[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) can identify intracranial atherosclerosis but have not been rigorously validated against the gold standard, catheter angiography. The WASID trial (Warfarin Aspirin Symptomatic Intracranial Disease) required performance of angiography to verify the presence of intracranial stenosis, allowing for prospective evaluation of TCD and MRA. The aims of Stroke Outcomes and Neuroimaging of Intracranial Atherosclerosis (SONIA) trial were to define abnormalities on TCD/MRA to see how well they identify 50 to 99% intracranial stenosis of large proximal arteries on catheter angiography.
SONIA standardized the performance and interpretation of TCD, MRA, and angiography. Study-wide cutpoints defining positive TCD/MRA were used. Hard copy TCD/MRA were centrally read, blind to the results of angiography.
SONIA enrolled 407 patients at 46 sites in the United States. For prospectively tested noninvasive test cutpoints, positive predictive values (PPVs) and negative predictive values (NPVs) were TCD, PPV 36% (95% CI: 27 to 46); NPV, 86% (95% CI: 81 to 89); MRA, PPV 59% (95% CI: 54 to 65); NPV, 91% (95% CI: 89 to 93). For cutpoints modified to maximize PPV, they were TCD, PPV 50% (95% CI: 36 to 64), NPV 85% (95% CI: 81 to 88); MRA PPV 66% (95% CI: 58 to 73), NPV 87% (95% CI: 85 to 89). For each test, a characteristic performance curve showing how the predictive values vary with a changing test cutpoint was obtained.
Both transcranial Doppler ultrasound and magnetic resonance angiography noninvasively identify 50 to 99% intracranial large vessel stenoses with substantial negative predictive value. The Stroke Outcomes and Neuroimaging of Intracranial Atherosclerosis trial methods allow transcranial Doppler ultrasound and magnetic resonance angiography to reliably exclude the presence of intracranial stenosis. Abnormal findings on transcranial Doppler ultrasound or magnetic resonance angiography require a confirmatory test such as angiography to reliably identify stenosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The WASID trial showed no advantage of warfarin over aspirin for preventing the primary endpoint of ischemic stroke, brain hemorrhage, or vascular death. In analyses of selected subgroups, there was no definite benefit from warfarin. Warfarin reduced the risk of the primary endpoint among patients with basilar artery stenosis, but there was no reduction in stroke in the basilar artery territory or benefit for vertebral artery stenosis or posterior circulation disease in general.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors report eight pregnant women with acute ischemic stroke treated with thrombolysis (rt-PA [recombinant human tissue plasminogen activator] or urokinase). Seven women recovered. Two extracranial and two asymptomatic intracranial hemorrhages complicated treatment; one woman died of arterial dissection complicating angiography. Three patients had therapeutic abortions, two fetuses were miscarried, and two babies were delivered healthy. Although pregnant women may be treated safely with thrombolytics, risks and benefits to mother and fetus must be carefully weighed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Headache is a frequent accompaniment of acute ischaemic stroke. The predisposing factors and underlying mechanisms are currently incompletely defined. We analysed prospectively collected data relevant to headache occurring at ischaemic stroke onset in consecutive patients included in the Henry Ford Hospital Stroke Data Bank. Patients with headache (HA+) and without headache (HA-) were compared for demographic factors, medical history, medications, examination findings, laboratory findings, and stroke localization and subtype. Group comparisons for categorical data were performed with chi(2) test, and for continuous variables with two-sample t-tests. Stepwise logistic regression analysis, including all variables with P<0.25, was used to define the independent predictors of onset headache. Three hundred and seventy-five patients had complete headache and clinical datasets and were included in the analysis (HA+, N=118; HA-, N=257). Multivariate analysis revealed that the independent predictors of HA+ were: infarct in the distribution of the posterior circulation [P=0.0076, odds ratio (OR) 2.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.23, 3.77], absence of history of hypertension (P=0.0106, OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.27, 0.84), and treatment with warfarin at the time of the index stroke (P=0.0135, OR 4.89, 95% CI 1.39, 17.21). The occurrence of headache at onset of ischaemic stroke is determined by posterior circulation distribution of the ischaemic event, absence of history of hypertension and treatment with warfarin at the time of the index stroke. These results suggest that preserved elasticity and maintenance of the intracranial vasculature in a relaxed state, in combination with coagulation system derangements, and activation of dense perivascular afferent nerves, play a role in the pathogenesis of onset headache.