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1.  Clinical Evaluation of Patients with Spinal Cord Infarction in Mashhad, Iran 
Stroke Research and Treatment  2010;2010:942417.
Background. Spinal Cord Infarction (SCI) is a rare and disabling disease. This hospital-based study was conducted for clinical evaluation of SCI patients in east of Iran. Methods. Consecutive SCI patients admitted in Ghaem hospital,Mashhad during 2006–2010 were enrolled in a prospective clinical study. Diagnosis of SCI was made by neurologists and radiologists. Demographic features, clinical syndrome, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) findings were recorded. All of the patients underwent a standard battery of diagnostic investigations. All of the patients suspected to SCI had MRI of spinal cord at the symptomatic level of cord with a 0.5 Tesla generation, Philips NT Intra, Netherland equipment. An equal number of patients with Brain Infarction (BI) were randomly selected from our stroke registry data bank. Etiology and degree of disability were compared between these groups of patients. Results. Fourteen SCI patients (9 females, 5 males) with mean age 38.8 ± SD: 19.9 years were evaluated. Miscellaneous causes consisted 50% of etiologies in patients with SCI. Uncertain etiology, atherosclerosis, and cardioembolisms consisted 35.7%, 7.1%, and 7.1% of SCI causes, respectively. Distribution of etiologies was significantly different between SCI and BI patients, X2 = 12.94, df = 3, P = .003. Difference in mean disability score at acute phase of stroke was not significant between two studied groups, z = 1.54, P = .057. Difference in mean changes of disability score at 90 days postevent was significant in two groups of patients, z = 2.65, P = .019. Conclusion. SCI is a rare disease with poor recovery. Distribution of etiologies of SCI patients is quite different than of BI patients.
PMCID: PMC2964906  PMID: 21048996
2.  Safety assessment of anticoagulation therapy in patients with hemorrhagic cerebral venous thrombosis 
Iranian Journal of Neurology  2013;12(3):87-91.
Anticoagulation therapy is a routine treatment in patients with hemorrhagic cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT). However, fear of hemorrhagic complications and deterioration course following anticoagulation often disturbs the responsible physician.
This was a Prospective observational study on consecutive CVT patients with hemorrhagic venous infarction or subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) admitted in Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad, Iran, during 2006-2012. The diagnosis of CVT in suspected cases was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging/magnetic resonance venography (MRI/MRV), and computerized tomography (CT) angiography following established diagnostic criteria. Demographic data, clinical manifestations from onset to end of the observation period, location of thrombus, location and size of infarction and hemorrhage, and clinical course during treatment were recorded. Choice of the treatment was left to the opinion of the treating physician. Clinical course during 1 week of treatment was assessed based on the baseline modified National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score. Three or more points decrease or increase of modified NIHSS after 1 week of treatment was considered as improvement or deterioration courses, respectively. Other clinical courses were categorized as stabilization course.
102 hemorrhagic CVT patients (80 females, 22 males) with mean age of 38.6 ± 8 years were prospectively investigated. Of the 102 hemorrhagic CVT patients in the acute phase, 52 patients (50.9%) were anticoagulated with adjusted dose intravenous heparin infusion and 50 cases (49.1%) received subcutaneous enoxaparin 1mg/Kg twice daily. Decreased consciousness had a significant effect on the clinical course of the patients (X2 = 9.493, df = 2, P = 0.009). Presence of SAH had no significant effect on the clinical course of our anticoagulated hemorrhagic CVT cases (X2 = 0.304, df = 2, P = 0.914). Extension of Infarction in more than two thirds of a hemisphere had a significant influence on the distribution of clinical courses (X2 = 5.867, df = 2, P = 0.044). Difference in distribution of clinical course among the two groups of our hemorrhagic CVT patients was not significant (X2 = 8.14, df = 1, P = 0.87).
Patients with hemorrhagic CVT without other contraindication for anticoagulation should be treated either with dose-adjusted intravenous heparin or body-weight-adjusted subcutaneous low molecular-weight heparin.
PMCID: PMC3829295  PMID: 24250911
Cerebral Vein; Thrombus; Hemorrhagic
3.  Risk factors of short-term stroke recurrence in patients with minor ischemic cerebrovascular events 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(2):119-127.
Assessing the risk of recurrent ischemic events in patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) and minor ischemic stroke (MIS) is of a great importance in clinical practice.
Consecutive patients with TIA or MIS who were visited in Ghaem Hospital, (Mashhad, Iran) were enrolled in a prospective cohort study during 2010 to 2011. Diagnosis of TIA or MIS was accomplished by a stroke neurologist. Only those who presented within 24 hours from the onset of symptoms were recruited. MIS was considered as an ischemic stroke with National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) < 4. The endpoint of the study was a new ischemic cerebrovascular event or vascular death in 90 days and additionally in 3 days. The decision to admit and type of treatment in each case was left to the discretion of the stroke neurologist. The association between 20 potential factors with recurrent ischemic events in 3 and 90 days was investigated using univariate and multivariate analysis (MVA).
