[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present our single-center experience using catheter-based therapy for acute ischemic stroke patients who were not candidates for intravenous thrombolytic therapy.
Neurologic outcomes were assessed in patients with acute ischemic stroke, ineligible for intravenous thrombolysis, treated with an emergent catheter-based therapy.
Nonparametric analysis of neurological outcomes demonstrated a benefit in National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) at long-term follow-up (P=0.036). Independence in daily activities and improvement in NIHSS of > or =4 points were achieved in 38% and 56% of patients, respectively. Four patients (25%) died, including 2 patients (12.5%) who died from intracranial hemorrhage.
Catheter-based treatment offers a promising treatment strategy in patients with acute ischemic stroke ineligible for intravenous thrombolysis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stroke is a treatable disease. Despite the therapeutic nihilism of the past, the advent of thrombolysis has changed the way stroke is approached. Acute ischemic stroke is a challenging and heterogeneous disease. Treatment needs to be based on an understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of ischemia. Interventions are designed to improve neuronal salvage and outcome. The underlying tenets of stroke therapy focus on the brain parenchyma, arterial flow (pipes), perfusion, the ischemic milieu or penumbra, and prevention of complications. This article focuses on the practical issues of ischemic stroke care, with a brief review of supporting literature.
Southern Medical Journal 05/2003; 96(4):336-42. · 1.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Angioplasty and stent placement have become accepted alternatives to surgery in many vascular territories. The most recent application of percutaneous intervention has been to explore its clinical utility and safety for stroke prevention in carotid arteries. Over the past 8 years, from January 1994 until Nov 2002, we performed 449 elective carotid stent procedures in 426 patients and in 481 vessels. Informed consent was obtained from each patient. Success was achieved in 97.3% of the patients treated. After one month of follow-up, 12 (2.8%) patients experienced stroke or death. After an average of 2.8 ± 1.7 years (range 1 month to 8.8 years) of follow-up, restenosis was found in 11 (2.6%) patients and was treated with balloon angioplasty. Our results, in a predominantly high-risk surgery group of patients, suggest that carotid stent placement is a viable treatment alternative to conventional surgery. It is likely that as the technology continues to evolve, the procedural risks of stroke and death will be minimized by embolic protection devices, making carotid stenting an option for low-risk surgical patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stroke is a treatable disease. Despite the therapeutic nihilism of the past, the advent of thrombolysis has changed the way stroke treatment is approached. Acute ischemic stroke is a challenging and heterogeneous disease, and treatment must be based on an understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of ischemia. Interventions are designed to improve neuronal salvage and outcome. The underlying tenets of stroke therapy focus on the brain parenchyma, arterial flow (pipes), perfusion, the ischemic milieu or penumbra, and prevention of complications. This article focuses on the practical issues of ischemic stroke care with a brief review of supporting literature.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute-stroke patients receiving standard intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) have been noted to experience early dramatic recoveries. The prevalence, clinical characteristics, and outcome of patients experiencing dramatic recovery is not well described.
We prospectively studied all patients presenting with acute middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke syndromes and transcranial Doppler (TCD) evidence of an MCA obstruction. All patients received intravenous tPA per the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke protocol, with serial National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores and continuous TCD monitoring. Dramatic recovery was defined as an improvement of > or =10 NIHSS points or a decrease to an NIHSS score of < or =3 by the end of infusion. Outcome at the end of infusion, at 24 hours, and at long-term follow-up were obtained. The timing and pattern of deficit recovery during dramatic recovery was also studied.
Dramatic recovery occurred in 22% of all patients. Compared with patients who did not experience dramatic recovery, those patients who did had significantly lower end-infusion NIHSS (median 2 and range 0 to 16 for dramatic-recovery patients versus median 17 and range 6 to 35 for non-dramatic-recovery patients, P<0.01) and 24-hour NIHSS (median 2 and range 0 to 16 for dramatic-recovery patients versus median 13 and range 2 to 35 for non-dramatic-recovery patients, P<0.01). A long-term modified Rankin Score benefit was noted (median 1 and range 0 to 6 for dramatic-recovery patients versus median 4 and range 0 to 6 for non-dramatic-recovery patients, P<0.01). Baseline clinical characteristics were similar. The only difference was improved TCD-determined flow values at the end of infusion (normal restoration of flow was 58% in dramatic-recovery patients versus 14% in non-dramatic-recovery patients, P<0.01). A characteristic pattern of recovery of deficit was noted.
