individuals. RV in our patients differs from the classical characteristics of RCVS by the absence of thunderclap headache, reversible brain oedema and subarachnoid or intracranial haemorrhage. Intracranial arteries should be looked for, by appropriate vascular imaging, in young patients with IS at the acute stage and during the follow-up period. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 12/2014; 39(1):31-38. DOI:10.1159/000369776
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Intracerebral hemorrhage is simultaneously the most frequent and most debilitating manifestation of intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVM), but its impact on success and complications of radiosurgery has not been rigorously assessed. In this case-control study, we define the effect of prior hemorrhage on AVM radiosurgery outcomes. Methods: From a prospective, institutional database of 1,400 AVM patients treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery, unruptured and ruptured AVMs were matched in a 1:1 fashion, blinded to outcome, based on patient demographics, prior embolization (26.6% of each cohort), AVM size (mean volume of unruptured AVMs 3.7 cm(3) versus ruptured AVMs 3.5 cm(3), p = 0.195), Spetzler-Martin grade (Grade I 17.0%, Grade II 37.8%, Grade III 34.8%, Grade IV 10.4% for each cohort), and radiosurgical treatment parameters (mean prescription dose for unruptured AVMs 20.9 Gy versus ruptured AVMs 21.0 Gy, p = 0.837). There were 270 patients in each cohort. Matched statistical analyses were used to compare the baseline characteristics, obliteration rates, post-radiosurgery latency period hemorrhage risks, and incidences of radiation-induced changes (RIC) between the two cohorts. Results: The actuarial obliteration rates of the two cohorts were similar (unruptured AVMs: 38, 58, and 76% at 3, 5, 10 years, respectively; ruptured AVMs: 40, 60, and 73% at 3, 5, 10 years, respectively; p = 0.592). However, for embolized AVMs, complete obliteration was more likely to be achieved in unruptured lesions (unruptured AVMs: 25, 32, and 54% at 3, 5, 10 years, respectively; ruptured AVMs: 18, 27, and 42% at 3, 5, 10 years, respectively; p = 0.038). Prior AVM rupture resulted in a higher annual risk of post-radiosurgery latency period hemorrhage (ruptured AVMs 2.3% versus unruptured AVMs 1.1%, p = 0.025) but a lower rate of cumulative and symptomatic RIC (cumulative RIC: ruptured AVMs 30.4% versus unruptured AVMs 48.9%, p < 0.0001; symptomatic RIC: ruptured AVMs 7.0% versus unruptured AVMs 12.2%, p = 0.041, respectively). The rates of permanent RIC were similar between the unruptured (2.2%) and ruptured (1.9%) AVM cohorts (p = 0.761). The mean time interval to onset of RIC (unruptured AVMs 13.3 months versus ruptured AVMs 12.1 months, p = 0.783), and the mean duration of RIC (unruptured AVMs 22.0 months versus ruptured AVMs 21.7 months, p = 0.599) were not significantly different between the two cohorts. Conclusions: Prior AVM rupture significantly alters the risk of latency period hemorrhage and RIC following radiosurgery. These effects should be taken into consideration with the multidisciplinary management of AVM patients. Radiosurgery does not significantly alter the natural history of the hemorrhage risks of unruptured and ruptured AVMs unless obliteration is achieved. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 12/2014; 39(1):53-62. DOI:10.1159/000369959
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), a subtype of stroke associated with high mortality and disability, accounts for 13% of all strokes. Basic and clinical research has contributed to our understanding of the complex pathophysiology of neuronal injury in ICH. Outcome rates, however, remain stable, and questions regarding acute management of ICH remain unanswered. Newer research is aiming at matching measured levels of serum proteins, enzymes, or cells to different stages of brain damage, suggesting that blood biomarkers may assist in acute diagnosis, therapeutic decisions, and prognostication. This paper provides an overview on the most promising blood biomarkers and their potential role in the diagnosis and management of spontaneous ICH. Summary: Information was collected from studies, reviews, and guidelines listed in PubMed up to November 2013 on blood biomarkers of nontraumatic ICH in humans. We describe the potential role and limitations of GFAP, S100B/RAGE, and ApoC-III as diagnostic biomarkers, β- Amyloid as a biomarker for etiological classification, and 27 biomarkers for prognosis of mortality and functional outcome. Within the group of prognostic markers we discuss markers involved in coagulation processes (e.g., D-Dimers), neuroendocrine markers (e.g., copeptin), systemic metabolic markers (e.g., blood glucose levels), markers of inflammation (e.g., IL-6), as well as growth factors (e.g., VEGF), and others (e.g., glutamate). Some of those blood biomarkers are agents of pathologic processes associated with hemorrhagic stroke but also other diseases, whereas others play more distinct pathophysiological roles and help in understanding the basic mechanisms of brain damage and/or recovery in ICH. Key Messages: Numerous blood biomarkers are associated with different pathophysiological pathways in ICH, and some of them promise to be useful in the management of ICH, eventually contributing additional information to current tools for diagnosis, therapy monitoring, risk stratification, or intervention. Up to date, however, no blood biomarker of ICH has been studied sufficiently to find its way into clinical routine yet; well-designed, large-scale, clinical studies addressing relevant clinical questions are needed. We suggest that the effectiveness of biomarker research in ICH might be improved by international cooperation and shared resources for large validation studies, such as provided by the consortium on stroke biomarker research (http://stroke-biomarkers. com/page.php?title=Resources). © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 12/2014; 38(6):395-409. DOI:10.1159/000366470
