Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer
Universitätsspital Basel · Department of Neurology

Professor of Neurology MD MSc
Chairman Department of Neurology, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland

About

444
Publications
83,027
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Introduction
Urs Fischer is the chairman of the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland. He is the former secretary general of the European Stroke Organisation (ESO)..
Additional affiliations
January 2018 - present
Inselspital, Universitätsspital Bern
Position
  • Head Neurological Inpatient Department
February 2014 - December 2017
Inselspital, Universitätsspital Bern
Position
  • Head Neurological Emergency Team
January 2011 - June 2015
Inselspital, Universitätsspital Bern
Position
  • Senior consultant, Neurological Emergency Team

Publications

Publications (444)
Article
Background and objectives: In general, suddenly occurring neurological deficits, i.e., negative neurological symptoms, are considered symptoms of focal cerebral ischemia, while positive irritative symptoms with gradual onset are viewed as the characteristics of migraine aura. Nevertheless, cortical spreading depolarization, the pathophysiological b...
Preprint
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Background and Purpose Limited data is available on sex differences in young stroke patients describing discrepant findings. This study aims to investigate the sex differences in young stroke patients. Methods Prospective cohort study comparing risk factors, etiology, stroke localization, severity on admission, management and outcome in patients ag...
Article
Background The best management of basilar artery occlusion (BAO) remains uncertain. The BASICS (Basilar Artery International Cooperation Study) and the BEST (Basilar Artery Occlusion Endovascular Intervention Versus Standard Medical Treatment) trials reported neutral results. We sought to understand physicians’ approaches to BAOs and whether furthe...
Article
To investigate the association of different phenotypes, count, and locations of chronic covert brain infarctions (CBI) with long‐term mortality in patients with first‐ever manifest acute ischemic stroke (AIS) or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Additionally, to analyze their potential interaction with white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and predict...
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Background and purpose 40% of acute ischemic stroke patients treated by mechanical thrombectomy (MT) have a clinical history of atrial fibrillation (AF). The safety of bridging intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) (MT + IVT) is currently being discussed. We aimed to analyze the interaction between oral anticoagulation (OAC) status or AF with bridging IVT...
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BACKGROUND: We hypothesized that treatment delays might be an effect modifier regarding risks and benefits of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) before mechanical thrombectomy (MT). METHODS: We used the dataset of the SWIFT-DIRECT trial, which randomized 408 patients to IVT+MT or MT alone. Potential interactions between assignment to IVT+MT and expecte...
Article
Since 2015, a series of endovascular trials transformed the management of patients with large vessel occlusion stroke. Most thrombectomy trials used restrictive eligibility criteria to optimize the chances of showing that thrombectomy could work. The problem arises when generalizing trial results into evidence-based recommendations. Many organizati...
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Purpose Treatment of distal vessel occlusions causing incomplete reperfusion after mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is debated. We hypothesized that pretreatment with intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) may facilitate delayed reperfusion (DR) of residual vessel occlusions causing incomplete reperfusion after MT. Methods Retrospective analysis of patients w...
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Background and Objectives Very poor outcome despite intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) and mechanical thrombectomy (MT) occurs in about 1 of 4 patients with ischemic stroke and is associated with a high logistic and economic burden. We aimed to develop and validate a multivariable prognostic model to identify futile recanalization therapies (FRT) in pa...
Article
Background Whether thrombectomy alone is equally as effective as intravenous alteplase plus thrombectomy remains controversial. We aimed to determine whether thrombectomy alone would be non-inferior to intravenous alteplase plus thrombectomy in patients presenting with acute ischaemic stroke. Methods In this multicentre, randomised, open-label, bl...
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Background and Purpose Clots rich in platelets and fibrin retrieved from patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) have been shown to be independently associated with the absence of the susceptibility vessel sign (SVS) on MRI and active malignancy. This study analyzed the association of SVS and the presence of active malignancy in patients with AIS...
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Background and purpose: Malignancy associated acute ischemic stroke (AIS) requires specific diagnostic work-up, treatment and prevention to improve outcome. This study aimed to develop a biomarker-based score for prediction of occult malignancy in AIS patients. Methods: Single-center cross-sectional study including consecutive AIS patients treat...
Article
Rationale Direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) are highly effective in preventing ischaemic strokes in people with atrial fibrillation (AF). However, it is unclear how soon they should be started after acute ischaemic stroke (AIS). Early initiation may reduce early risk of recurrence but might increase the risk of haemorrhagic complications. Aim To e...