Early dramatic recovery in acute MCA stroke patients treated with intravenous tPA is relatively frequent. The benefit of dramatic recovery is maintained at 24 hours and over the long term. TCD monitoring suggests that dramatic recovery is a result of early restoration of MCA flow during the tPA infusion. The consistent pattern of early clinical recovery may help explain the mechanisms by which thrombolysis improves outcome and could suggest targets for enhancing the therapeutic effect of intravenous tPA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) has a poor prognosis that may be the consequence of the hematoma's effect on adjacent and remote brain regions. Little is known about the mechanism, location, and severity of such effects. In this study, rats subjected to intracerebral blood injection were examined at 100 days. Stereology (neuronal count and density) and volume measures in the perihematoma rim, the adjacent and overlying brain, and the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) were compared with contralateral brain regions at 100 days and the perihemorrhage region at 24 hours and 7 days. In addition, cytochrome c release was investigated at 24 hours, 3 days, and 7 days. At 100 days, post-ICH rats showed no difference in neuronal density in the perihemorrhagic scar region or regions of the striatum immediately surrounding and distal to the perihemorrhage scar. The cell density index in the ipsilateral field was 16.2 +/- 3.8 versus the contralateral control field of 15.6 +/- 3.2 (not significant). Volume measurements of the ipsilateral striatum revealed a 20% decrease that was compensated by an increase in ipsilateral ventricular size. The area of the initial ICH as measured by magnetic resonance imaging correlated with the degree of atrophy. In the region immediately surrounding the hematoma, cytochrome c immunoreactivity increased at 24 hours and 3 days, and returned toward baseline by day 7. At 24 hours, stereology in the peri-ICH region showed decreased density in the region where cytochrome c immunoreactivity was the highest. Neuronal density of the ipsilateral SNr was significantly less than the contralateral side (9.6 +/- 1.9 vs 11.6 +/- 2.3). Histologic damage from ICH occurred mainly in the immediate perihemorrhage region. Except for SNr, we found no evidence of neuronal loss in distal regions. We have termed this continued destruction of neurons, which occurs over at least 3 days as the neurons come into proximity to the hematoma, the "black hole" model of hemorrhagic damage.
Annals of Neurology 05/2002; 51(4):517-24. · 11.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) would not lyse the large thrombus associated with internal carotid artery (ICA) occlusion and, therefore, would be ineffective in this setting. Vascular imaging, safety, and outcome of TPA therapy for ICA occlusion is not well described. Our goal was to determine the site of occlusion, early recanalization after TPA infusion, and its relationship to outcome.
We reviewed our database of all stroke patients treated with i.v. TPA between July 1997 and July 1999. We identified all cases with carotid occlusion suggested by transcranial Doppler (TCD) and angiography. Occlusion and recanalization were assessed by site including proximal ICA (prICA), terminal ICA (tICA), and middle cerebral artery (MCA). Baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores and follow-up Rankin scores were obtained.
We treated 20 patients with carotid occlusion (age 63.9 +/- 10.8 years, 11 males, 9 females). Time to TPA infusion after stroke onset was 128 +/- 66 minutes. Baseline NIHSS scores were 16.4 +/- 5.4. Time to follow-up was 3.5 +/- 4.9 months (2 patients were lost to follow-up). Occlusion sites were prICA 40%, tICA 70%, and concurrent MCA 45%. Multiple sites were involved in 10/20 patients (50%). Among patients with pretreatment and posttreatment vascular imaging studies (n = 18), recanalization in the prICA and tICA was complete in 10%, partial in 16%, and none in 74%. MCA recanalization was complete in 35%, partial in 24%, and none in 41%. At follow-up, Rankin 0-1 was found in 8 patients (44%), Rankin 2-3 in 3 (17%), and Rankin 4-5 in 3 (17%). Mortality was 22% (n = 4) including 1 fatal intracerebral hemorrhage. Improvement was closely related to resumption of MCA flow (P < .01).
Most patients did not recanalize their ICA occlusion after intravenous TPA therapy. However, recanalization of associated proximal MCA clot, found in 45% of our patients, or improved MCA collateral flow was strongly associated with good outcome.
Journal of Neuroimaging 04/2002; 12(2):119-23. · 1.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Only a small minority of acute stroke patients receive approved acute stroke therapy. We performed a community and professional behavioral intervention project to increase the proportion of stroke patients treated with approved acute stroke therapy.
