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1.  Can the FAST and ROSIER adult stroke recognition tools be applied to confirmed childhood arterial ischemic stroke? 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:93.
Background
Stroke recognition tools have been shown to improve diagnostic accuracy in adults. Development of a similar tool in children is needed to reduce lag time to diagnosis. A critical first step is to determine whether adult stoke scales can be applied in childhood stroke.
Our objective was to assess the applicability of adult stroke scales in childhood arterial ischemic stroke (AIS)
Methods
Children aged 1 month to < 18 years with radiologically confirmed acute AIS who presented to a tertiary emergency department (ED) (2003 to 2008) were identified retrospectively. Signs, symptoms, risk factors and initial management were extracted. Two adult stroke recognition tools; ROSIER (Recognition of Stroke in the Emergency Room) and FAST (Face Arm Speech Test) scales were applied retrospectively to all patients to determine test sensitivity.
Results
47 children with AIS were identified. 34 had anterior, 12 had posterior and 1 child had anterior and posterior circulation infarcts. Median age was 9 years and 51% were male. Median time from symptom onset to ED presentation was 21 hours but one third of children presented within 6 hours. The most common presenting stroke symptoms were arm (63%), face (62%), leg weakness (57%), speech disturbance (46%) and headache (46%). The most common signs were arm (61%), face (70%) or leg weakness (57%) and dysarthria (34%). 36 (78%) of children had at least one positive variable on FAST and 38 (81%) had a positive score of ≥1 on the ROSIER scale. Positive scores were less likely in children with posterior circulation stroke.
Conclusion
The presenting features of pediatric stroke appear similar to adult strokes. Two adult stroke recognition tools have fair to good sensitivity in radiologically confirmed childhood AIS but require further development and modification. Specificity of the tools also needs to be determined in a prospective cohort of children with stroke and non-stroke brain attacks.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-11-93
PMCID: PMC3214127  PMID: 22014183
Stroke; stroke recognition tools; FAST; ROSIER; child; emergency department
2.  The use of Cincinnati prehospital stroke scale during telephone dispatch interview increases the accuracy in identifying stroke and transient ischemic attack symptoms 
Background
Timely and appropriate hospital treatment of acute cerebrovascular diseases (stroke and Transient Ischemic Attacks - TIA) improves patient outcomes. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) dispatchers who can identify cerebrovascular disease symptoms during telephone requests for emergency service also contribute to these improved outcomes. The Italian Ministry of Health issued guidelines on the management of AC patients in pre-hospital emergency service, including Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale (CPSS) use.
We measured the sensitivity and Positive Predictive Value (PPV) of EMS dispatchers’ ability to recognize stroke/TIA symptoms and evaluated whether the CPSS improves accuracy.
Methods
A cross-sectional multicentre study was conducted to collect data from 38 Italian emergency operative centres on all cases identified with stroke/TIA symptoms at the time of dispatch and all cases with stroke/TIA symptoms identified on the scene by the ambulance personnel from November 2010 to May 2011.
Results
The study included 21760 cases: 18231 with stroke/TIA symptoms at dispatch and 9791 with symptoms confirmed on the scene. The PPV of the dispatch stroke/TIA symptoms identification was 34.3% (95% CI 33.7-35.0; 6262/18231) and the sensitivity was 64.0% (95% CI 63.0-64.9; 6262/9791). Centres using CPSS more often (>10% of cases) had both higher PPV (56%; CI 95% 57–60 vs 18%; CI 95% 17–19) and higher sensitivity (71%; CI 95% 87–89 vs 52%; CI 95% 51–54).
In the multivariate regression a centre’s CPSS use was associated with PPV (beta 0.48 p = 0.014) and negatively associated with sensitivity (beta -0.36; p = 0.063); centre sensitivity was associated with CPSS (beta 0.32; p = 0.002), adjusting for PPV.
Conclusions
Centres that use CPSS more frequently during phone dispatch showed greater agreement with on-the-scene prehospital assessments, both in correctly identifying more cases with stroke/TIA symptoms and in giving fewer false positives for non-stroke/TIA cases. Our study shows an extreme variability in the performance among OCs, highlighting that form many centres there is room for improvement in both sensitivity and positive predictive value of the dispatch. Our results should be used for benchmarking proposals in the effort to identify best practices across the country.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-513
PMCID: PMC3867422  PMID: 24330761
Cincinnati Prehospital stroke scale; Emergency medical system; Stroke; TIA; Stroke and/or TIA symptoms
3.  Prehospital stroke diagnostics based on neurological examination and transcranial ultrasound 
Background
Transcranial color-coded sonography (TCCS) has proved to be a fast and reliable tool for the detection of middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusions in a hospital setting. In this feasibility study on prehospital sonography, our aim was to investigate the accuracy of TCCS for neurovascular emergency diagnostics when performed in a prehospital setting using mobile ultrasound equipment as part of a neurological examination.
Methods
Following a ‘911 stroke code’ call, stroke neurologists experienced in TCCS rendezvoused with the paramedic team. In patients with suspected stroke, TCCS examination including ultrasound contrast agents was performed. Results were compared with neurovascular imaging (CTA, MRA) and the final discharge diagnosis from standard patient-centered stroke care.
Results
We enrolled ‘232 stroke code’ patients with follow-up data available in 102 patients with complete TCCS examination. A diagnosis of ischemic stroke was made in 73 cases; 29 patients were identified as ‘stroke mimics’. MCA occlusion was diagnosed in ten patients, while internal carotid artery (ICA) occlusion/high-grade stenosis leading to reversal of anterior cerebral artery flow was diagnosed in four patients. The initial working diagnosis ‘any stroke’ showed a sensitivity of 94% and a specificity of 48%. ‘Major MCA or ICA stroke’ diagnosed by mobile ultrasound showed an overall sensitivity of 78% and specificity of 98%.