393 TIA patients (238 males and 155 females) and 118 MIS patients (77 males and 41 females) were enrolled in the study. Stroke occurred in 117 (23.2%) patients, TIA in 99 (19.6%), and there was 11 (2.2%) vascular deaths within 3 months in the total 511 patients with minor ischemic events. Crescendo TIAs and multiple TIAs were associated with greater risk of stroke in 3 days in a univariate analysis (OR = 5.12, P < 0.001) and (OR = 3.98, P = 0.003), respectively. Patients with index stroke had 11.5% lower risk of recurrent stroke in 3 days than patients with index TIA in multivariate analysis (OR = 0.115, P = 0.039). Diabetes was independently associated with 3 months stroke recurrence in the patients with minor ischemic events (OR = 2.65, P = 0.039).
Multiple and crescendo TIAs are the main predictors of stroke recurrence, derived from the univariate analysis of the patients with minor ischemic events.
PMCID: PMC3653243  PMID: 23690811
Transient Ischemic Attacks; Infarction; Brain; Recurrence; Risk
4.  Inter-rater reliability of modified Alberta Stroke program early computerized tomography score in patients with brain infarction 
The Alberta Stroke Program Early Computerized Tomography Score (ASPECTS) was used to detect significant early ischemic changes on brain CT of acute stroke patients. We designed the modified ASPECTS and compared it to the above system based on the inter-rater reliability.
A cross-sectional validation study was conducted based on the inter-rater reliability. The CT images were chosen from the stroke data bank of Ghaem hospital, Mashhad in 2010. The inclusion criteria were the presence of middle cerebral artery territory infarction and performance of CT within 6 hours after stroke onset. Axial CT scans were performed on a third-generation CT scanner (Siemens, ARTX, Germany). Section thickness above posterior fossa was 10 mm (130 kV, 150 mAs). Films were made at window level of 35 HU. The brain CTs were scored by four independent radiologists based on the ASPECTS and modified ASPECTS. The readers were blind to clinical information except symptom side. Cochrane Q and Kappa tests served for statistical analysis.
24 CT scans were available and of sufficient quality. Difference in distribution of dichotomized ≤7 and >7 ASPECT scores between four raters was significant (Q=13.071, df=3, p=0.04). Distribution of dichotomized <6 and ≥6 scores based on modified ASPECT system between 4 raters was not significantly different (Q=6.349, df=3, p=0.096).
Modified ASPECT method is more reliable than ASPECTS in detecting major early ischemic changes in stroke patients candidated to tPA thrombolysis.
PMCID: PMC3430023  PMID: 22973327
Computed Tomography; Cerebral Infarction; Thrombolysis; Inter-Rater Reliability
5.  Herpes Simplex Virus Infection in Neonates and Young Infants with Sepsis 
Neonatal herpes infection is the most serious complication of Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) infection during pregnancy and perinatal period. Few studies have reported neonatal HSV infection in developing countries.
The aim of this study was to detect the HSV infection among neonates and infants with sepsis.
Materials and Methods:
In a cross sectional study all infants aged less than 3 months, admitted to neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric emergency ward of Ghaem Hospital (a university hospital with 900 beds) in Mashhad (Northeast of Iran) with clinical diagnosis of sepsis and at least one inclusion criteria during one year from November 2009 to October 2010, were enrolled in the study. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was done on clinical samples obtained from patients.
Among 150 neonates and infants younger than 3 months old with sepsis, the PCR results for detecting the HSV DNA, were positive in 6 samples of 5 patients (3.3 %). None of the mothers had symptomatic HSV infection during delivery. The mean age of the patients was 18 days. Two of them died due to shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).
In neonates and infants with primary diagnosis of sepsis, HSV infection should be considered especially if the clinical condition does not improve after 48 hours of antibiotic therapy, and sepsis still exists with elevated liver enzymes.
PMCID: PMC3965875  PMID: 24719742
Herpes Simplex; Infants; Polymerase Chain Reaction; Iran
6.  Association Between HTLV-I Infection with Chronic Lupoid Leishmaniasis 
Objective(s): One of the different types of skin leishmaniasis is the Chronic Lupoid Leishmaniasis (CLL), which is caused by abnormal immune response. On the other hand, HTLV-I has been known to exist in some infectious diseases. Human T cell lymphotropic virus type1 (HTLV-I) and cutanous leishmaniasis exists endemically in Mashhad. The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of HTLV-I in CLL patients.
Materials and Methods: This cross sectional study involved 51 CLL patients admitted to cutaneous leishmaniasis clinics of Ghaem and Imam Reza hospitals in Mashhad, Iran. The blood samples were examined for serology tests through ELISA method.
Results: The results of the experiments for evaluating the existence of HTLV-I in 51 patients under study in this research were proved to be negative.