This study used a quasi-experimental design. Intervention and comparison communities were compared at baseline and during educational intervention. The communities were based in 5 nonurban East Texas counties. The multilevel intervention worked with hospitals and community physicians while changing the stroke identification skills, outcome expectations, and social norms of community residents. The primary goal was to increase the proportion of patients treated with intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rTPA) from 1% to 6% of all cerebrovascular events in the intervention community.
We prospectively evaluated 1733 patients and validated 1189 cerebrovascular events. Intravenous rTPA treatment increased from 1.38% to 5.75% among all cerebrovascular event patients in the intervention community (P=0.01) compared with a change from 0.49% to 0.55% in the comparison community (P=1.00). Among the ischemic stroke patients, an increase from 2.21% to 8.65% was noted in the intervention community (P=0.02). The comparison group did not appreciably change (0.71% to 0.86%, P=1.00). Of eligible intravenous rTPA candidates, treatment increased in the intervention community from 14% to 52% (P=0.003) and was unchanged in the comparison community (7% to 6%, P=1.00).
An aggressive, multilevel stroke educational intervention program can increase delivery of acute stroke therapy. This may have important public health implications for reducing disability on a national level.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the practice patterns for stroke care in rural emergency departments (ED).
The authors prospectively evaluated clinical practice decisions for all ED patients in two non-urban East Texas communities using active and passive surveillance methods. Data collected included demographics, risk factors, symptoms, and treatment. Data analysis consisted of descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis.
During the study period, 429 patients presented with validated strokes. Risk factors included hypertension (65%), previous stroke (41%), coronary artery disease (33%), diabetes (25%), current smoking (17%), and atrial fibrillation (11%). In the ED, neurology consultation occurred in 32%, head CT in 88%, and ECG in 85%. Heparin was used in 9%, and 5% received aspirin. Blood pressure was lowered in 19% from a mean high of 189(+/-38)/97(+/-26), average reduction 34 points (18%) systolic. Motor symptoms were more likely to prompt a neurology consultation (OR = 2.47). Heparin was used more commonly for patients with atrial fibrillation (OR = 2.93). Socioeconomic factors did not alter care. IV recombinant tissue plasminogen activator was used in 1.4% of ischemic stroke cases.
Acute stroke care in this representative non-urban community frequently does not follow published guidelines or clinical trial results. Whereas a high percentage of patients receive CT, aggressive blood pressure treatment occurs commonly and at pressures below current recommendations. The use of heparin is common, more so than aspirin treatment. These facts argue for educational interventions aimed at non-urban physicians to improve evidence-based medical practice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with 50% intracranial arterial stenosis may require more intensive therapies for stroke prevention. Transcranial Doppler (TCD) is a convenient noninvasive screen for intracranial stenosis. The accuracy of different mean flow velocity (MFV) thresholds for determining the degree of stenosis remains uncertain.
The authors prospectively compared the accuracy of TCD criteria and MFV thresholds to magnetic resonance, computed tomography, and digital subtraction angiography in patients with symptoms of recent or remote stroke or transient ischemic attack. Stenosis on angiography was measured as 0%, < 50%, or > or = 50% diameter reduction.
Of 136 consecutive patients, 33 (24%) had distal internal carotid artery (ICA), middle cerebral artery (MCA), posterior cerebral artery, or basilar artery stenosis on angiography (14 patients [10%] were excluded due to incomplete TCD examinations, mainly from a lack of temporal windows). TCD showed 31 true-positive, 9 false-positive, 2 false-negative, and 94 true-negative studies. For all vessels, TCD had a sensitivity of 93.9% (confidence interval [CI] = 89%-98%), a specificity of 91.2% (CI = 87%-96%), a positive predictive value (PPV) of 77.5%, and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 97.9%. The trade-off in sensitivity and specificity for MCA MFV thresholds was as follows: MFV > or = 80 cm/s had a sensitivity of 100%, a specificity of 96.9% (CI = 94%-99%), a PPV of 84%, and an NPV of 100%. MFV > or = 100 cm/s had a sensitivity of 100%, a specificity of 97.9% (CI = 96%-99%), a PPV of 88.8%, and an NPV of 94.9%. MFV > or = 120 cm/s had a sensitivity of 68.7% (CI = 61%-78%), a specificity of 100%, a PPV of 100%, and an NPV of 94.9%. Reasons for false-positive findings include collateralization of flow in the presence of proximal ICA stenosis and prestenotic to stenotic MCA velocity ratios of 1: < or = 2.