Conclusions
The study demonstrates the feasibility and high diagnostic accuracy of emergency transcranial ultrasound assessment combined with neurological examinations for major ischemic stroke. Future combination with telemedical support, point-of-care analysis of blood serum markers, and probability algorithms of prehospital stroke diagnosis including ultrasound may help to speed up stroke treatment.
doi:10.1186/2036-7902-6-3
PMCID: PMC3996057  PMID: 24572006
Acute stroke; Emergency medicine; Prehospital diagnostics; Transcranial neurosonography; Mobile health unit
4.  Comparative Evaluation of Stroke Triage Algorithms for Emergency Medical Dispatchers (MeDS): Prospective Cohort Study Protocol 
BMC Neurology  2011;11:14.
Background
Stroke is a major cause of death and leading cause of disability in the United States. To maximize a stroke patient's chances of receiving thrombolytic treatment for acute ischemic stroke, it is important to improve prehospital recognition of stroke. However, it is known from published reports that emergency medical dispatchers (EMDs) using Card 28 of the Medical Priority Dispatch System protocols recognize stroke poorly. Therefore, to improve EMD's recognition of stroke, the National Association of Emergency Medical Dispatchers recently designed a new diagnostic stroke tool (Cincinnati Stroke Scale -CSS) to be used with Card 28. The objective of this study is to determine whether the addition of CSS improves diagnostic accuracy of stroke triage.
Methods/Design
This prospective experimental study will be conducted during a one-year period in the 911 call center of Santa Clara County, CA. We will include callers aged ≥ 18 years with a chief complaint suggestive of stroke and second party callers (by-stander or family who are in close proximity to the patient and can administer the tool) ≥ 18 years of age. Life threatening calls will be excluded from the study. Card 28 questions will be administered to subjects who meet study criteria. After completion of Card 28, CSS tool will be administered to all calls. EMDs will record their initial assessment of a cerebro-vascular accident (stroke) after completion of Card 28 and their final assessment after completion of CSS. These assessments will be compared with the hospital discharge diagnosis (ICD-9 codes) recorded in the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) database after linking the EMD database and OSHPD database using probabilistic linkage. The primary analysis will compare the sensitivity of the two stroke protocols using logistic regression and generalizing estimating equations to account for clustering by EMDs. To detect a 15% difference in sensitivity between the two groups with 80% power, we will enroll a total of 370 subjects in this trial.
Discussion
A three week pilot study was performed which demonstrated the feasibility of implementation of the study protocol.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-11-14
PMCID: PMC3042392  PMID: 21272365
5.  How accurate is the reporting of stroke in hospital discharge data? A pilot validation study using a population-based stroke registry as control 
Journal of Neurology  2012;260(2):605-613.
Population-based stroke registries can provide valid stroke incidence because they ensure exhaustiveness of case ascertainment. However, their results are difficult to extrapolate because they cover a small population. The French Hospital Discharge Database (FHDDB), which routinely collects administrative data, could be a useful tool for providing data on the nationwide burden of stroke. The aim of our pilot study was to assess the validity of stroke diagnosis reported in the FHDDB. All records of patients with a diagnosis of stroke between 2004 and 2008 were retrieved from the FHDDB of Dijon Teaching Hospital. The Dijon Stroke Registry was considered as the gold standard. The sensitivity, positive predictive value (PPV), and weighted kappa were calculated. The Dijon Stroke Registry identified 811 patients with a stroke, among whom 186 were missed by the FHDDB and thus considered false-negatives. The FHDDB identified 903 patients discharged following a stroke including 625 true-positives confirmed by the registry and 278 false-positives. The overall sensitivity and PPV of the FHDDB for the diagnosis of stroke were, respectively, 77.1 % (95 % CI 74.2–80) and 69.2 % (95 % CI 66.1–72.2). For cardioembolic and lacunar strokes, the FHDDB yielded higher PPVs (respectively 86.7 and 84.6 %; p < 0.0001) than those of other stroke subtypes. The PPV but not sensitivity significantly increased over the years (p < 0.0001). Agreement with the stroke registry was moderate (kappa 52.8; 95 % CI 46.8–58.9). The FHDDB-based stroke diagnosis showed moderate validity compared with the Dijon Stroke Registry as the gold standard. However, its accuracy (PPV) increased with time and was higher for some stroke subtypes.
doi:10.1007/s00415-012-6686-0
PMCID: PMC3566387  PMID: 23076827
Stroke; Registry; Hospital discharge data; Validation; Administrative data
6.  Combination of lung ultrasound (a comet-tail sign) and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide in differentiating acute heart failure from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma as cause of acute dyspnea in prehospital emergency setting 
Critical Care  2011;15(2):R114.
Introduction
We studied the diagnostic accuracy of bedside lung ultrasound (the presence of a comet-tail sign), N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and clinical assessment (according to the modified Boston criteria) in differentiating heart failure (HF)-related acute dyspnea from pulmonary (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)/asthma)-related acute dyspnea in the prehospital setting.
Methods
Our prospective study was performed at the Center for Emergency Medicine, Maribor, Slovenia, between July 2007 and April 2010. Two groups of patients were compared: a HF-related acute dyspnea group (n = 129) and a pulmonary (asthma/COPD)-related acute dyspnea group (n = 89). All patients underwent lung ultrasound examinations, along with basic laboratory testing, rapid NT-proBNP testing and chest X-rays.
