[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
In patients with a space-occupying middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarct surgical decompression reduces the risk of death, but increases the chance of survival with severe disability. We assessed quality of life (QoL), symptoms of depression, and caregiver burden at long-term follow-up.
Patients treated in two academic centres between 2007 and 2012 were included. Follow-up was at least six months. Patients and caregivers were interviewed separately. QoL was assessed with a visual analogue scale and the 36-item Short-Form health survey (SF-36); depression with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; and caregiver burden with the Caregiver Strain Index.
Twenty five patients were enrolled, of whom seven had an infarct in the dominant hemisphere. After a median follow-up of 26 months (IQR 11-46) the median SF-36 mental component score was 54.4 (IQR 45-60), indicating a mental QoL comparable to that in the general population. The median SF-36 physical component score was 32.7 (IQR 22-38), indicating a worse physical QoL. Dominance of the hemisphere did not influence QoL. 79 % of patients and 65 % of caregivers would, in retrospect, again choose for surgery. 26 % of patients had signs of depression and 64 % of caregivers were substantially burdened in their daily life.
Mental QoL after surgical decompression for space-occupying MCA infarct is comparable to that in the general population, whereas physical QoL is worse. Dominance of the hemisphere did not influence QoL. The majority of caregivers experience substantial burden. Most patients and caregivers stand by their decision for hemicraniectomy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: -We explored the safety of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) or intra-arterial treatment (IAT) in ischemic stroke patients on novel oral anticoagulants (NOAC, last intake <48hours) compared to patients (i) taking vitamin K-antagonists (VKA) or (ii) without prior anticoagulation (no-OAC).
-Multicenter cohort pilot study. Primary outcome measures were (i) occurrence of ICH in three categories - any intracranial hemorrhage (ICHany), symptomatic ICH according to the criteria of the ECASS-II (sICHECASS-II) and the NINDS thrombolysis trial (sICHNINDS); and (ii) death (at 3 months). Cohorts were compared by using propensity score matching. Our NOAC cohort comprised 78 patients treated with IVT/IAT and the comparison groups of 441 VKA-patients and 8938 no-OAC patients. The median time from last NOAC intake to IVT/IAT was 13 hours (interquartile range [IQR] 8-22h). In VKA-patients, median pre-IVT/IAT INR was 1.3 (IQR 1.1-1.6). ICHany was observed in 18.4% NOAC patients versus 26.8% in VKA patients and 17.4% in no-OAC patients. sICHECASS-II and sICHNINDS occurred in 2.6%/3.9 % NOAC patients, compared to 6.5%/9.3% of VKA patients and 5.0%/7.2% of no-OAC patients, respectively. At 3 months, 23.0% of NOAC patients compared to 26.9% of VKA patients and 13.9% of no-OAC patients had died. Propensity score matching revealed no statistical significant differences.
-IVT/IAT in selected patients with ischemic stroke under NOAC treatment has a safety profile similar to both, IVT/IAT in patients on subtherapeutic VKA-treatment or in those without prior anticoagulation. However, further prospective studies are needed, including the impact of specific coagulation tests.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infections occur in 30% of stroke patients and are associated with unfavorable outcomes. Preventive antibiotic therapy lowers the infection rate after stroke, but the effect of preventive antibiotic treatment on functional outcome in patients with stroke is unknown. The PASS is a multicenter, prospective, phase three, randomized, open-label, blinded end-point (PROBE) trial of preventive antibiotic therapy in acute stroke. Patients are randomly assigned to either ceftriaxone at a dose of 2 g, given every 24 h intravenously for 4 days, in addition to standard stroke-unit care, or standard stroke-unit care without preventive antibiotic therapy. The aim of this study is to assess whether preventive antibiotic treatment improves functional outcome at 3 months by preventing infections. This paper presents in detail the statistical analysis plan (SAP) of the Preventive Antibiotics in Stroke Study (PASS) and was submitted while the investigators were still blinded for all outcomes.
The primary outcome is the score on the modified Rankin Scale (mRS), assessed by ordinal logistic regression analysis according to a proportional odds model. Secondary analysis of the primary outcome is the score on the mRS dichotomized as a favorable outcome (mRS 0 to 2) versus unfavorable outcome (mRS 3 to 6). Secondary outcome measures are death rate at discharge and 3 months, infection rate during hospital admission, length of hospital admission, volume of post-stroke care, use of antibiotics during hospital stay, quality-adjusted life years and costs. Complications of treatment, serious adverse events (SAEs) and suspected unexpected serious adverse reactions (SUSARs) are reported as safety outcomes.
The data from PASS will establish whether preventive antibiotic therapy in acute stroke improves functional outcome by preventing infection and will be analyzed according to this pre-specified SAP.
Current controlled trials;
ISRCTN66140176. Date of registration: 6 April 2010.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In patients with mild to moderate symptomatic carotid artery stenosis, intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) and a thin/ruptured fibrous cap (FC) as evaluated with MRI, and the presence of microembolic signals (MESs) as detected with transcranial Doppler, are associated with an increased risk of a (recurrent) stroke. The objective of the present study is to determine whether the prevalence of MES differs in patients with and without IPH and thin/ruptured FC, and patients with only a thin/ruptured FC without IPH.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
In the last couple of years, genome-wide association studies have largely altered the scope in genetic research in diseases in which both environmental and genetic risk factors contribute to the disease. To date, the genetic risk loci identified in stroke have lagged behind those in other complex diseases, possibly because of the heterogeneity of stroke phenotypes. Sufficiently large cohorts with well-defined and detailed phenotyping of stroke patients are needed to identify additional genetic risk loci.DesignThe String-of-Pearls Institute is a unique partnership between all eight University Medical Centers in the Netherlands. It was established in 2007 by the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centers, and it conducts a large prospective cohort study in which comprehensive clinical data, detailed phenotyping of stroke, imaging data, and biomaterials are collected in a large cohort of stroke patients.AimsThe study aims (1) to collect a sufficiently large prospective cohort of stroke patients, with well-defined phenotypes; (2) to collect blood samples and DNA in a standardized infrastructure, allowing for storing and analyzing the samples in a uniform way; (3) to investigate associations between genetic risk loci and stroke; (4) to create possibilities to perform epidemiological studies in a well-defined hospital-based cohort of stroke patients; and (5) to allow for pooling data with other large ongoing genetic stroke studies.