Conclusion: According to this pilot study, the distribution of HTLV-I in CLL patients is not higher than normal population.
PMCID: PMC3881244  PMID: 24470878
Cutaneous lupoid leishmaniasis; Mashhad type 1 human T cell lymphotropic virus
7.  Transient Ischemic Attack Before Nonlacunar Ischemic Stroke in the Elderly 
Several studies suggest transient ischemic attack (TIA) may be neuroprotective against ischemic stroke analogous to preinfarction angina's protection against acute myocardial infarction. However, this protective ischemic preconditioning-like effect may not be present in all ages, especially among the elderly. The purpose of this study was to determine the neuroprotective effect of TIAs (clinical equivalent of cerebral ischemic preconditioning) to neurologic damage after cerebral ischemic injury in patients over 65 years of age.
We reviewed the medical charts of patients with ischemic stroke for presence of TIAs within 72 hours before stroke onset. Stroke severity was evaluated by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and disability by a modified Rankin scale.
We evaluated 203 patients (≥65 years) with diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke and categorized them according to the presence (n = 42, 21%) or absence (n = 161, 79%) of TIAs within 72 hours of stroke onset. Patients were monitored until discharged from the hospital (length of hospital stay 14.5 ± 4.8 days). No significant differences in the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and modified Rankin scale scores were observed between those patients with TIAs and those without TIAs present before stroke onset at admission or discharge.
These results suggest that the neuroprotective mechanism of cerebral ischemic preconditioning may not be present or functional in the elderly.
PMCID: PMC2676578  PMID: 18755403
Cerebral ischemic preconditioning; transient ischemic attack; elderly; stroke
8.  How often are ischemic stroke patients eligible for decompressive hemicraniectomy? 
Background and Purpose
Malignant middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction is estimated to occur in 10% of ischemic strokes, but few patients undergo decompressive hemicraniectomy, a proven therapy. We determined the proportion of ischemic stroke patients without significant baseline disability with large MCA infarction who would have been potentially eligible for hemicraniectomy in an era before publication of recent hemicraniectomy trials.
Ischemic stroke cases that occurred in 2005 among residents of the five-county Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area were ascertained. Two study physicians reviewed all clinical and neuroimaging data for patients with baseline modified Rankin Score (mRS) <2, age ≥18 years with NIHSS ≥10. Large MCA infarction was defined as >50% of the MCA territory or >145mL on diffusion-weighted MRI. Other eligibility criteria for hemicraniectomy, based on the pooled analysis of recent clinical trials, were age 18–60 years and NIHSS >15.
Of 2227 ischemic strokes, 39(1.8%) with baseline mRS <2 had large MCA infarction. None underwent hemicraniectomy, and 16(41.0%) died within 30 days. Six patients (0.3% of all ischemic strokes) were potentially eligible for hemicraniectomy; one died within 30 days.
Based on criteria from clinical trials, only 0.3% of cases were eligible for hemicraniectomy. Given the survival and functional outcome benefit in treated patients, future studies should determine whether additional subgroups of ischemic stroke patients may benefit from hemicraniectomy.
PMCID: PMC3265663  PMID: 22034001
decompressive surgery; stroke care; epidemiology
9.  Results of Surgical and Nonsurgical Treatment of Aneurysms in a Developing Country 
Stroke Research and Treatment  2011;2011:560831.
Background. The impact of invasive methods of treatment on results in developing countries may differ from that in developed countries. Methods. This is a prospective clinical study of consecutive patients with Subarachnoid Haemorrhage (SAH) admitted to the Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad during the period from 2005 to 2009. The initial diagnosis and investigations were carried out by neurologists. The patients were divided into two groups. One received surgical treatment whilst the other group was managed medically. The decision as to the choice of the method of treatment was made by the neurosurgeons. The initial medical treatment was standardised for all the patients. The rate of complications and mortality was compared in both medical and surgical groups. Results. 120 SAH patients (52% females) with a mean age of 50.6 ± 7 years were evaluated. The angiography revealed the presence of an aneurysm in 62 patients. 63.5% of the patients received medical treatment and 37.5% underwent aneurysmal surgery. Difference of rebleeding rate in the two therapeutic groups was not significant; X2 = .014, P = .91. The effect of rebleeding on mortality was not significant; X2 = 2.54, P = .14. Within 62 SAH patients with cerebral aneurysm, the mortality rate in both therapeutic groups was also not significantly different; X2 = .16, P = .77. Conclusion. There is no significant difference in the mortality rate between the “surgical” and non-“surgical” groups of Iranian patients with SAH. This could be due to delay in performance of surgery in Iranian neurovascular centers.
PMCID: PMC3137994  PMID: 21776362
10.  Results of Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatment of Aneurysms in Iran 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2011;6(4):136-139.
Direct surgery or endovascular procedures are an accepted way of treating patients with Aneurismal Subarachnoid Haemorrhage (SAH). However the impact of invasive methods of treatment on results in developing countries may differ from that in developed countries.