TCD is both sensitive and specific in identifying > or = 50% intracranial arterial stenosis. A MFV threshold cutoff of 100 cm/s has an optimal sensitivity and specificity trade-off for > or = 50% MCA stenosis. To help avoid false-positive results, a prestenotic to stenotic MCA velocity ratio of 1: > or = 2 should be used in addition to the MFV threshold.
Journal of Neuroimaging 01/2002; 12(1):9-14. · 1.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: No proven neuroprotective treatment exists for ischemic brain injury after cardiac arrest. Mild-to-moderate induced hypothermia (MIH) is effective in animal models.
A safety and feasibility trial was designed to evaluate mild-to-moderate induced hypothermia by use of external cooling blankets after cardiac arrest. Inclusion criteria were return of spontaneous circulation within 60 minutes of advanced cardiac life support, hypothermia initiated within 90 minutes, persistent coma, and lack of acute myocardial infarction or unstable dysrhythmia. Hypothermia to 33 degrees C was maintained for 24 hours followed by passive rewarming. Nine patients were prospectively enrolled. Mean time from advanced cardiac life support to return of spontaneous circulation was 11 minutes (range 3 to 30); advanced cardiac life support to initiation of hypothermia was 78 minutes (range 40 to 109); achieving 33 degrees C took 301 minutes (range 90 to 690). Three patients completely recovered, and 1 had partial neurological recovery. One patient developed unstable cardiac dysrhythmia. No other unexpected complications occurred.
Mild-to-moderate induced hypothermia after cardiac arrest is feasible and safe. However, external cooling is slow and imprecise. Efforts to speed the start of cooling and to improve the cooling process are needed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors establish accuracy parameters of a broad diagnostic battery for bedside transcranial Doppler (TCD) to detect flow changes due to internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis or occlusion.
The authors prospectively studied consecutive patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack referred for TCD. TCD was performed and interpreted at bedside using a standard insonation protocol. A broad diagnostic battery included major criteria: collateral flow signals, abnormal siphon or terminal carotid signals, and delayed systolic flow acceleration in the middle cerebral artery. Minor criteria included a unilateral decrease in pulsatility index (< or = 0.6 or < or = 70% of contralateral side), flow diversion signs, and compensatory velocity increase. Angiography or carotid duplex ultrasound (CDU) was used to grade the degree of carotid stenosis using North American criteria. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of TCD findings were determined.
Seven hundred and twenty patients underwent TCD, of whom 517 (256 men and 261 women) had angiography and/or CDU within 8.8 +/- 0.9 days. Age was 63.1 +/- 15.7 years. For a 70% to 99% carotid stenosis or occlusion, TCD had sensitivity of 79.4%, specificity of 86.2%, PPV of 57.0%, NPV of 94.8%, and accuracy of 84.7%. For a 50% to 99% carotid stenosis or occlusion, TCD had sensitivity of 67.5%, specificity of 83.9%, PPV of 54.5%, NPV of 90.0%, and accuracy of 81.6%. TCD detected intracranial carotid lesions with 84.9% accuracy and extracranial carotid lesions with 84.4% accuracy (sensitivity of 88% and 79%, specificity of 85% and 86%, PPV of 24% and 54%, and NPV of 99% and 95%, respectively). The prevalence of the ophthalmic artery flow reversal was 36.4% in patients with > or = 70% stenosis or occlusion. If present, this finding indicated a proximal ICA lesion location in 97% of these patients.
In symptomatic patients, bedside TCD can accurately detect flow changes consistent with hemodynamically significant ICA obstruction; however, TCD should not be a substitute for direct carotid evaluation. Because TCD is sensitive and specific for a > or = 70% carotid stenosis or occlusion in both extracranial and intracranial carotid segments, it can be used as a complementary test to refine other imaging findings and detect tandem lesions.
Journal of Neuroimaging 08/2001; 11(3):236-42. · 1.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the case of a 16-year-old Caucasian girl who developed acute onset of left hemiplegia, left hemisensory deficit, and dysarthria. After a negative computed tomographic scan of the brain, the patient was given intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator according to established adult guidelines. The patient experienced a marked improvement within 24 hours. Stroke etiology was determined to be a paradoxical embolus via a patent foramen ovale associated with pelvic vein thrombosis. This case illustrates the importance of early recognition of stroke and the utility of thrombolytics in treating ischemic infarcts in the adolescent population.