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Background and Purpose Randomized controlled trials have challenged the assumption that reperfusion success after mechanical thrombectomy varies depending on the retrieval techniques applied; however, recent analyses have suggested that acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients showing susceptibility vessel sign (SVS) may respond differently. We aimed t...
Article
Background: We aimed to assess the association of diabetes mellitus (DM) and admission hyperglycaemia (AH) respectively and outcome in patients with acute ischaemic stroke with large vessel occlusion in the anterior circulation treated with endovascular therapy (EVT) in daily clinical practice. Methods: Consecutive EVT patients admitted to our s...
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Background and purpose: Knowledge about different etiologies of non-traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and their outcomes is scarce. Methods: We assessed prevalence of pre-specified ICH etiologies and their association with outcomes in consecutive ICH patients enrolled in the prospective Swiss Stroke Registry (2014 to 2019). Results: We...
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Objective: To examine rates of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT), mechanical thrombectomy (MT), door-to-needle (DTN) time, door-to-puncture(DTP) time, and functional outcome between patients with admission MRI versus CT. Methods: Observational cohort study of consecutive patients using a target trial design within the nationwide Swiss-Stroke-Regist...
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Introduction Rapid treatment of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) depends on sufficient staffing which differs between Stroke Centers and Stroke Units in Switzerland. We studied the effect of admission time on performance measures of AIS treatment and related temporal trends over time. Patients and methods We compared treatment rates, door-to-image-time...
Article
Background We aimed to determine the diagnostic yield of transthoracic (TTE) and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) in patients with ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack with established indications for direct oral anticoagulants before the index event. Methods and Results This was a retrospective cohort study of consecutive patients...
Article
BACKGROUND The benefit of mechanical thrombectomy in patients with low Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography Score (ASPECTS) for short‐term outcomes is debatable and long‐term outcomes remain unknown. This retrospective, monocentric cohort study aimed to assess the association between reperfusion grade and the long‐term functional outcom...
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Objective To investigate the aetiology, subsequent preventive strategies and outcomes of stroke despite anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods We analysed consecutive patients with AF with an index imaging-proven ischaemic stroke despite vitamin K-antagonist (VKA) or direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) treatment across 11...
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Background Midregional pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) is a promising biomarker to differentiate the underlying etiology of acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Objectives This study aimed to determine the role of MR-proANP for classification as cardioembolic (CE) stroke, identification of newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation (NDAF), and risk as...
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Intravenous thrombolytics and endovascular thrombectomy for ischemic stroke have evolved in parallel. However, the best approach to combine these reperfusion therapies in patients eligible for both strategies remains uncertain. Initial randomized trials of endovascular thrombectomy included administration of intravenous thrombolytics to all eligibl...
Article
Background Endovascular treatment in large artery occlusion stroke reduces disability. However, the impact of anesthesia type on clinical outcomes remains uncertain. Methods We compared consecutive patients in the Swiss Stroke Registry with anterior circulation stroke receiving endovascular treatment with or without general anesthesia (GA). The pr...
Article
BACKGROUND The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) obtained 24 hours after ischemic stroke is a good indicator for functional outcome and early mortality, but the correlation with long‐term survival is less clear. We analyzed the correlation of the NIHSS after 24 hours (24h NIHSS) and early clinical neurological development after mec...
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Background Most trials comparing endovascular treatment (EVT) alone versus intravenous thrombolysis with alteplase (IVT) + EVT in directly admitted patients with a stroke are non-inferiority trials. However, the margin based on the level of uncertainty regarding non-inferiority of the experimental treatment that clinicians are willing to accept to...
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Sustained forms of atrial fibrillation (AF) may be associated with a higher risk of adverse outcomes, but few if any long-term studies took into account changes of AF type and co-morbidities over time. We prospectively followed 3843 AF patients and collected information on AF type and co-morbidities during yearly follow-ups. The primary outcome was...
Article
Background: Futile recanalization (FR) and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH) are adverse outcomes after otherwise successful mechanical thrombectomy (MT). The aim of this study was to evaluate independent predictors of these unfavourable events in the extended time window and to compare imaging modalities (non-enhanced CT (NCCT) alone vs....
Article
Introduction: Endovascular (EVT) eligibility estimates using population-based, NIH-funded Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky (GCNK) Stroke Study 2010 data have been reported. Given the evolving EVT landscape, we present updated estimates of annual EVT eligibility using the 2015 GCNK epidemiological data and extrapolate to the 2021 US census. We p...