This is a prospective clinical study of consecutive patients with Subarachnoid Haemorrhage (SAH) admitted in Ghaem hospital in Mashhad during 2005-2010. The initial diagnosis and investigations were carried out by neurologists. The patients were divided into two groups. One received surgical treatment whilst the other group was managed medically. The decision as to the choice of method of treatment was made by the neurosurgeons. The initial medical treatment was standardised for all the patients. The rate of complications and mortality was compared in both medical and surgical groups.
20 SAH patients (52% females) with a mean age of 50.6±7 years were evaluated. The angiography revealed the presence of an aneurysm in 62 patients. 63.5% of patients received medical treatment and 37.5% underwent aneurysmal surgery. Difference of rebleeding rate in two therapeutic groups was not significant; χ2=0.014, P=0.91. The effect of rebleeding on mortality was not significant; χ2=2.54, P=0.14. Within 62 SAH patients with cerebral aneurysm, the mortality rate in both therapeutic groups was also not significantly different; χ2=0.16, P=0.77.
There is no significant difference in the mortality rate between the “surgical” and non “surgical” groups of patients with SAH. This could be due to delay in performance of surgery in neurovascular centers in Iran.
PMCID: PMC3347835  PMID: 22577431
Mortality; Subarachnoid; Surgery; Haemorrhage.
11.  Does a History of Migraine Affect the Rate of Thrombolysis in Young Stroke Patients? 
Stroke Research and Treatment  2013;2013:351064.
Background. Migraine is prevalent in young patients and a frequent stroke mimic. To distinguish stroke mimics from true stroke can be difficult, and there is a possibility of misdiagnosing a stroke as a migrainous attack in patients with migraine. We aimed to investigate if a history of migraine affects the rate of thrombolytic therapy in young stroke patients. Methods. All patients below 50 years of age admitted in the period 2006–2013 to the Bergen Stroke Centre with acute ischaemic stroke were included. The rate of thrombolytic therapy in patients with migraine was compared to patients with no history of migraine. A multivariate analysis was performed to adjust confounding factors. Results. A total of 170 young stroke patients were enrolled, 49 with migraine and 121 with no migraine. In total, 10.2% of young patients with migraine received thrombolytic therapy, compared with 26.5% of young patients with nomigraine (P = 0.02). Migraine was associated with a low rate of thrombolytic therapy when adjusting for possible confounding factors (OR 0.19 CI: 0.05–0.72, P = 0.02). Conclusion. Migraine is associated with a low rate of thrombolytic therapy in young patients admitted with acute ischaemic stroke. Migraine patients admitted with acute ischaemic stroke are at risk of maltreatment.
PMCID: PMC3848383  PMID: 24349822
12.  Plasma brain natriuretic peptide as a surrogate marker for cardioembolic stroke 
BMC Neurology  2008;8:45.
Cardioembolic stroke generally results in more severe disability, since it typically has a larger ischemic area than the other types of ischemic stroke. However, it is difficult to differentiate cardioembolic stroke from non-cardioembolic stroke (atherothrombotic stroke and lacunar stroke). In this study, we evaluated the levels of plasma brain natriuretic peptide in acute ischemic stroke patients with cardioembolic stroke or non-cardioembolic stroke, and assessed the prediction factors of plasma brain natriuretic peptide and whether we could differentiate between stroke subtypes on the basis of plasma brain natriuretic peptide concentrations in addition to patient's clinical variables.
Our patient cohort consisted of 131 consecutive patients with acute cerebral infarction who were admitted to Kagawa University School of Medicine Hospital from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2007. The mean age of patients (43 females, 88 males) was 69.6 ± 10.1 years. Sixty-two patients had cardioembolic stroke; the remaining 69 patients had non-cardioembolic stroke (including atherothrombotic stroke, lacunar stroke, or the other). Clinical variables and the plasma brain natriuretic peptide were evaluated in all patients.
Plasma brain natriuretic peptide was linearly associated with atrial fibrillation, heart failure, chronic renal failure, and left atrial diameter, independently (F4,126 = 27.6, p < 0.0001; adjusted R2 = 0.45). Furthermore, atrial fibrillation, mitral regurgitation, plasma brain natriuretic peptide (> 77 pg/ml), and left atrial diameter (> 36 mm) were statistically significant independent predictors of cardioembolic stroke in the multivariable setting (Χ2 = 127.5, p < 0.001).
It was suggested that cardioembolic stroke was strongly predicted with atrial fibrillation and plasma brain natriuretic peptide. Plasma brain natriuretic peptide can be a surrogate marker for cardioembolic stroke.
PMCID: PMC2621245  PMID: 19077217
13.  Enteroviruses in Acute Myocardial Infarction 
Human enteroviruses (EVs) may have a role as a possible risk factor in the pathogenesis of MI. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of enterovirus genomic RNA in peripheral blood samples of patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI).