Journal of Child Neurology 05/2001; 16(4):286-8. · 1.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Percutaneous techniques have dramatically changed our approach to coronary and peripheral revascularization. Intracranial atherosclerosis is a highly morbid disease; however, techniques for revascularization are still in evolution. The authors comprise a multidisciplinary team of neurologists, neuroradiologists, and interventional cardiologists who have collaborated in treating fifteen patients with symptomatic intracranial stenosis who have failed medical therapy. The acute success rate (100%) and one-year freedom from death and stroke (93.4%) using balloon angioplasty and provisional stenting are encouraging. A surprising observation in this patient cohort was that 53% of patients had improvement or resolution of a deficit that was chronic and presumed to be permanent and irreversible. This type of chronic but reversible deficit is termed "brain angina". The background, rationale for a multidisciplinary team, techniques, and preliminary results of intracranial angioplasty with provisional stenting are presented.
Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions 05/2001; 52(4):457-67. · 2.51 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inhospital placement of patients with mild (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS] score <8) or moderate (NIHSS 8 through 16) acute strokes is variable. We assessed the outcome of such patients based on intensive care unit (ICU) versus general ward placement.
We reviewed 138 consecutive patients admitted within 24 hours of stroke onset to 2 physically adjacent hospitals with different admitting practices. Outcome measures included complication rates, discharge Rankin scale score, hospital discharge placement, costs, and length of stay (LOS).
Hospital A, a 626-bed university-affiliated hospital, admitted 43% of mild and moderate strokes (MMS) to an ICU (26% of mild, 74% of moderate), whereas hospital B, a 618-bed community facility, admitted 18% of MMS to an ICU (3% of mild, 45% of moderate; P<0.004). There were no significant differences in outcomes between the 2 hospitals. Analysis of only patients admitted to hospital A, and of all patients, demonstrated that mild stroke patients admitted to the general ward had fewer complications and more favorable discharge Rankin scale scores than similar patients admitted to an ICU. There was no statistically significant difference in LOS, but total room costs for a patient admitted first to the ICU averaged $15 270 versus $3638 for admission directly to the ward.
While limited by the retrospective nature of our study, routinely admitting acute MMS patients to an ICU provides no cost or outcomes benefits.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TIMI angiographic classification measures coronary residual flow and recanalization. We developed a Thrombolysis in Brain Ischemia (TIBI) classification by using transcranial Doppler (TCD) to noninvasively monitor intracranial vessel residual flow signals. We examined whether the emergent TCD TIBI classification correlated with stroke severity and outcome in patients treated with intravenously administered tPA (IV-tPA).
TCD examination occurred acutely and on day 2. TIBI flows were determined at distal MCA and basilar artery depths, depending on occlusion site. TIBI waveforms were graded as follows: 0, absent; 1, minimal; 2, blunted; 3, dampened; 4, stenotic; and 5, normal. National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores were obtained at baseline and 24 hours after administration of tPA.
One hundred nine IV tPA patients were studied. Mean+/-SD age was 68+/-16 years; median NIHSS score before administration of tPA (pre-tPA) was 17.5. The tPA bolus was administered 143+/-58 minutes and the TCD examination 141+/-57 minutes after symptom onset. Pre-tPA NIHSS scores were higher in patients with TIBI grade 0 than TIBI grade 4 or 5 flow. TIBI flow improvement to grade 4 or 5 occurred in 35% of patients (19/54) with an initial grade of 0 or 1 and in 52% (12/23) with initial grade 2 or 3. The 24-hour NIHSS scores were higher in follow-up in patients with TIBI grade 0 or 1 than those with TIBI grade 4 or 5 flow. TIBI flow recovery correlated with NIHSS score improvement. Lack of flow recovery predicted worsening or no improvement. In-hospital mortality was 71% (5/7) for patients with posterior circulation occlusions; it was 22% (11/51) for patients with pre-tPA TIBI 0 or 1 compared with 5% (1/19) for those with pre-tPA TIBI 2 or 3 anterior circulation occlusions.
Emergent TCD TIBI classification correlates with initial stroke severity, clinical recovery, and mortality in IV-tPA-treated stroke patients. A flow-grade improvement correlated with clinical improvement.