Article
Introduction: This study aimed to evaluate whether patient sex modifies the association between preadmission use of antiplatelet agents (APAs) and safety and efficacy outcomes of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Methods: Cohort study from the Swiss Stroke Registry of consecutive patients with AIS treated...
Article
Background This study was conducted to compare frequencies of chronic brain infarctions (CBIs) and white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) as well as their associations with established early recurrence risk scores in patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke mimics compared with ischemic stroke. Methods and Results Single‐center cohor...
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Purpose Incomplete reperfusion after mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is associated with a poor outcome. Rescue therapy would potentially benefit some patients with an expanded treatment in cerebral ischemia score (eTICI) 2b50/2b67 reperfusion but also harbors increased risks. The relative benefits of eTICI 2c/3 over eTICI 2b50/67 in clinically importa...
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Background In Switzerland, the COVID-19 incidence during the first pandemic wave was high. We aimed to assess the association of the outbreak with acute stroke care in Switzerland in spring 2020. Methods Retrospective analysis based on the Swiss Stroke Registry, which includes consecutive patients with acute cerebrovascular events admitted to Swis...
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Background Most case series of patients with ischemic stroke (IS) and COVID-19 are limited to selected centers or lack 3-month outcome. Aim of this study is to describe frequency, clinical and radiological features, and 3-month outcomes of patients with IS and COVID-19 in a nationwide stroke registry. Methods From the Swiss Stroke Registry (SSR),...
Article
Background Patients with migraine are at increased risk of stroke. We aim to systematically review the current literature on the association between migraine and atrial fibrillation, which is a relevant risk factor for stroke. Methods We searched Pubmed for ‘migraine’ AND ’atrial fibrillation’ and selected original investigations on the associatio...
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Purpose of review: Direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) are the mainstay of anticoagulant therapy for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Persistent uncertainties remain in different areas, and this review discusses current dilemmas based on selected studies. Recent findings: Optimal timing of DOAC initiation after a...
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On behalf of Swiss Neurological Society together with the Swiss Society for Behavioral Neurology, we are pleased to present the Abstracts of the 113th Annual Meeting, which was held from 18–19 November 2021. Fifteen (15) abstracts were selected for oral presentations and sixty-one (61) abstracts were selected as poster presentations. We congratulat...
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Importance Advanced imaging for patient selection in mechanical thrombectomy is not widely available. Objective To compare the clinical outcomes of patients selected for mechanical thrombectomy by noncontrast computed tomography (CT) vs those selected by computed tomography perfusion (CTP) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the extended time w...
Article
Aims We assessed the association of prior antiplatelet therapy (APT) at onset of intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) with haematoma characteristics and outcome. Methods We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies comparing ICH outcomes of patients on APT (APT-ICH) with patients not taking APT (non–APT-ICH). Primary outcomes were haem...
Article
Background: No study has so far compared Amulet with the new Watchman FLX in terms of residual left atrial appendage (LAA) patency or clinical outcomes in patients undergoing percutaneous LAA closure (LAAC). Methods: In the investigator-initiated SWISS APERO trial, patients undergoing LAAC were randomized (1:1) open-label to receive Amulet or Watch...
Article
Introduction : The value of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) in patients eligible for mechanical thrombectomy (MT) remains unclear. We hypothesized that pre‐treatment with and/or ongoing IVT may facilitate reperfusion of distal vessel occlusion after incomplete MT. We evaluated this potential association using follow‐up perfusion imaging. Methods : R...
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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Results regarding the association of thrombus length, stent retriever length, and recanalization success in patients with acute ischemic stroke are inconsistent. We hypothesized that the ratio of thrombus length to stent retriever length may be of particular relevance. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with acute ischemic str...
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Residual or newly acquired leaks are routinely appraised after left atrial appendage closure (LAAC). The Watchman and the Amulet are the two most frequently used devices for LAAC but no randomized study has so far assessed their comparative leak rates after intervention. The “Comparison of Amplatzer Amulet vs Watchman devices in patients undergoing...
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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The frequency and clinical significance of the susceptibility vessel sign in patients with acute ischemic stroke remains unclear. We aimed to assess its prevalence in patients with acute ischemic stroke undergoing mechanical thrombectomy and to analyze its association with interventional and clinical outcome parameters in th...
Article
Rationale: Whether treatment with intravenous alteplase prior to mechanical thrombectomy (MT) in acute ischaemic stroke (AIS) patients with large vessel occlusion is beneficial remains unclear. Aim: To determine whether patients experiencing AIS due to occlusion of the intracranial internal carotid artery or the M1 segment of the middle cerebral ar...