We investigated the presence of enterovirus genomic RNA in the peripheral blood of 115 patients with acute MI hospitalized in the Coronary Care Unit of Imam Reza and Ghaem University Hospitals (Mashhad, Iran) by RT-PCR using the virus specific primers.
The subjects’ mean (±SD) age was 63.5 (±9.4) years (range: 38–82) and 38.3 % of the subjects were female. Of 115 patient specimens, 3 (2.6%) were positive in RT-PCR.
The prevalence of enterovirus in MI patients is considerable. More investigations are needed to determine the causal role of enteroviruses in MI.
PMCID: PMC3469030  PMID: 23113227
Myocardial infarction; Enteroviruses; Polymerase chain reaction
14.  Cognitive profile in patients with a first-ever lacunar infarct with and without silent lacunes: a comparative study 
BMC Neurology  2013;13:203.
The detection of early neuropsychological abnormalities as precursors of cognitive decline of vascular origin in patients with lacunar stroke is a subject of increasing interest. The objective of this study was to assess whether there were differences in the performance of a battery of neuropsychological tests in first-ever lacunar stroke patients with and without associated silent multiple lacunar infarctions found incidentally on the brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.
A total of 72 consecutive patients with first-ever lacunar infarction were studied 1 month after stroke. All patients underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, which included the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT), Phonetic Verbal Fluency Test (PMR), Semantic Verbal Fluency Test (category “animals”), Digit Span Forward and Backward from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-III), and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).
A total of 38 patients (52.7%) had silent multiple lacunar infarcts, with corona radiata as the most frequent topography (P < 0.023). White matter hyperintensities (leukoaraiosis) were observed in 81.1% of patients with silent multiple lacunar infarcts and in 50% with a single lacunar infarction (P < 0.007). Patients in both groups showed similar scores in the MMSE, but those with associated silent lacunar infarctions showed a poorer performance in the semantic fluency test (P < 0.008) and in short delayed verbal memory (P < 0.001). In both cases, however, leukoaraiosis was not statistically significant in multivariate linear regression models adjusted by confounding covariates. In these models, multiple silent lacunar infarctions and education were independent predictors of poor performance in the semantic fluency test and in short delayed verbal memory.
The presence of silent multiple lacunar infarctions documented on brain MRI scans in patients with first-ever lacunar stroke was associated with mild neuropsychological abnormalities, particularly in the performance of executive functions (semantic fluency) and short delayed verbal memory. According to these findings, in the initial stages of small vessel disease, mild neuropsychological abnormalities appear to be related to lacunes rather than to leukoaraiosis or perivascular hyperintensities of vascular cause.
PMCID: PMC3866944  PMID: 24341857
California verbal learning test; Lacunar infarction; Neuropsychological abnormalities; MRI; Semantic fluency; Silent multiple lacunar infarctions; Vascular cognitive impairment
15.  Prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus Genotypes in Mashhad, Northeast Iran 
Hepatitis C is a disease with significant global impact. The distribution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes in Mashhad (the Northeast and the biggest city after the capital of Iran) is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of HCV genotypes among HCV seropositive patients, and to study the relationship between types, virologic and demographic features of patients in Mashhad.
Three hundred and eighty-two clinical specimens obtained from HCV-infected patients referred to Ghaem Hospital in Mashhad during a period of 2009 to 2010 were selected. HCV genotype was determined by Nested PCR amplification of HCV core gene using genotype specific primers.
Totally, 299 patients were male (79.9%). The most common HCV genotype was genotype 3a, with 150 (40%) of subjects. Genotype 1a was the other frequent genotype, with 147(39.2%) subjects. Frequency of genotypes for 1b, 5 and 2 was 41(10.9%), 13(3.4%) and 9(2.4%), respectively. Mix genotype including 1a+1b in 4 (1.04%), 1a+3a in 3 (0.8%) was found in 7 patients. Four percent out of these samples had an undetermined genotype. Among the hemophilia patient, there were 13(48.1%) genotypes as 1a, 3(11.1%) 1b and 10(37%) 3a, respectively.
The dominant HCV genotype among patients living in Mashhad was 3a. This study gives added evidence of the predominant HCV genotypes in Iran.
PMCID: PMC3494216  PMID: 23193507
HCV; Genotyping; Nested PCR; Iran
16.  Dobutamine stress cardiovascular magnetic resonance at 3 Tesla 
The assessment of inducible wall motion abnormalities during high-dose dobutamine-stress cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DCMR) is well established for the identification of myocardial ischemia at 1.5 Tesla. Its feasibility at higher field strengths has not been reported. The present study was performed to prospectively determine the feasibility and diagnostic accuracy of DCMR at 3 Tesla for depicting hemodynamically significant coronary artery stenosis (≥ 50% diameter stenosis) in patients with suspected or known coronary artery disease (CAD).