Results
The ultrasound comet-tail sign has 100% sensitivity, 95% specificity, 100% negative predictive value (NPV) and 96% positive predictive value (PPV) for the diagnosis of HF. NT-proBNP (cutoff point 1,000 pg/mL) has 92% sensitivity, 89% specificity, 86% NPV and 90% PPV. The Boston modified criteria have 85% sensitivity, 86% specificity, 80% NPV and 90% PPV. In comparing the three methods, we found significant differences between ultrasound sign and (1) NT-proBNP (P < 0.05) and (2) Boston modified criteria (P < 0.05). The combination of ultrasound sign and NT-proBNP has 100% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 100% NPV and 100% PPV. With the use of ultrasound, we can exclude HF in patients with pulmonary-related dyspnea who have positive NT-proBNP (> 1,000 pg/mL) and a history of HF.
Conclusions
An ultrasound comet-tail sign alone or in combination with NT-proBNP has high diagnostic accuracy in differentiating acute HF-related from COPD/asthma-related causes of acute dyspnea in the prehospital emergency setting.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01235182.
doi:10.1186/cc10140
PMCID: PMC3219397  PMID: 21492424
7.  Feasibility of Prehospital Teleconsultation in Acute Stroke – A Pilot Study in Clinical Routine 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e36796.
Background
Inter-hospital teleconsultation improves stroke care. To transfer this concept into the emergency medical service (EMS), the feasibility and effects of prehospital teleconsultation were investigated.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Teleconsultation enabling audio communication, real-time video streaming, vital data and still picture transmission was conducted between an ambulance and a teleconsultation center. Pre-notification of the hospital was carried out with a 14-item stroke history checklist via e-mail-to-fax. Beside technical assessments possible influences on prehospital and initial in-hospital time intervals, prehospital diagnostic accuracy and the transfer of stroke specific data were investigated by comparing telemedically assisted prehospital care (telemedicine group) with local regular EMS care (control group). All prehospital stroke patients over a 5-month period were included during weekdays (7.30 a.m. –4.00 p.m.). In 3 of 18 missions partial dropouts of the system occurred; neurological co-evaluation via video transmission was conducted in 12 cases. The stroke checklist was transmitted in 14 cases (78%). Telemedicine group (n = 18) vs. control group (n = 47): Prehospital time intervals were comparable, but in both groups the door to brain imaging times were longer than recommended (median 59.5 vs. 57.5 min, p = 0.6447). The prehospital stroke diagnosis was confirmed in 61% vs. 67%, p = 0.8451. Medians of 14 (IQR 9) vs. 5 (IQR 2) stroke specific items were transferred in written form to the in-hospital setting, p<0.0001. In 3 of 10 vs. 5 of 27 patients with cerebral ischemia thrombolytics were administered, p = 0.655.
Conclusions
Teleconsultation was feasible but technical performance and reliability have to be improved. The approach led to better stroke specific information; however, a superiority over regular EMS care was not found and in-hospital time intervals were unacceptably long in both groups. The feasibility of prehospital tele-stroke consultation has future potential to improve emergency care especially when no highly trained personnel are on-scene.
Trial Registration
International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register (ISRCTN) ISRCTN83270177 83270177.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036796
PMCID: PMC3356340  PMID: 22629331
8.  Validation of cross-cultural child mental health and psychosocial research instruments: adapting the Depression Self-Rating Scale and Child PTSD Symptom Scale in Nepal 
BMC Psychiatry  2011;11:127.
Background
The lack of culturally adapted and validated instruments for child mental health and psychosocial support in low and middle-income countries is a barrier to assessing prevalence of mental health problems, evaluating interventions, and determining program cost-effectiveness. Alternative procedures are needed to validate instruments in these settings.
Methods
Six criteria are proposed to evaluate cross-cultural validity of child mental health instruments: (i) purpose of instrument, (ii) construct measured, (iii) contents of construct, (iv) local idioms employed, (v) structure of response sets, and (vi) comparison with other measurable phenomena. These criteria are applied to transcultural translation and alternative validation for the Depression Self-Rating Scale (DSRS) and Child PTSD Symptom Scale (CPSS) in Nepal, which recently suffered a decade of war including conscription of child soldiers and widespread displacement of youth. Transcultural translation was conducted with Nepali mental health professionals and six focus groups with children (n = 64) aged 11-15 years old. Because of the lack of child mental health professionals in Nepal, a psychosocial counselor performed an alternative validation procedure using psychosocial functioning as a criterion for intervention. The validation sample was 162 children (11-14 years old). The Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (K-SADS) and Global Assessment of Psychosocial Disability (GAPD) were used to derive indication for treatment as the external criterion.
Results
The instruments displayed moderate to good psychometric properties: DSRS (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.82, sensitivity = 0.71, specificity = 0.81, cutoff score ≥ 14); CPSS (AUC = 0.77, sensitivity = 0.68, specificity = 0.73, cutoff score ≥ 20). The DSRS items with significant discriminant validity were "having energy to complete daily activities" (DSRS.7), "feeling that life is not worth living" (DSRS.10), and "feeling lonely" (DSRS.15). The CPSS items with significant discriminant validity were nightmares (CPSS.2), flashbacks (CPSS.3), traumatic amnesia (CPSS.8), feelings of a foreshortened future (CPSS.12), and easily irritated at small matters (CPSS.14).
Conclusions
Transcultural translation and alternative validation feasibly can be performed in low clinical resource settings through task-shifting the validation process to trained mental health paraprofessionals using structured interviews. This process is helpful to evaluate cost-effectiveness of psychosocial interventions.
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-11-127
PMCID: PMC3162495  PMID: 21816045
9.  Stroke Statistics in Korea: Part II Stroke Awareness and Acute Stroke Care, A Report from the Korean Stroke Society and Clinical Research Center For Stroke 
Journal of Stroke  2013;15(2):67-77.
