The incidence of first stroke in Germany is about 200.000, most of which are ischemic. The benefit of stroke unit treatment and systemic thrombolysis has been shown in large randomized trials. Diagnostic work-up besides neurologic examination includes cerebral imaging by CT or MR imaging including angiography, ultrasound of brain supplying arteries, ECG and Holter ECG and - if indicated - transesophageal echocardiography. Aspirin is the cornerstone of early secondary prevention in the acute phase, thereafter secondary prevention is determined by stroke etiology. Carotid endarterectomy or stent-assisted angioplasty are indicated in patients with hemodynamic or arterio-arterial stroke etiologies due to high-grade carotid stenosis. For cardioembolism due to atrial fibrillation, oral anticoagulation with vitamin K-antagonists or new oral anticoagulants should be started after the acute phase. In patients with non-cardioembolic stroke etiologies, platelet inhibitors are used for secondary prevention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A previous randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study suggested that abciximab may be safe and effective in treatment of acute ischemic stroke. The current phase 3 study was planned to test the relative efficacy and safety of abciximab in patients with acute ischemic stroke with planned treatment within 5 hours since symptoms onset.
An international, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind phase 3 trial tested intravenous administration of abciximab in 2 study cohorts using stratification variables of time since onset and stroke severity. The planned enrollment was 1800 patients. The primary cohort enrolled those patients who could be treated within 5 hours of onset of stroke. A companion cohort enrolled patients that were treated 5 to 6 hours after stroke as well as a smaller cohort of patients who could be treated within 3 hours of stroke present on awakening. The primary efficacy measure was the dichotomous modified Rankin Scale score at 3 months as adjusted to the baseline severity of stroke among subjects in the primary cohort. The primary safety outcome was the rate of symptomatic or fatal intracranial hemorrhage that occurred within 5 days of stroke.
The trial was terminated prematurely after 808 patients in all cohorts were enrolled by recommendation of an independent safety and efficacy monitoring board due to an unfavorable benefit-risk profile. At 3 months, approximately 33% of patients assigned placebo (72/218) and 32% of patients assigned abciximab (71/221; P=0.944) in the primary cohort were judged to have a favorable response to treatment. The distributions of outcomes on the modified Rankin Scale were similar between the treated and control groups. Within 5 days of enrollment, approximately 5.5% of abciximab-treated and 0.5% of placebo-treated patients in the primary cohort had symptomatic or fatal intracranial hemorrhage (P=0.002). The trial also did not demonstrate an improvement in outcomes with abciximab among patients in the companion and wake-up cohorts. Although the number of patients was small, an increased rate of hemorrhage was noted within 5 days among patients in the wake-up population who received abciximab (13.6% versus 5% for placebo).
This trial did not demonstrate either safety or efficacy of intravenous administration of abciximab for the treatment of patients with acute ischemic stroke regardless of end point or population studied. There was an increased rate of symptomatic or fatal intracranial hemorrhage in the primary and wake-up cohorts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pretreatment with statins has been shown to reduce brain injury in cerebral ischemia. In this controlled randomized study, we investigated the influence of statin pretreatment and its withdrawal on the outcome of acute ischemic stroke patients.
From 215 patients admitted within 24 hours of a hemispheric ischemic stroke, 89 patients on chronic statin treatment were randomly assigned either to statin withdrawal for the first 3 days after admission (n = 46) or to immediately receive atorvastatin 20 mg/day (n = 43). The primary outcome event was death or dependency (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score > 2) at 3 months. Early neurologic deterioration (END) and infarct volume at days 4 to 7 were secondary outcome variables. In a secondary analysis, outcome variables were compared with the nonrandomized patients without previous statin therapy (n = 126).
Patients with statin withdrawal showed a higher frequency of mRS score > 2 at the end of follow-up (60.0% vs 39.0%; p = 0.043), END (65.2% vs 20.9%; p < 0.0001), and greater infarct volume (74 [45, 126] vs 26 [12, 70] mL; p = 0.002) compared with the non-statin-withdrawal group. Statin withdrawal was associated with a 4.66 (1.46 to 14.91)-fold increase in the risk of death or dependency, a 8.67 (3.05 to 24.63)-fold increase in the risk of END, and an increase in mean infarct volume of 37.63 mL (SE 10.01; p < 0.001) after adjusting for age and baseline stroke severity. Compared with patients without previous treatment with statins, statin withdrawal was associated with a 19.01 (1.96 to 184.09)-fold increase in the risk of END and an increase in mean infarct volume of 43.51 mL (SE 21.91; p = 0.048).
Statin withdrawal is associated with increased risk of death or dependency at 90 days. Hence, this treatment should be continued in the acute phase of ischemic stroke.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Results from randomised controlled trials have shown a higher short-term risk of stroke associated with carotid stenting than with carotid endarterectomy for the treatment of symptomatic carotid stenosis. However, these trials were underpowered for investigation of whether carotid artery stenting might be a safe alternative to endarterectomy in specific patient subgroups. We therefore did a preplanned meta-analysis of individual patient data from three randomised controlled trials.
Data from all 3433 patients with symptomatic carotid stenosis who were randomly assigned and analysed in the Endarterectomy versus Angioplasty in Patients with Symptomatic Severe Carotid Stenosis (EVA-3S) trial, the Stent-Protected Angioplasty versus Carotid Endarterectomy (SPACE) trial, and the International Carotid Stenting Study (ICSS) were pooled and analysed with fixed-effect binomial regression models adjusted for source trial. The primary outcome event was any stroke or death. The intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis included all patients and outcome events occurring between randomisation and 120 days thereafter. The per-protocol (PP) analysis was restricted to patients receiving the allocated treatment and events occurring within 30 days after treatment.
In the first 120 days after randomisation (ITT analysis), any stroke or death occurred significantly more often in the carotid stenting group (153 [8·9%] of 1725) than in the carotid endarterectomy group (99 [5·8%] of 1708, risk ratio [RR] 1·53, [95% CI 1·20-1·95], p=0·0006; absolute risk difference 3·2 [1·4-4·9]). Of all subgroup variables assessed, only age significantly modified the treatment effect: in patients younger than 70 years (median age), the estimated 120-day risk of stroke or death was 50 (5·8%) of 869 patients in the carotid stenting group and 48 (5·7%) of 843 in the carotid endarterectomy group (RR 1·00 [0·68-1·47]); in patients 70 years or older, the estimated risk with carotid stenting was twice that with carotid endarterectomy (103 [12·0%] of 856 vs 51 [5·9%] of 865, 2·04 [1·48-2·82], interaction p=0·0053, p=0·0014 for trend). In the PP analysis, risk estimates of stroke or death within 30 days of treatment among patients younger than 70 years were 43 (5·1%) of 851 patients in the stenting group and 37 (4·5%) of 821 in the endarterectomy group (1·11 [0·73-1·71]); in patients 70 years or older, the estimates were 87 (10·5%) of 828 patients and 36 (4·4%) of 824, respectively (2·41 [1·65-3·51]; categorical interaction p=0·0078, trend interaction p=0·0013].
Stenting for symptomatic carotid stenosis should be avoided in older patients (age ≥70 years), but might be as safe as endarterectomy in younger patients.
The Stroke Association.
The Lancet 09/2010; 376(9746). DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61009-4 · 45.22 Impact Factor
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