Materials and methods
Thirty consecutive patients (6 women) (66 ± 9.3 years) were scheduled for DCMR between January and May 2007 for detection of coronary artery disease. Patients were examined with a Philips Achieva 3 Tesla system (Philips Healthcare, Best, The Netherlands), using a spoiled gradient echo cine sequence. Technical parameters were: spatial resolution 2 × 2 × 8 mm3, 30 heart phases, spoiled gradient echo TR/TE: 4.5/2.6 msec, flip angle 15°. Images were acquired at rest and stress in accordance with a standardized high-dose dobutamine-atropine protocol during short breath-holds in three short and three long-axis views. Dobutamine was administered using a standard protocol (10 μg increments every 3 minutes up to 40 μg dobutamine/kg body weight/minute plus atropine if required to reach target heart rate). The study protocol included administration of 0.1 mmol/kg/body weight Gd-DTPA before the cine images at rest were acquired to improve the image quality. The examination was terminated if new or worsening wall-motion abnormalities or chest pain occurred or when > 85% of age-predicted maximum heart rate was reached. Myocardial ischemia was defined as new onset of wall-motion abnormality in at least one segment. In addition, late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) was performed. Images were evaluated by two blinded readers. Diagnostic accuracy was determined with coronary angiography as the reference standard. Image quality and wall-motion at rest and maximum stress level were evaluated using a four-point scale.
In 27 patients DCMR was performed successfully, no patient had to be excluded due to insufficient image quality. Twenty-two patients were examined by coronary angiography, which depicted significant stenosis in 68.2% of the patients. Patient-based sensitivity and specificity were 80.0% and 85.7% respectively and accuracy was 81.8%. Interobserver variability for assessment of wall motion abnormalities was 88% (κ = 0.760; p < 0.0001). Negative and positive predictive values were 66.7% and 92.3%, respectively. No significant differences in average image quality at rest versus stress for short or long-axis cine images were found.
High-dose DCMR at 3T is feasible and an accurate method to depict significant coronary artery stenosis in patients with suspected or known CAD.
PMCID: PMC2572055  PMID: 18844984
17.  Stroke in chronic kidney disease 
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with a higher risk for stroke in studies from developed countries. This prospective study was conducted to study the clinical profile, management, and outcome of stroke in patients of chronic kidney disease who had been admitted in our institute during the period from December 2004 to December 2006. A higher incidence of stroke was found in men and in the fifth decade of life. Hypertension and diabetes were found in 88.8 and 48.1% of the patients respectively. CKD was detected for the first time during stroke evaluation in 55.5% of the patients. Stroke was due to cerebral infarction in 48.14% and due to cerebral hemorrhage in 40.7% of the patients. Surgical intervention was needed in 14.8% of all patients while stroke was managed medically in the rest. Over 70% of the patients were discharged after they showed improvement in the symptoms.
PMCID: PMC2845195  PMID: 20352003
Chronic kidney disease; stroke; hypertension; diabetes
18.  Comorbidities of Migraine 
Migraine is a common neurological disorder and can be severely disabling during attacks. The highest prevalence occurs between the ages of 25 and 55 years, potentially the most productive period of life. Migraine leads to a burden not only for the individual, but also for the family and society in general. Prior studies have found that migraine occurs together with other illnesses at a greater coincidental rate than is seen in the general population. These occurrences are called “comorbidities,” which means that these disorders are interrelated with migraine. To delineate the comorbidities of migraine is important, because it can help improve treatment strategies and the understanding of the possible pathophysiology of migraine. The comorbid illnesses in patients with migraine include stroke, sub-clinical vascular brain lesions, coronary heart disease, hypertension, patent foramen ovale, psychiatric diseases (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, and suicide), restless legs syndrome, epilepsy and asthma. In this paper, we review the existing epidemiological and hospital-based studies, and illustrate the connections between these illnesses and migraine.
PMCID: PMC3008936  PMID: 21188255
migraine; cerebrovascular disorder; depression; anxiety; comorbidity
19.  Treatment of acute middle cerebral artery occlusion with a Solitaire AB stent: preliminary experience 
The British Journal of Radiology  2010;83(996):1017-1022.
We report our initial experience with a Solitaire AB neurovascular remodeling stent device in performing cerebral embolectomy in seven patients presenting to our institution with acute stroke who were resistant to iv thrombolytic drug treatment. The main inclusion criteria were: National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score ≥10; treatment performed within 8 h from the onset of symptoms and no large hypodensity on CT; and occlusion of a major cerebral artery on the CT angiogram. An admission and a post-interventional NIHSS score were calculated for all patients by two different neurologists. Efficacy was assessed radiologically by post-treatment thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) scores and clinically by a 30-day Modified Rankin Scale (MRS) score. The mean duration of neurointerventional treatment was 84 min. All interventions were successful, with TIMI scores of 2 or 3 achieved in 100% of patients. There was one procedural complication in our series owing to a self-detached stent and one patient had a small asymptomatic basal ganglia haemorrhage. There was improvement of more than 4 points on the NIHSS score in 5 (72%) of the patients following treatment, of whom 4 (57%) had a 30-day MRS score of ≤2. The use of a Solitaire stent in acute stroke was safe, time-efficient and encouraging; however, a larger sample size will be required to further evaluate the use of this device, which could benefit a significant number of stroke patients.