The aim of the current Part II of Stroke Statistics in Korea is to summarize nationally representative data on public awareness, pre-hospital delay, thrombolysis, and quality of acute stroke care in a single document. The public's knowledge of stroke definition, risk factors, warning signs, and act on stroke generally remains low. According to studies using open-ended questions, the correct definition of stroke was recognized in less than 50%, hypertension as a stroke risk factor in less than 50%, and other well-defined risk factors in less than 20%. Among stroke warning signs, sudden paresis or numbness was best appreciated, with recognition rates ranging in 36.9-73.7%, but other warning signs including speech disturbance were underappreciated. In addition, less than one third of subjects in a representative population survey were aware of thrombolysis and had knowledge of the appropriate act on stroke, calling emergency medical services (EMS). Despite EMS being an essential element in the stroke chain of survival and outcome improvement, EMS protocols for field stroke diagnosis and prehospital notification for potential stroke patients are not well established. According to the Assessment for Quality of Acute Stroke Care, the median onset-to-door time for patients arriving at the emergency room was 4 hours (mean, 17.3 hours) in 2010, which was not reduced compared to 2005. In contrast, the median door-to-needle time for intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV-TPA) treatment was 55.5 minutes (mean, 79.5 minutes) in 2010, shorter than the median time of 60.0 minutes (mean, 102.8 minutes) in 2008. Of patients with acute ischemic stroke, 7.9% were treated with IV-TPA in 2010, an increase from the 4.6% in 2005. Particularly, IV-TPA use for eligible patients substantially increased, from 21.7% in 2005 to 74.0% in 2010. The proportion of hospitals equipped with a stroke unit has increased from 1.1% in 2005 to 19.4% in 2010. Performance, as measured by quality indicators, has steadily improved since 2005, and the performance rates for most indicators were greater than 90% in 2010 except for early rehabilitation consideration (89.4%) and IV-TPA use for eligible patients (74.0%). In summary, the current report indicates a substantial improvement in in-hospital acute stroke care, but also emphasizes the need for enhancing public awareness and integrating the prehospital EMS system into acute stroke management. This report would be a valuable resource for understanding the current status and implementing initiatives to further improve public awareness of stroke and acute stroke care in Korea.
doi:10.5853/jos.2013.15.2.67
PMCID: PMC3779666  PMID: 24324942
Stroke; Statistics; Public awareness; Acute stroke; Care
10.  An association between systolic blood pressure and stroke among patients with impaired consciousness in out-of-hospital emergency settings 
Background
Stroke is difficult to diagnose when consciousness is disturbed. However few reports have discussed the clinical predictors of stroke in out-of-hospital emergency settings. This study aims to evaluate the association between initial systolic blood pressure (SBP) value measured by emergency medical service (EMS) and diagnosis of stroke among impaired consciousness patients.
Methods
We included all patients aged 18 years or older who were treated and transported by EMS, and had impaired consciousness (Japan Coma Scale ≧ 1) in Osaka City (2.7 million), Japan from January 1, 1998 through December 31, 2007. Data were prospectively collected by EMS personnel using a study-specific case report form. Multiple logistic regressions assessed the relationship between initial SBP and stroke and its subtypes adjusted for possible confounding factors.
Results
During these 10 years, a total of 1,840,784 emergency patients who were treated and transported by EMS were documented during the study period in Osaka City. Out of 128,678 with impaired consciousness, 106,706 who had prehospital SBP measurements in the field were eligible for our analyses. The proportion of patients with severe impaired consciousness significantly increased from 14.5% in the <100 mmHg SBP group to 27.6% in the > =200 mmHg SBP group (P for trend <0.001). The occurrence of stroke significantly increased with increasing SBP (adjusted odd ratio [AOR] 1.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.33 to 1.35), and the AOR of the SBP > =200 mmHg group versus the SBP 101-120 mmHg group was 5.26 (95% CI 4.93 to 5.60). The AOR of the SBP > =200 mmHg group versus the SBP 101-120 mmHg group was 9.76 in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), 16.16 in intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), and 1.52 in ischemic stroke (IS), and the AOR of SAH and ICH was greater than that of IS.
Conclusions
Elevated SBP among emergency patients with impaired consciousness in the field was associated with increased diagnosis of stroke.
doi:10.1186/1471-227X-13-24
PMCID: PMC3878578  PMID: 24341562
Systolic blood pressure; Prehospital; Impaired consciousness
11.  The Child PTSD Symptom Scale: Psychometric Properties in Female Adolescent Sexual Assault Survivors 
Psychological assessment  2012;25(1):23-31.
Traumatic experiences are common among youths and can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In order to identify traumatized children who need PTSD treatment, instruments that can accurately and efficiently evaluate pediatric PTSD are needed. One such measure is the Child PTSD Symptom Scale (CPSS), which has been found to be a reliable and valid measure of PTSD symptom severity in school-age children exposed to natural disasters (Foa, Johnson, Feeny & Treadwell, 2001). However, the psychometric properties of the CPSS are not known in youths who have experienced other types of trauma. The current study aims to fill this gap by examining the psychometric properties of the interview (CPSS-I) and self-report (CPSS-SR) administrations of the CPSS in a sample of 91 female youths with sexual abuse-related PTSD, a population that is targeted in many treatment studies. Scores on both the CPSS-I and CPSS-SR demonstrated good to excellent internal consistency. One week test-retest reliability assessed for CPSS-SR scores was excellent (r = .86); inter-rater reliability of CPSS-I scores was also excellent (r = .87). Symptom-based diagnostic agreement between the CPSS-SR and CPSS-I was excellent at 85.5%; scores on both the CPSS-SR and CPSS-I also demonstrated good convergent validity (74.5–76.5% agreement) with the PTSD module of The Schedule of Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children–Revised for DSM-IV (K-SADS; Kaufman, Birmaher, Brent, & Rao, 1997). The strong psychometric properties of the CPSS render it a valuable instrument for PTSD screening as well as for assessing symptom severity.
doi:10.1037/a0029553
PMCID: PMC3779054  PMID: 22867010
Assessment; posttraumatic stress disorder; adolescent; trauma; measurement
12.  Comparison of revision strategies for failed C2-posterior cervical pedicle screws: a biomechanical study 
European Spine Journal  2012;22(1):46-53.