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Retrograde diastolic blood flow in the proximal descending aorta (DAo) connecting complex plaques (≥4 mm thick) with brain-supplying supra-aortic arteries may constitute a source of stroke. Yet, data only from high-risk populations (cryptogenic stroke patients with aortic atheroma ≥3 mm) regarding the prevalence of this potential stroke mechanism are available. We aimed to quantify the frequency of this mechanism in unselected patients with cryptogenic stroke after routine diagnostics and controls without a history of stroke. Methods: 88 patients (67 stroke patients, 21 cardiac controls) were prospectively included. 3D T1-weighted bright blood MRI of the aorta was applied for the detection of complex DAo atheroma. ECG-triggered and navigator-gated 4D flow MRI allowed measuring time-resolved 3D blood flow in vivo. Potential retrograde embolization pathways were defined as the co-occurrence of complex plaques and retrograde blood flow in the DAo reaching the outlet of (a) the left subclavian artery, (b) the left common carotid artery, or/and (c) the brachiocephalic trunk. The frequency of these pathways was analyzed by importing 2D plaque images into 3D blood flow visualization software. Results: Complex DAo plaques were more frequent in stroke patients (44 in 31/67 patients (46.3%) vs. 5 in 4/21 controls (19.1%); p = 0.039), especially in older patients (29/46 (63.04%) patients ≥60 years of age with 41 plaques vs. 2/21 (9.14%) patients <60 years of age with 3 plaques; p < 0.001). Contrary to our assumption, retrograde diastolic blood flow at the DAo occurred in every patient irrespective of the existence of plaques with a similar extent in both groups (26 ± 14 vs. 32 ± 18 mm; p = 0.114). Therefore, only the higher prevalence of complex DAo plaques in stroke patients resulted in a three times higher frequency of potential retrograde embolization pathways compared to controls (22/67 (32.8%) vs. 2/21 (9.5%) controls; p = 0.048). Conclusions: This study revealed that retrograde flow in the descending aorta is a common phenomenon not only in stroke patients. The existence of potential retrograde embolization pathways depends mainly on the occurrence of complex plaques in the area 0 to ∼30 mm behind the outlet of the left subclavian artery, which is exposed to flow reversal. In conclusion, we have shown that the frequency of potential retrograde embolization pathways was significantly higher in stroke patients suggesting that this mechanism may play a role in retrograde brain embolism. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 12/2014; 38(6):410-417. DOI:10.1159/000369001
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Familial cerebral cavernous malformation type 1 (CCM1) is an autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations in the Krev Interaction Trapped 1 (KRIT1/CCM1) gene, and characterized by multiple brain lesions that often result in intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), seizures, and neurological deficits. Carriers of the same genetic mutation can present with variable symptoms and severity of disease, suggesting the influence of modifier factors. Evidence is emerging that inflammation and immune response play a role in the pathogenesis of CCM. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether common variants in inflammatory and immune response genes influence the severity of familial CCM1 disease, as manifested by ICH and greater brain lesion count. Methods: Hispanic CCM1 patients (n = 188) harboring the founder Q455X 'common Hispanic mutation' (CHM) in the KRIT1 gene were analyzed at baseline. Participants were enrolled between June 2010 and March 2014 either through the Brain Vascular Malformation Consortium (BVMC) study or through the Angioma Alliance organization. Clinical assessment and cerebral susceptibility-weighted magnetic resonance imaging were performed to determine ICH as well as total and large (≥5 mm in diameter) lesion counts. Samples were genotyped on the Affymetrix Axiom Genome-Wide LAT1 Human Array. We analyzed 830 variants in 56 inflammatory and immune response genes for association with ICH and residuals of log-transformed total or large lesion count adjusted for age at enrollment and gender. Variants were analyzed individually or grouped by sub-pathways or whole pathways. Results: At baseline, 30.3% of CCM1-CHM subjects had ICH, with a mean ± standard deviation (SD) of 60.1 ± 115.0 (range 0-713) for total lesions and 4.9 ± 8.7 (range 0-104) for large lesions. The heritability estimates explained by all autosomal variants were 0.20 (SE = 0.31), 0.81 (SE = 0.17), and 0.48 (SE = 0.19), for ICH, total lesion count, and large lesion count, respectively. TGFBR2 rs9823731 was significantly associated with ICH as well as with the total and large lesion counts (p ≤ 0.017). Further, IL-4 rs9327638, CD14 rs778588, IL-6R rs114660934 and MSR1 rs62489577 were associated with two markers of disease severity. Finally, the whole pathway was associated with total lesion count (p = 0.005) with TLR-4 rs10759930, CD14 rs778588, IL-6R rs114660934 and IGH rs57767447 mainly bearing this association. Eicosanoid signaling, extracellular pattern recognition, and immune response sub-pathways were also associated with the total lesion count. Conclusions: These results suggest that polymorphisms in inflammatory and immune response pathways contribute to variability in CCM1 disease severity and might be used as predictors of disease severity. In particular, TGFBR2 rs9823731 was associated with all three markers of CCM1 disease severity tested, suggesting that TGFBR2 might be a key participant in the mechanism underlying CCM1 disease severity and phenotype variability. However, further longitudinal studies in larger sample sizes are needed to confirm these findings. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 12/2014; 38(6):433-440. DOI:10.1159/000369200