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although many types of neurological disorders and events have been described in association with antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) and the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), only ischaemic stroke is reasonably well established and accepted as a diagnostic criterion for the syndrome. We propose to evaluate, classify and rank the association of other neurological manifestations as possible, probable, or definite according to the data available from clinical studies and animal models. By these criteria, none of the neurological disorders or events such as epilepsy, psychiatric disease, dementia, transverse myelitis, multiple sclerosis-like disease, chorea, migraine, Guillian-Barrè syndrome, and sensory-neural hearing loss, can be definitely associated with aPL or APS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ischaemic stroke is the only neurological manifestation accepted as a clinical diagnostic criterion for the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). This association is reasonably well established in patients first diagnosed with APS but is less clear in randomly selected stroke patients who test positive on one occasion for antiphospholipid antibodies and who have no other evidence of systemic autoimmune disease. We propose a grading system that posits stroke to be definitely, likely or possibly associated with antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). Further, there are limited prospective data to determine appropriate treatment. There is controversy as to whether the presence of aPL even increases risk of a recurrent stroke or other thromboembolic event, although data point to persistent medium-high titre aCL and/or LA as risk factors for recurrence. In the absence of data to guide clinicians on the best treatment, we cannot make strong recommnendations as to optimal therapy, nor can we propose clear consensus treatment guidelines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hyperglycemia during acute ischemic stroke may augment brain injury, predispose to intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), or both.
To analyze the relationship between admission glucose level and clinical outcomes from acute ischemic stroke, the authors performed multivariate regression analysis with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) Stroke Trial data. Neurologic improvement was defined as improvement on the NIH Stroke Scale by 4 or more points from baseline to 3 months, or a final score of zero. Favorable outcome was defined as both Glasgow Outcome score of 1 and Barthel Index 95 to 100 at 3 months. Symptomatic ICH was defined as CT-documented hemorrhage temporally related to clinical deterioration within 36 hours of treatment. Potential confounding factors were controlled, including acute treatment (rt-PA or placebo), age, baseline NIH Stroke Scale score, history of diabetes mellitus, stroke subtype, and admission blood pressure.
There were 624 patients enrolled within 3 hours after stroke onset. As admission glucose increased, the odds for neurologic improvement decreased (odds ratio [OR] = 0.76 per 100 mg/dL increase in admission glucose, 95% CI 0.61 to 0.95, p = 0.01). The relation between admission glucose and favorable outcome depended on admission mean blood pressure (MBP): as admission MBP increased, the odds for favorable outcome related to increasing admission glucose levels progressively decreased (p = 0.02). As admission glucose increased, the odds for symptomatic ICH also increased (OR = 1.75 per 100 mg/dL increase in admission glucose, 95% CI 1.11 to 2.78, p = 0.02). Admission glucose level was not associated with altered effectiveness of rt-PA.
In patients with acute ischemic stroke, higher admission glucose levels are associated with significantly lower odds for desirable clinical outcomes and significantly higher odds for symptomatic ICH, regardless of rt-PA treatment. Whether this represents a cause and effect relationship remains to be determined.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence and clinical significance of early ischemic changes (EICs) on baseline computed tomography (CT) scan of the head obtained within 3 hours of ischemic stroke are not established.
To determine the frequency and significance of EIC on baseline head CT scans in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) rt-PA (recombinant tissue plasminogen activator) Stroke Trial.
The original study, a randomized controlled trial, took place from January 1991 through October 1994 at 43 sites, during which CT images were obtained within 3 hours of symptom onset and prior to the initiation of rt-PA or placebo. For the current analysis, detailed reevaluation was undertaken after October 1994 of all baseline head CT scans with clinical data available pretreatment (blinded to treatment arm).
Of 624 patients enrolled in the trial, baseline CT scans were retrieved and reviewed for 616 (99%).
Frequency of EICs on baseline CT scans; association of EIC with other baseline variables; effect of EICs on deterioration at 24 hours (>/=4 points increase from the baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS] score); clinical outcome (measured by 4 clinical scales) at 3 months, CT lesion volume at 3 months, death at 90 days; and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) within 36 hours of treatment.
The prevalence of EIC on baseline CT in the combined rt-PA and placebo groups was 31% (n = 194). The EIC was significantly associated with baseline NIHSS score (rho = 0.23; P<.001) and time from stroke onset to baseline CT scan (rho = 0.11; P =.007). After adjusting for baseline variables, there was no EIC x treatment interaction detected for any clinical outcome, including deterioration at 24 hours, 4 clinical scales, lesion volume, and death at 90 days (P>/=.25), implying that EIC is unlikely to affect response to rt-PA treatment. After adjusting for NIHSS score (an independent predictor of ICH), no EIC association with symptomatic ICH at 36 hours was detected in the group treated with rt-PA (P>/=.22).