Study purpose
With increasing usage within challenging biomechanical constructs, failures of C2 posterior cervical pedicle screws (C2-pCPSs) will occur. The purpose of the study was therefore to investigate the biomechanical characteristics of two revision techniques after the failure of C2-pCPSs.
Materials and methods
Twelve human C2 vertebrae were tested in vitro in a biomechanical study to compare two strategies for revision screws after failure of C2-pCPSs. C2 pedicles were instrumented using unicortical 3.5-mm CPS bilaterally (Synapse/Synthes, Switzerland). Insertion accuracy was verified by fluoroscopy. C2 vertebrae were potted and fixed in an electromechanical testing machine with the screw axis coaxial to the pullout direction. Pullout testing was conducted with load and displacement data taken continuously. The peak load to failure was measured in newtons (N) and is reported as the pullout resistance (POR). After pullout, two revision strategies were tested in each vertebra. In Group-1, revision was performed with 4.0-mm C2-pCPSs. In Group-2, revision was performed with C2-pedicle bone-plastic combined with the use of a 4-mm C2-pCPSs. For the statistical analysis, the POR between screws was compared using absolute values (N) and the POR of the revision techniques normalized to that of the primary procedures (%).
Results
The POR of primary 3.5-mm CPSs was 1,140.5 ± 539.6 N for Group-1 and 1,007.7 ± 362.5 N for Group-2; the difference was not significant. In the revision setting, the POR in Group-1 was 705.8 ± 449.1 N, representing a reduction of 38.1 ± 32.9 % compared with that of primary screw fixation. For Group-2, the POR was 875.3 ± 367.9 N, representing a reduction of 13.1 ± 23.4 %. A statistical analysis showed a significantly higher POR for Group-2 compared with Group-1 (p = 0.02). Although the statistics showed a significantly reduced POR for both revision strategies compared with primary fixation (p < 0.001/p = 0.001), the loss of POR (in %) in Group-1 was significantly higher compared with the loss in Group-2 (p = 0.04).
Conclusions
Using a larger-diameter screw combined with the application of a pedicle bone-plastic, the POR can be significantly increased compared with the use of only an increased screw diameter.
doi:10.1007/s00586-012-2461-2
PMCID: PMC3540325  PMID: 22926432
Cervical pedicle screw; Failure; Revision strategy; Biomechanics; Pedicle bone-plastic
13.  The Usefulness of the Kurashiki Prehospital Stroke Scale in Identifying Thrombolytic Candidates in Acute Ischemic Stroke 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2014;55(2):410-416.
Purpose
The severity of a stroke cannot be described by widely used prehospital stroke scales. We investigated the usefulness of the Kurashiki Prehospital Stroke Scale (KPSS) for assessing the severity of stroke, compared to the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), in candidate patients for intravenous or intra-arterial thrombolysis who arrived at the hospital within 6 hours of symptom onset.
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively analyzed a prospective registry database of consecutive patients included in the Emergency Stroke Therapy program. In the emergency department, the KPSS was assessed by emergency medical technicians. A cutoff KPSS score was estimated for candidates of thrombolysis by comparing KPSS and NIHSS scores, as well as for patients who actually received thrombolytic therapy. Clinical outcomes were compared between patients around the estimated cut-off. The independent predictors of outcomes were determined using multivariate logistic regression analysis.
Results
Excellent correlations were demonstrated between KPSS and NIHSS within 6 hours (R=0.869) and 3 hours (R=0.879) of hospital admission. The optimal threshold value was a score of 3 on the KPSS in patients within 3 hours and 6 hours by Youden's methods. Significant associations with a KPSS score ≥3 were revealed for actual intravenous administration of tissue plasminogen activator (IV-tPA) usage [odds ratio (OR) 125.598; 95% confidence interval (CI) 16.443-959.368, p<0.0001] and actual IV-tPA or intra-arterial urokinase (IA-UK) usage (OR 58.733; 95% CI 17.272-199.721, p<0.0001).
Conclusion
The KPSS is an effective prehospital stroke scale for identifying candidates for IV-tPA and IA-UK, as indicated by excellent correlation with the NIHSS, in the assessment of stroke severity in acute ischemic stroke.
doi:10.3349/ymj.2014.55.2.410
PMCID: PMC3936632  PMID: 24532511
Prehospital emergency care; stroke; thrombolytic therapy
14.  Emergency Medical Services Capacity for Prehospital Stroke Care in North Carolina 
Introduction
Prior assessments of emergency medical services (EMS) stroke capacity found deficiencies in education and training, use of protocols and screening tools, and planning for the transport of patients. A 2001 survey of North Carolina EMS providers found many EMS systems lacked basic stroke services. Recent statewide efforts have sought to standardize and improve prehospital stroke care. The objective of this study was to assess EMS stroke care capacity in North Carolina and evaluate statewide changes since 2001.