PMCID: PMC3473619  PMID: 21088087
20.  Correlation of Brain Biomarker Neuron Specific Enolase (NSE) with Degree of Disability and Neurological Worsening in Cerebrovascular Stroke 
Stroke is the third major cause of death and foremost cause of disability worldwide. Cerebrovascular stroke remains largely a clinical diagnosis. The use of biomarkers in diagnosing stroke and assessing prognosis is an emerging and rapidly evolving field. The study aimed to investigate the predictive value of neurobiochemical marker of brain damage (neuron-specific enolase [NSE]) with respect to degree of disability at the time of admission and neurological worsening in acute ischemic stroke patients. We investigated 150 patients with cerebrovascular stroke who were admitted within 72 h of onset of stroke in the Department of Neurology at SAIMS. Venous blood samples were taken after admission and NSE was analyzed by solid enzyme linked immunosorbent assay using Analyzer and microplate reader from Biored: Code 680. In all patients, the neurological status was evaluated by a standardized neurological examination and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale on admission and on day 7. Serum NSE concentration was found to significantly correlate with both degree of disability and neurological worsening in acute ischemic stroke cases in the present study. The maximum serum NSE level within 72 h of admission was significantly higher in patients with greater degree of disability at the time of admission. Serum NSE levels were also found to be significantly elevated in patients with bad neurological outcome. Our study showed that serum NSE has high predictive value for determining severity and early neurobehavioral outcome after acute stroke.
PMCID: PMC3358374  PMID: 23542317
Ischemic stroke; Neuron specific enolase (NSE); National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS); Degree of disability; Neurological worsening
21.  Epidemiology of non-fatal cerebrovascular stroke and transient ischemic attacks in Al Quseir, Egypt 
Background and purpose
Stroke is a medical emergency that can cause permanent neurological damage, complications, and disability. We aim to determine the epidemiology of non-fatal cerebrovascular stroke (CVS) and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) in Al Quseir City, Red Sea, Egypt.
The total population (n=33,285) was screened through a door to door study by three specialists of neurology and 15 female social workers (for demographic data collection). All suspected stroke patients were subjected to a full clinical examination, computerized tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of their brain, blood sugar, lipogram, serum uric acid, complete blood cells, blood urea, and serum creatinine, as well as evaluated by Barthel Index and Scandinavian Stroke Scale. Carotid doppler, echocardiography, and thyroid functions were done for selected cases.
CVS was recorded among 130 patients out of 19,848 subjects aged 20 years and more, yielding a total prevalence of 6.55/1,000 population. From June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2011, 36 patients were recorded to have stroke within 1-year, yielding an incidence rate of 1.81/1,000. Prevalence and incidence rates were higher among males than females, and both indices increased steadily with advancing age to reach the highest prevalence (37.02/1,000) and incidence rate (9.5/1,000) among aged persons 60 years and more.
The prevalence of non-fatal stroke in Al Quseir city (6.55/1,000) was at the lower range of that recorded in developing countries (5–10/1,000) and slightly higher than that recorded in industrialized countries (5/1,000 population). Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke. The prevalence of TIAs was 0.15/1,000.
PMCID: PMC3839683  PMID: 24293992
stroke; TIAs; epidemiology; Egypt
22.  Two Young Patients with Stroke in Conjunction with Migraineus Headache 
The Open Neurology Journal  2010;4:111-116.
In adults, migraine with aura is considered to be a risk factor for stroke, especially when other risk factors exist. However, the relationship between migraine with aura and risk of cerebral infarct in children has not been well established and requires further study. We describe four young patients who suffered from migraine with aura and focal neurological deficits. All four patients had migraine with aura and focal neurological deficits associated with headaches. Two of the four young patients had cerebral infarct during their migraine headaches. Detailed investigation did not reveal the etiology of the cerebral infarct in these two adolescents. No risk factor for stroke was apparent in any of the four patients and no specific risk factor or reliable clinical feature could be used to identify these young patients at risk for irreversible cerebral ischemia. Thus, our observations provide support that there may be an association between migraine with aura and risk of stroke in children. We, therefore, advocate aggressive treatment using prophylactic agents to prevent migraine attacks in children suffering from migraine with aura, especially when auras are prolonged.
PMCID: PMC3043275  PMID: 21347214
Migraine with aura; children; risk factors; stroke; vasospasm.
23.  Diagnosis and Rehabilitation of Visual Field Defects in Stroke Patients: A Retrospective Audit 
Visual field defects (VFD) after stroke can cause significant disability and reduction in quality of life. Adequate diagnosis of VFD and referral to visual rehabilitation are important to improve outcome. Our aim was to conduct a retrospective clinical audit to investigate how neurologists detect and follow up VFD in stroke patients in a university hospital in Norway.