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Although the echolucent plaque in carotid stenosis is associated with future ischemic stroke, the predictive value of echogenicity in small and medium size carotid plaques on vascular events has not been thoroughly examined. Thus, we prospectively tested the hypothesis that plaque echogenicity of carotid atheroma can predict the future total cardiovascular events in patients with vascular risk factors. Methods: Ultrasound assessment of carotid intima-media complex thickness (IMT) and plaque echogenicity using integrated backscatter (IBS) analysis was performed in 596 patients aged 40 or more, with any history of vascular events or with at least 1 risk factor, who were enrolled between 2001 and 2006 in the Osaka Follow-up Study for Carotid Atherosclerosis, part 2 (OSACA2). We followed the incidence of total cardiovascular events including cerebrovascular events, coronary heart disease (CHD), and peripheral artery disease (PAD) for 6.4 years. We divided the patients into two groups according to the IBS index above (echorich plaques) and under (echolucent plaque) the median value, and calculated the hazard ratios (HR) of the echolucent group compared with the echogenic group in the risk of cardiovascular events. Results: Among 596 patients, carotid stenosis was found only in 87 patients. During the follow-up period, we observed 121 cardiovascular events including 63 cerebrovascular events, 45 CHD cases, and 13 PAD cases. The patients with incident cardiovascular events had larger plaque thickness and lower IBS index than those without incident vascular events. The relative risk of vascular events for echolucent versus echorich plaques was 1.45 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.99-2.13, p = 0.058) after adjustment for risk factors and plaque thickness. In patients with plaque size above the median value (>2.1 mm), the relative risk of vascular events for echolucent plaques was 1.72 (95% CI 1.06-2.85, p = 0.029), but this association was not observed in patients with plaque size <2.0 mm. Conclusions: The association between echogenicity of carotid plaque and incident vascular events is dependent on the plaque size. Echolucent medium-to-large plaques, but not small plaques, are associated with the risk of future total cardiovascular events. This finding suggests that measurement of echolucency in medium-to-large carotid plaques may improve selection of patients at high risk for total vascular events. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 11/2014; 38(5):354-361. DOI:10.1159/000365651
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background and Purpose: A recent surgery may be one of the trigger factors precipitating stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA). While stroke in cardiac and carotid surgery has been well studied, less is known on stroke risk after surgery outside the heart and brain supplying arteries. We tested the hypothesis that preceding non-neurosurgical, non-cardiothoracic, and non-carotid surgery and other interventions temporarily increase the risk of stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) and investigated the risk related to different time periods between interventions and stroke/TIA. Methods: In the Ludwigshafen Stroke Study, a population-based stroke registry, we assessed surgery and other interventions within the year preceding stroke and TIA. The risk factor profiles of patients with and without prior intervention were compared and rate ratios (RR) were calculated for different time periods with 91-365 days before stroke and TIA serving as reference period. Results: In 2006 and 2007, 803 patients without and 116 patients with non-neurosurgical, non-cardiothoracic, and non-carotid intervention within the preceding year were identified. Elective (n = 21) and posttraumatic orthopedic (n = 14), eye (n = 14), and visceral surgery (n = 11) dominated. Interventions within 0-30 days (n = 34; RR 4.72; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.70-8.26) but not within 31-60 or 61-90 days before stroke/TIA were observed more often than in the reference period. Interventions were more common within day 8-30 before stroke/TIA (RR 3.26; 95% CI 1.66-6.39), particularly common within the preceding week (RR 9.52; 95% CI 3.77-24.1) and most common in the preceding 2 days (RR 27.1; 95% CI 5.97-123) as compared to the reference period. Atrial fibrillation (AF) but not other risk factors was more common in patients with interventions within 30 days (n = 15; 44.1%) as compared to patients with more antecedent interventions (n = 19; 23.2%, p = 0.022) and those without surgery (n = 222; 27.6%, p = 0.031). Interventions within 30 days before stroke/TIA, were associated with total ischemic stroke (RR 6.11; 95% CI 3.32-11.2), first-ever in a lifetime ischemic stroke (RR 5.62; 95% CI 2.83-11.1) and recurrent ischemic stroke (RR 7.50; 95% CI 2.88-19.6). Conclusion: Recent non-cardiothoracic, non-carotid, and non-neurosurgical interventions are associated with an increased risk of stroke lasting for about 1 month and being particularly high within the first days. AF may be among the mechanisms linking interventions and stroke besides induction of a procoagulant state and interruption of medication. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 11/2014; 38(5):370-376. DOI:10.1159/000368596