Methods
In June 2012, we conducted a web-based survey on stroke education and training and stroke care practices and policies among all EMS systems in North Carolina. We used the McNemar test to assess changes from 2001 to 2012.
Results
Of 100 EMS systems in North Carolina, 98 responded to our survey. Most systems reported providing stroke education and training (95%) to EMS personnel, using a validated stroke scale or screening tool (96%), and having a hospital prenotification policy (98%). Many were suboptimal in covering basic stroke educational topics (71%), always communicating stroke screen results to the destination hospital (46%), and always using a written destination plan (49%). Among 70 EMS systems for which we had data for 2001 and 2012, we observed significant improvements in education on stroke scales or screening tools (61% to 93%, P < .001) and use of validated stroke scales or screening tools (23% to 96%, P < .001).
Conclusion
Major improvements in EMS stroke care, especially in prehospital stroke screening, have occurred in North Carolina in the past decade, whereas other practices and policies, including use of destination plans, remain in need of improvement.
doi:10.5888/pcd10.130035
PMCID: PMC3767834  PMID: 24007677
15.  Estimates of Outcomes Up to Ten Years after Stroke: Analysis from the Prospective South London Stroke Register 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1001033.
Charles Wolfe and colleagues collected data from the South London Stroke Register on 3,373 first strokes registered between 1995 and 2006 and showed that between 20% and 30% of survivors have poor outcomes up to 10 years after stroke.
Background
Although stroke is acknowledged as a long-term condition, population estimates of outcomes longer term are lacking. Such estimates would be useful for planning health services and developing research that might ultimately improve outcomes. This burden of disease study provides population-based estimates of outcomes with a focus on disability, cognition, and psychological outcomes up to 10 y after initial stroke event in a multi-ethnic European population.
Methods and Findings
Data were collected from the population-based South London Stroke Register, a prospective population-based register documenting all first in a lifetime strokes since 1 January 1995 in a multi-ethnic inner city population. The outcomes assessed are reported as estimates of need and included disability (Barthel Index <15), inactivity (Frenchay Activities Index <15), cognitive impairment (Abbreviated Mental Test < 8 or Mini-Mental State Exam <24), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale >10), and mental and physical domain scores of the Medical Outcomes Study 12-item short form (SF-12) health survey. Estimates were stratified by age, gender, and ethnicity, and age-adjusted using the standard European population. Plots of outcome estimates over time were constructed to examine temporal trends and sociodemographic differences. Between 1995 and 2006, 3,373 first-ever strokes were registered: 20%–30% of survivors had a poor outcome over 10 y of follow-up. The highest rate of disability was observed 7 d after stroke and remained at around 110 per 1,000 stroke survivors from 3 mo to 10 y. Rates of inactivity and cognitive impairment both declined up to 1 y (280/1,000 and 180/1,000 survivors, respectively); thereafter rates of inactivity remained stable till year eight, then increased, whereas rates of cognitive impairment fluctuated till year eight, then increased. Anxiety and depression showed some fluctuation over time, with a rate of 350 and 310 per 1,000 stroke survivors, respectively. SF-12 scores showed little variation from 3 mo to 10 y after stroke. Inactivity was higher in males at all time points, and in white compared to black stroke survivors, although black survivors reported better outcomes in the SF-12 physical domain. No other major differences were observed by gender or ethnicity. Increased age was associated with higher rates of disability, inactivity, and cognitive impairment.
Conclusions
Between 20% and 30% of stroke survivors have a poor range of outcomes up to 10 y after stroke. Such epidemiological data demonstrate the sociodemographic groups that are most affected longer term and should be used to develop longer term management strategies that reduce the significant poor outcomes of this group, for whom effective interventions are currently elusive.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, 15 million people have a stroke. About 5 million of these people die within a few days, and another 5 million are left disabled. Stroke occurs when the brain's blood supply is suddenly interrupted by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain (ischemic stroke, the commonest type of stroke) or by a blood vessel in the brain bursting (hemorrhagic stroke). Deprived of the oxygen normally carried to them by the blood, the brain cells near the blockage die. The symptoms of stroke depend on which part of the brain is damaged but include sudden weakness or paralysis along one side of the body, vision loss in one or both eyes, and confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention because prompt treatment can limit the damage to the brain. Risk factors for stroke include age (three-quarters of strokes occur in people over 65 years old), high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Why Was This Study Done?
Post-stroke rehabilitation can help individuals overcome the physical disabilities caused by stroke, and drugs and behavioral counseling can reduce the risk of a second stroke. However, people can also have problems with cognition (thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory) after a stroke, and they can become depressed or anxious. These “outcomes” can persist for many years, but although stroke is acknowledged as a long-term condition, most existing data on stroke outcomes are limited to a year after the stroke and often focus on disability alone. Longer term, more extensive information is needed to help plan services and to help develop research to improve outcomes. In this burden of disease analysis, the researchers use follow-up data collected by the prospective South London Stroke Register (SLSR) to provide long-term population-based estimates of disability, cognition, and psychological outcomes after a first stroke. The SLSR has recorded and followed all patients of all ages in an inner area of South London after their first-ever stroke since 1995.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between 1995 and 2006, the SLSR recorded 3,373 first-ever strokes. Patients were examined within 48 hours of referral to SLSR, their stroke diagnosis was verified, and their sociodemographic characteristics (including age, gender, and ethnic origin) were recorded. Study nurses and fieldworkers then assessed the patients at three months and annually after the stroke for disability (using the Barthel Index, which measures the ability to, for example, eat unaided), inactivity (using the Frenchay Activities Index, which measures participation in social activities), and cognitive impairment (using the Abbreviated Mental Test or the Mini-Mental State Exam). Anxiety and depression and the patients' perceptions of their mental and physical capabilities were also assessed. Using preset cut-offs for each outcome, 20%–30% of stroke survivors had a poor outcome over ten years of follow-up. So, for example, 110 individuals per 1,000 population were judged disabled from three months to ten years, rates of inactivity remained constant from year one to year eight, at 280 affected individuals per 1,000 survivors, and rates of anxiety and depression fluctuated over time but affected about a third of the population. Notably, levels of inactivity were higher among men than women at all time points and were higher in white than in black stroke survivors. Finally, increased age was associated with higher rates of disability, inactivity, and cognitive impairment.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Although the accuracy of these findings may be affected by the loss of some patients to follow-up, these population-based estimates of outcome measures for survivors of a first-ever stroke for up to ten years after the event provide concrete evidence that stroke is a lifelong condition with ongoing poor outcomes. They also identify the sociodemographic groups of patients that are most affected in the longer term. Importantly, most of the measured outcomes remain relatively constant (and worse than outcomes in an age-matched non-stroke-affected population) after 3–12 months, a result that needs to be considered when planning services for stroke survivors. In other words, these findings highlight the need for health and social services to provide long-term, ongoing assessment and rehabilitation for patients for many years after a stroke.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001033.