Our analysis suggests that EICs are prevalent within 3 hours of stroke onset and correlate with stroke severity. However, EICs are not independently associated with increased risk of adverse outcome after rt-PA treatment. Patients treated with rt-PA did better whether or not they had EICs, suggesting that EICs on CT scan are not critical to the decision to treat otherwise eligible patients with rt-PA within 3 hours of stroke onset.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 12/2001; 286(22):2830-8. · 30.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke with IV alteplase is increasingly well established in North America but not elsewhere. Baseline factors that altered the response to alteplase were not identified by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke tPA Stroke Study Group.
The authors gathered information from centers in the United States, Canada, and Germany on 1,205 patients with acute ischemic stroke treated with IV alteplase. The purpose was to identify independent factors that were predictive of good outcome using multivariable logistic regression modelling. The modified Rankin Scale score was dichotomized into good outcome (mRS 0 to 1) and poor outcome (mRS >1) as the primary outcome measure.
In relative order of decreasing magnitude, milder baseline stroke severity, no history of diabetes mellitus, normal CT scan, normal pretreatment blood glucose level, and normal pretreatment blood pressure were independent predictors of good outcome among patients treated with IV alteplase for acute ischemic stroke. Confounding was observed among history of diabetes mellitus, CT scan appearance, baseline serum glucose level, and blood pressure, suggesting important relationships among these variables.
Several factors were independently predictive of good outcome among patients with acute ischemic stroke treated with alteplase. These results require further confirmation before clinical implementation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Few data exist on the frequency, aetiology and outcome of cerebrovascular complications of bone marrow transplantation (BMT). We reviewed all patients undergoing BMT at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Wash., USA (a large referral institution) over 3 years. We reviewed ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases) codes for ischaemic stroke, seizure, intracranial haemorrhage and brain infection. Using standardized forms, we paid detailed attention to clinical features and demographics, oncological diagnosis, conditioning regimens, neurological history, comorbidities, time from BMT to ictus, stroke subtype, radiological and pathological features, and outcomes. We identified 36 patients with stroke from 1245 patients who had BMT (2.9%) over 3 years. These patients' median age was 35 (range 5-60, interquartile range 25-45) years. The most common causes of stroke were intracranial haemorrhage related to thrombocytopenia (38.9%) and infarction or haemorrhage secondary to fungal infection (30.6%). Twenty-five patients (69.4%) died from their stroke; none survived without disability. Using a logistic regression model, we found that neither demographic (e.g. age, gender) nor clinical (e.g. oncological diagnosis, type of BMT, time of stroke after BMT) factors predicted outcome. Stroke occurs relatively frequently (incidence almost 3%) after BMT, has a relatively high frequency of infection-triggered events, has a neurological outcome not easily predicted from available data and is often fatal.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) is accepted widely for measuring acute stroke deficits in clinical trials, but it contains items that exhibit poor reliability or do not contribute meaningful information. To improve the scale for use in clinical research, we used formal clinimetric analyses to derive a modified version, the mNIHSS. We then sought to demonstrate the validity and reliability of the new mNIHSS.
The mNIHSS was derived from our prior clinimetric studies of the NIHSS by deleting poorly reproducible or redundant items (level of consciousness, face weakness, ataxia, dysarthria) and collapsing the sensory item into 2 responses. Reliability of the mNIHSS was assessed with the certification data originally collected to assess the reliability of investigators in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) rtPA (recombinant tissue plasminogen activator) Stroke TRIAL: Validity of the mNIHSS was assessed with the outcome results of the NINDS rtPA Stroke Trial:
Reliability was improved with the mNIHSS: the number of scale items with poor kappa coefficients on either of the certification tapes decreased from 8 (20%) to 3 (14%) with the mNIHSS. With the use of factor analysis, the structure underlying the mNIHSS was found identical to the original scale. On serial use of the scale, goodness of fit coefficients were higher with the mNIHSS. With data from part I of the trial data, the proportion of patients who improved >/=4 points within 24 hours after treatment was statistically significantly increased by tPA (odds ratio, 1.3; 95% confidence limits, 1.0, 1.8; P=0.05). Likewise, the odds ratio for complete/nearly complete resolution of stroke symptoms 3 months after treatment was 1.7 (95% confidence limits, 1.2, 2.6) with the mNIHSS. Other outcomes showed the same agreement when the mNIHSS was compared with the original scale. The mNIHSS showed good responsiveness, ie, was useful in differentiating patients likely to hemorrhage or have a good outcome after stroke.