All patients registered in the Bergen NORSTROKE Registry from February 2006 to May 2009 with (1) occipital lobe infarctions and (2) non-occipital infarction and clinically detected VFD were included in the study. Their medical records were reviewed for referral to perimetry for examination of VFD and for referral to a visual rehabilitation program within the first year after brain injury.
Of 353 patients, 34 (9.6%) were referred to perimetry and 8 (2.3%) to visual rehabilitation. Patients referred to perimetry were younger (65.1 vs. 74.7 years, p < 0.001), had lower modified Rankin Scale scores (2.53 vs. 3.47, p = 0.003), and scored lower on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale upon admission (6.68 vs. 13.90, p < 0.001). Men were more often referred to perimetry than women (73.5 vs. 26.5%, p < 0.001), and those referred were younger (61.2 vs. 75.8 years, p = 0.03).
Only few patients were referred to perimetry, and even fewer were offered visual rehabilitation. Age and gender were negative predictors for referral. Neurologists’ awareness of the significant disability related to VFD must be increased. Focused diagnostics on visual impairment and early referral to a visual rehabilitation program should be mandatory in stroke unit services.
PMCID: PMC3468812  PMID: 23060894
Brain injury; Disability; Visual field defect; Visual rehabilitation
24.  Risk of recurrent stroke in patients with silent brain infarction in the PRoFESS Imaging Substudy 
Background and Purpose
Silent brain infarctions are associated with an increased risk of stroke in healthy individuals. Risk of recurrent stroke in patients with both symptomatic and silent brain infarction (SBI) has only been investigated in patients with cardioembolic stroke in the European Atrial Fibrillation Trial. We assessed whether patients with recent non-cardioembolic stroke and SBI detected on MRI are at increased risk for recurrent stroke, other cardiovascular events, and mortality.
The prevalence of SBI detected on MRI was assessed in 1014 patients enrolled in the imaging substudy of the Prevention Regimen for Effectively Avoiding Second Strokes (PRoFESS) trial. The primary outcome was first recurrence of stroke in patients with both symptomatic stroke and SBI in comparison with age and sex matched stroke patients without SBI. Secondary outcomes were a combined vascular endpoint, other vascular events and mortality. The two groups were compared using conditional logistic regression.
Silent brain infarction was detected in 207 (20.4%) patients of the 1014 patients. Twenty-seven (13.0%) patients with SBI and 19 (9.2%) without SBI had a recurrent stroke (odds ratio 1.42, 95% confidence interval 0.79 to 2.56; p=0.24) during a mean follow-op of 2.5 years. Similarly, there was no statistically significant difference for all secondary outcome parameters between patients with SBI and matched patients without SBI.
The presence of SBI in patients with recent mild non-cardioembolic ischemic stroke could not be shown to be an independent risk factor for recurrent stroke, other vascular events, or a higher mortality.
PMCID: PMC3266606  PMID: 22267825
Cerebral infarction; silent brain infarction; ischemic stroke; magnetic resonance imaging; mortality
25.  Evaluation of Oral Tiazinidine Effects on [intraoperative] Hemodynamic Responses During Direct Laryngoscopy Under General Anesthesia 
Direct laryngoscopy and tracheal intubation can result in blood pressure and heart rate increase which in turn may lead to myocardial ischemia, cerebral hemorrhage, and even death in susceptible patients. Tizanidine is α2-receptor agonists that suppresses central sympathetic system.
This study evaluates the effects of oral Tizanidine on hemodynamic responses during operations and aims to determine the appropriate Propofol dosage to maintain anesthesia under BIS monitoring.
Materials and Methods
A double-blind clinical trial has been performed on 70 candidates for elective abdominal surgery undergoing general anesthesia in Educational Hospital of Ghaem, Mashhad, Iran. 35 randomly selected patients (the case group) were given 4 mg of oral Tizanidine 90 minutes before the induction of anesthesia whereas the remaining subjects (the control group) were given placebo. Blood pressure and heart rate before and after induction of anesthesia, and after intubation and extubation, existence of postoperative shivering, and the needed Propofol dosage were measured and recorded. Data analysis was done with T-test and Chi-squared test, using SPSS software version 16.
Variations of blood pressure and heart rate after anesthesia induction, intubation and extubation were less in Tizanidine group generally. Postoperative shivering was reported in 28.6% and 11.4% of patients in control and case group respectively. Average propofol needed dose for anesthesia maintenance in case group was 25% less than the needed amount in the control group.
Using oral Tizanidine as a premedication, yielded stability in blood pressure and heart rate during surgery and decreased required Propofol. Considering its short duration of action, Tizanidine use as a premedication is recommended for sedation and stabilization of hemodynamic responses during the operations.
PMCID: PMC3871739  PMID: 24396571
Tizanidine; Hemodynamic; Propofol; Premedication

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