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides information about all aspects of stroke (in English and Spanish); the US National Institute of Health SeniorHealth Web site has additional information about stroke
The Internet Stroke Center provides detailed information about stroke for patients, families, and health professionals (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices Web site also provides information about stroke for patients and their families
MedlinePlus has links to additional resources about stroke (in English and Spanish)
More information about the South London Stroke Register is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001033
PMCID: PMC3096613  PMID: 21610863
16.  Facilitating Stroke Management using Modern Information Technology 
Journal of Stroke  2013;15(3):135-143.
Background and Purpose
Information technology and mobile devices may be beneficial and useful in many aspects of stroke management, including recognition of stroke, transport and triage of patients, emergent stroke evaluation at the hospital, and rehabilitation. In this review, we address the contributions of information technology and mobile health to stroke management.
Summary of Issues
Rapid detection and triage are essential for effective thrombolytic treatment. Awareness of stroke warning signs and responses to stroke could be enhanced by using mobile applications. Furthermore, prehospital assessment and notification could be streamlined for use in telemedicine and teleradiology. A mobile telemedicine system for assessing the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale scores has shown higher correlation and fast assessment comparing with face-to-face method. Because the benefits of thrombolytic treatment are time-dependent, treatment should be initiated as quickly as possible. In-hospital communication between multidisciplinary team members can be enhanced using information technology. A computerized in-hospital alert system using computerized physician-order entry was shown to be effective in reducing the time intervals from hospital arrival to medical evaluations and thrombolytic treatment. Mobile devices can also be used as supplementary tools for neurologic examination and clinical decision-making. In post-stroke rehabilitation, virtual reality and telerehabilitation are helpful. Mobile applications might be useful for public awareness, lifestyle modification, and education/training of healthcare professionals.
Conclusions
Information technology and mobile health are useful tools for management of stroke patients from the acute period to rehabilitation. Further improvement of technology will change and enhance stroke prevention and treatment.
doi:10.5853/jos.2013.15.3.135
PMCID: PMC3859007  PMID: 24396807
Stroke; Information technology; Mobile health; Telemedicine
17.  A Brief Prehospital Stroke Severity Scale Identifies Ischemic Stroke Patients Harboring Persisting Large Arterial Occlusions 
Background and Purpose
The Los Angeles Motor Scale (LAMS) is a brief 3-item stroke severity assessment measure designed for prehospital and Emergency Department use.
Methods
The LAMS and NIHSS were scored in under-12-hour acute anterior circulation ischemic stroke patients. Stroke severity ratings were correlated with cervicocerebral vascular occlusion on CTA, MRA, and catheter angiography. Receiver operating curves, c statistics, and likelihood ratios were used to evaluate the predictive value for vascular occlusion of stroke severity ratings.
Results
Among 119 patients, mean age was 67 (±18), 45% were male. Time from onset to ED arrival was mean 190 minutes (range 10 to 660). Persisting large vessel occlusions (PLVOs) were present in 62% of patients. LAMS stroke severity scores were higher in patients harboring a vascular occlusion, median 5 (IQR 4 to 5) versus 2 (IQR 1 to 3). Similarly, NIHSS stroke severity scores were higher in PLVO patients, 19 (14 to 24) versus 5 (3 to 7). ROC curves demonstrated that the LAMS was highly effective in identifying patients with PLVOs, c statistic 0.854. At the optimal threshold of 4 or higher, LAMS scores showed sensitivity 0.81, specificity 0.89, and overall accuracy 0.85. LAMS performance was comparable to NIHSS performance (c statistic 0.933). The positive likelihood ratio associated with a LAMS score ≥4 was 7.36 and the negative likelihood ratio 0.21.
Conclusions
Stroke severity assessed by the LAMS predicts presence of large artery anterior circulation occlusion with high sensitivity and specificity. The LAMS is a promising instrument for use by prehospital personnel to identify select stroke patients for direct transport to Comprehensive Stroke Centers capable of endovascular interventions. (Stroke.2008;39:2264-2267.)
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.107.508127
PMCID: PMC2743906  PMID: 18556587
acute stroke; cerebral infarct; scales; LAMS (Los Angeles Motor Scale); NIHSS
18.  Relationship between 3-Month National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale Score and Dependence in Ischemic Stroke Patients 
Neuroepidemiology  2006;27(2):96-100.