The mNIHSS appears to be identical clinimetrically to the original NIHSS when the same data are used for validation and reliability. Power appears to be greater with the mNIHSS with the use of 24-hour end points, suggesting the need for fewer patients in trials designed to detect treatment effects comparable to rtPA. The mNIHSS contains fewer items and might be simpler to use in clinical research trials. Prospective analysis of reliability and validity, with the use of an independently collected cohort, must be obtained before the mNIHSS is used in a research setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known in regard to cerebral arterial reocclusion after successful thrombolysis. In the absence of arteriographic information, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) rt-PA Stroke Trial investigators prospectively identified clinical deterioration following improvement (DFI) as a possible surrogate marker of cerebral arterial reocclusion after rt-PA-induced recanalization. Also, we identified any significant clinical deterioration (CD) even if not preceded by improvement. This observational analysis was designed to determine the incidence of DFI and CD in each treatment group, to identify baseline or posttreatment variables predictive of DFI or CD, and to determine any relationship between DFI, CD, and clinical outcome.
DFI was defined as any 2-point deterioration on the NIH Stroke Scale after an initial 2-point improvement after treatment. CD was defined as any 4-point worsening after treatment compared with baseline. All data were collected prospectively by investigators blinded to treatment allocation. A noncontrast brain CT was mandated when a 2-point deterioration occurred. All cases were validated by a central review committee.
DFI was identified in 81 of the 624 patients (13%); 44 were treated with rt-PA and 37 were treated with placebo (P:=0.48). DFI occurred more often in patients with a higher baseline NIH Stroke Scale score. CD within the first 24 hours occurred in 98 patients (16% of all patients); 43 were given rt-PA and 55 were given placebo (P:=0.19). Baseline variables associated with CD included a less frequent use of prestroke aspirin and a higher incidence of early CT changes of edema or mass effect or dense middle cerebral artery sign. Patients with CD had higher rates of increased serum glucose and fibrin degradation products, and they also had higher rates of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage and death. Patients who experienced either DFI or CD were less likely to have a 3-month favorable outcome.
We found no association between DFI, CD, and rt-PA treatment, and no clinical evidence to suggest reocclusion. Deterioration was strongly associated with stroke severity and poor outcome and was less frequent in patients whose stroke occurred while they were on aspirin.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) rt-PA Stroke Study showed a similar percentage of intracranial hemorrhage and good outcome in patients 3 months after stroke treatment given 0 to 90 minutes and 91 to 180 minutes after stroke onset. At 24 hours after stroke onset more patients treated 0 to 90 compared to 91 to 180 minutes after stroke onset had improved by four or more points on the NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS). The authors performed further analyses to characterize the relationship of onset-to-treatment time (OTT) to outcome at 3 months, early improvement at 24 hours, and intracranial hemorrhage within 36 hours.
Univariate analyses identified potentially confounding variables associated with OTT that could mask an OTT-treatment interaction. Tests for OTT-treatment interactions adjusting for potential masking confounders were performed. An OTT-treatment interaction was considered significant if p < or = 0.10, implying that treatment effectiveness was related to OTT.
For 24-hour improvement, there were no masking confounders identified and there was an OTT-treatment interaction (p = 0.08). For 3-month favorable outcome, the NIHSS met criteria for a masking confounder. After adjusting for NIHSS as a covariate, an OTT-treatment interaction was detected (p = 0.09): the adjusted OR (95% CI) for a favorable 3-month outcome associated with recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) was 2.11 (1.33 to 3.35) in the 0 to 90 minute stratum and 1.69 (1.09 to 2.62) in the 91 to 180 minute stratum. In the group treated with rt-PA, after adjusting for baseline NIHSS, an effect of OTT on the occurrence of intracranial hemorrhage was not detected.
If the NINDS rt-PA Stroke Trial treatment protocol is followed, this analysis suggests that patients treated 0 to 90 minutes from stroke onset with rt-PA have an increased odds of improvement at 24 hours and favorable 3-month outcome compared to patients treated later than 90 minutes. No effect of OTT on intracranial hemorrhage was detected within the group treated with rt-PA, possibly due to low power.