International Journal of Stroke 09/2014; 10(1). DOI:10.1111/ijs.12359 · 3.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and PurposeIn patients with space-occupying middle cerebral artery infarction, surgical decompression strongly reduces risk of death and increases the chance of a favorable outcome. This comes at the expense of an increase in the risk of survival with (moderately) severe disability. We assessed quality of life, depression, and caregiver burden in these patients.Summary of ReviewWe systematically reviewed the literature by searching MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO up to March 2014. We included randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, case–control studies, and case series with quality of life, depression, or caregiver burden as primary or secondary outcome. Seventeen articles reporting on 459 patients were included. At final follow-up at 7 to 51 months, 1344 patients (30%) had died, and 34 (11%) were lost to follow up. Data on 291 patients were available, of whom 81 of 213 survivors (39%) achieved good functional outcome at final follow-up (modified Rankin Scale ≤3). Mean quality of life was 46% to 67% of the best possible score when based on questionnaires or visual analogue scales. At final follow-up, 143 of 189 patients (76%) would in retrospect again choose for surgical decompression. Severe depressive symptoms were present in 14 of 113 patients (16%). Three studies investigated caregiver burden and reported substantial burden. Patients more than 60 years old had a lower quality of life in comparison with younger patients.Conclusions
Most patients treated with surgical decompression for space-occupying infarction have a reasonable quality of life at long-term follow-up and are satisfied with the treatment received. Severe depressive symptoms are uncommon.
International Journal of Stroke 08/2014; 10(2). DOI:10.1111/ijs.12329 · 3.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We aimed to quantify the effects of white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) on specific cognitive functions with particular attention to WMH progression and localization.
PubMed (January 1990-July 2013) and bibliographies from included articles were used. Studies that were included (1) used MRI; (2) had a population-based or case-control design with a healthy control group that could be used for analysis; (3) matched/adjusted for age, sex, and education; and (4) addressed ≥1 predefined cognitive domains with ≥1 validated neuropsychological tests. Data were independently extracted by 2 investigators. Pearson r was extracted/calculated and used as the common metric for the effect size across studies.
Twenty-three cross-sectional and 14 longitudinal studies were included with a total of 8,685 and 7,731 participants. Presence of WMHs was significantly associated with concurrent cognitive deficits in all examined domains: general intelligence (Fisher z -0.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.19 to -0.04), memory (-0.08, -0.13 to -0.06), processing speed (-0.11, -0.17 to -0.07), attention and executive functions (-0.11, -0.16 to -0.07), and perception/construction (-0.15, -0.21 to -0.07). Similar effect sizes were observed for cognitive decline over time. WMH progression was associated with greater cognitive decline, particularly for general intelligence (Fisher z -0.31, 95% CI -0.5 to -0.02) and attention and executive functions (-0.32, -0.34 to -0.28).
The small but robust and consistent effects of WMHs on all cognitive domains suggest a more global effect on cognition than previously thought. Progression of WMHs was associated with even worse cognitive functioning, most pronounced in attention and executive functioning.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stroke is a leading cause of death worldwide. Infections after stroke occur in 30% of stroke patients and are strongly associated with unfavourable outcome. Preventive antibiotic therapy lowers infection rate in patients after stroke, however, the effect of preventive antibiotic treatment on functional outcome after stroke has not yet been investigated.The Preventive Antibiotics in Stroke Study (PASS) is an ongoing, multicentre, prospective, randomised, open-label, blinded end point trial of preventive antibiotic therapy in acute stroke. Patients are randomly assigned to either ceftriaxone at a dose of 2 g, given every 24 hours intravenously for four-days, in addition to stroke-unit care, or standard stroke-unit care without preventive antibiotic therapy. Aim of the study is to assess whether preventive antibiotic treatment improves functional outcome at three months by preventing infections.
To date, 2,470 patients have been included in PASS. Median stroke severity of the first 2,133 patients (second interim analysis) is 5 (IQR 3 to 9) on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS). Due to the PROBE design, no outcome data are available yet. In the initial trial protocol we proposed a dichotomisation of the mRS as primary analysis of outcome and ordinal regression analysis as secondary analysis of primary outcome, requiring a sample size of 3,200 patients. However, ordinal analysis of outcome data is becoming increasingly more common in acute stroke trials, as it increases statistical power. For PASS, funding is insufficient for inclusion of 3,200 patients with the overall inclusion rate of 15 patients per week. Therefore we change the analysis of our primary outcome from dichotomisation to ordinal regression analysis on the mRS. Power analysis showed that with similar assumptions, 2,550 patients are needed using ordinal regression analysis. . We expect to complete follow-up in June 2014. A full statistical analysis plan will be submitted for publication before treatment allocation will be unblinded.
The data from PASS will establish whether preventive antibiotic therapy in acute stroke improves functional outcome by preventing infection. In this update, we changed our primary outcome analysis from dichotomisation to ordinal regression analysis.Trial registration: Current controlled trials; ISRCTN66140176. Date of registration: 6 April 2010.