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Background and Purpose The aim of this study was to assess the rate of chronic covert brain infarctions (CBIs) in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) and to describe their phenotypes and diagnostic value. Methods This is a single-center cohort study including 1546 consecutive patients with first-ever AIS on magnetic resonance imaging imaging...
Article
Background Asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis (ACS) has a low risk of stroke. To achieve an advantage over noninterventional best medical treatment (BMT), carotid endarterectomy (CEA) or carotid artery stenting (CAS) must be performed with the lowest possible risk of stroke. Therefore, an analysis of risk-elevating factors is essential. Grade of...
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Objective To determine the rate and predictors of early neurological deterioration (END) in patients with lacunar strokes as well as its implications for management and outcome. Methods We enrolled consecutive patients with MRI-defined lacunar stroke who presented within 12 hours after symptom onset from a prospective stroke database (2015-2019)....
Article
Intracerebral haemorrhage - acute event and chronic disease Abstract. Intracerebral hemorrhage accounts for 10-15% of all strokes and approximately 1'500-2'000 patients per year in Switzerland. Acute treatment by multi-disciplinary experts at certified stroke units and stroke centers is important to provide optimal care. A simple ABC-care bundle (r...
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Purpose The Thrombolysis in Ischemic Stroke Patients (TRISP) collaboration was a concerted effort initiated in 2010 with the purpose to address relevant research questions about the effectiveness and safety of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT). The collaboration also aims to prospectively collect data on patients undergoing endovascular treatment (EVT...
Article
Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of echocardiographic guidance on the safety and efficacy of left atrial appendage closure (LAAC). Background Expert consensus documents recommend intraprocedural imaging by means of either transesophageal echocardiography or intracardiac echocardiography to guide LAAC. However, no evidenc...
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Background: To compare the diagnostic yield of echocardiography and cardiovascular MRI (CMR) to detect structural sources of embolism, in patients with ischemic stroke with a secondary analysis of non-stroke populations. Methods and Results: We searched MEDLINE/Embase (from 01.01.2000 to 24.04.2021) for studies including CMR to assess prespecified...
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Importance: Cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in combination with thrombocytopenia have recently been reported within 4 to 28 days of vaccination with the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (AstraZeneca/Oxford) and Ad.26.COV2.S (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccines. An immune-mediated response associated with platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies has...
Article
Objective: To evaluate if subclinical thyroid dysfunction is associated with cardiovascular (CV) risk in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods: Swiss-AF is a prospective cohort of community-dwelling participants aged ≥ 65 years with AF. Primary outcome was a composite endpoint of CV events (myocardial infarctions, stroke/transitory isc...
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Background: An incomplete Circle of Willis (CoW) has been associated with a higher risk of stroke and might affect collateral flow in large vessel occlusion (LVO) stroke. We aimed to investigate the distribution of CoW variants in a LVO stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) cohort and analyze their impact on 3-months-functional outcome. Meth...
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Objective To provide a critical appraisal on the evidence from randomized-controlled clinical trials (RCTs) on the utility of direct endovascular treatment (dEVT) compared to the combination of endovascular treatment preceded by intravenous thrombolysis (bridging therapy, BT) for patients with acute large vessel occlusion (LVO). Methods Eligible R...
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ObjectiveTo measure the global impact of COVID-19 pandemic on volumes of IV thrombolysis (IVT),IVT transfers, and stroke hospitalizations over 4 months at the height of the pandemic (March 1to June 30, 2020) compared with 2 control 4-month periods.MethodsWe conducted a cross-sectional, observational, retrospective study across 6 continents, 70count...
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Objective To identify factors associated with early angiographic reperfusion improvement (EARI) following intra-arterial fibrinolytics (IAF) after failed or incomplete mechanical thrombectomy (MT). Methods A subset of patients treated with MT and IAF rescue after incomplete reperfusion included in the INFINITY (INtra-arterial FIbriNolytics In Thro...
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The optimal blood pressure (BP) management in acute ischaemic stroke (AIS) and acute intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) remains controversial. These European Stroke Organisation (ESO) guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations to assist physicians in their clinical decisions regarding BP management in acute stroke. The guidelines were develope...
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Background Inflammation contributes to unstable atherosclerotic plaque and stroke. In randomised trials in patients with coronary disease, canukinumab (an interleukin-1B antagonist) and colchicine (a tubulin inhibitor with pleiotropic anti-inflammatory effects) reduced recurrent vascular events. Hypothesis: Anti-inflammatory therapy with low-dose c...