Background
The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) provides a standardized measure of stroke severity and is frequently captured to assess 3-month outcome. Other outcome measures have been assessed for the relationship to dependence; a clinically relevant outcome. The relationship between NIHSS score and functional dependence is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between NIHSS score and accepted measures of dependence in surviving ischemic stroke patients.
Methods
3-month NIHSS scores were compared to residence and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores at 3 months in the Randomized Trial of Tirilazad Mesylate in Patients with Acute Stroke (RANTTAS). For residence, patients who were in a nursing home, chronic hospital or substantially dependent on a caregiver were characterized as ‘dependent’. For GOS, a score of 3 (severely disabled) or 4 (vegetative) was characterized as ‘dependent’. The sensitivity, specificity and positive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) for various NIHSS score cut points compared to dependence were calculated. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association between the NIHSS score and dependence.
Results
In 385 subjects from the RANTTAS, an NIHSS score cut point of ≥ 15 resulted in 100% of subjects identified as being dependent by residence, sensitivity = 24%, specificity = 100%, PPV = 100% and NPV = 80%. Using GOS as the measure of dependence, the results were almost identical. NIHSS was strongly related to dependence with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) = 0.86 for residence and an AUC = 0.94 for GOS.
Conclusions
3-month NIHSS score is strongly associated with dependence. An NIHSS score of ≥ 15 at 3 months may be a reasonable estimate of subjects who are highly likely to be dependent at 3 months. These data require validation in an independent data set.
doi:10.1159/000095245
PMCID: PMC2749219  PMID: 16926554
Stroke assessment; Stroke outcome; Ischemic stroke; Outcome assessment; National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale; Glasgow Outcome Scale
19.  Characteristics of Patients with an Abnormal Glasgow Coma Scale Score in the Prehospital Setting 
Objective:
This cross-sectional study describes the characteristics of patients with an abnormal Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) in the prehospital setting.
Methods:
We reviewed existing prehospital care reports (PCRs) in the San Mateo County, California, emergency medical services (EMS) database from January 1 to December 31, 2007. Adults age 18 or greater with a documented GCS fit inclusion criteria. We excluded single and multisystem trauma patients, as well as patients in cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, or listed as deceased from the study. We classified the remaining patients as a normal GCS of 15 or abnormal (defined as less than 15 at any time during paramedic contact), and then further sub-classified into mild (GCS 13–14), moderate (GCS 9–12) or severe (GCS 3–8).
Results:
Of the 12,235 unique prehospital care record in the database, 9,044 (73.9%) met inclusion criteria, comprised of 2,404 (26.6%) abnormal GCS patients and 6,640 (73.4%) normal GCS patients. In the abnormal GCS category, we classified 1,361 (56.6%) patients as mild, 628 (26.1%) as moderate, and 415 (17.3%) as severe. Where sex was recorded, we identified 1,214 (50.5%) abnormal GCS patients and 2,904 (43.7%) normal GCS patients as male. Mean age was 65.6 years in the abnormal GCS group and 61.4 in the normal GCS group (p<0.0001). Abnormal GCS patients were more likely to have a history of conditions known to be associated, such as alcohol abuse (odds ratio [OR] 2.3, 95% confidence interval [CI]=2.75–3.00), diabetes (OR 1.34, 95% CI=1.17–1.54), substance abuse (OR 1.6, CI=1.09–2.3), stroke/transient ischemic attack (OR 2.0, CI=1.64–2.5), and seizures (OR 3.0, CI=1.64–2.5). Paramedics established intravenous (IV) access on 1,821 (75.7%, OR 1.94, CI=1.74–2.2) abnormal GCS patients and administered medications to 777 (32.3%, OR 1.01, CI=0.92–1.12). Compared to patients with normal GCS, patients with a mildly abnormal GCS were less likely to receive medications (OR 0.61, CI=0.53–0.70) while those with a moderately or severely abnormal GCS were more likely (OR 1.27, CI=1.07–1.50 and OR 2.86, CI=2.34–3.49, respectively). Of the normal GCS patients, 4,097 (61.7%) received an IV and 2,125 (32.0%) received medications by any route.
Conclusion:
Twenty-seven percent of all prehospital patients in our study presented with an abnormal GCS. Prehospital patients with an abnormal GCS are more likely to be male, slightly older, and have higher rates of history of alcohol use or seizure. This group of patients had a higher rate of IV placement. Patients with a mildly abnormal GCS were less likely to receive medications while those with a moderately or severely abnormal GCS were more likely.
PMCID: PMC3088371  PMID: 21691469
20.  Dispatcher Recognition of Stroke Using the National Academy Medical Priority Dispatch System 
Background
Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs) play an important role in optimizing stroke care if they are able to accurately identify calls regarding acute cerebrovascular disease. This study was undertaken to assess the diagnostic accuracy of the current national protocol guiding dispatcher questioning of 911 callers to identify stroke, QA Guide v 11.1 of the National Academy Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS).
Methods
We identified all Los Angeles Fire Department paramedic transports of patients to UCLA Medical Center during the 12 month period from January to December 2005 in a prospectively maintained database. Dispatcher-assigned MPDS codes for each of these patient transports were abstracted from the paramedic run sheets and compared to final hospital discharge diagnosis.
Results
Among 3474 transported patients, 96 (2.8%) had a final diagnosis of stroke or transient ischemic attack. Dispatchers assigned a code of potential stroke to 44.8% of patients with a final discharge diagnosis of stroke or TIA. Dispatcher identification of stroke showed a sensitivity of 0.41, specificity of 0.96, positive predictive value of 0.45, and negative predictive value of 0.95.
Conclusions
Dispatcher recognition of stroke calls using the widely employed MPDS algorithm is suboptimal, with failure to identify more than half of stroke patients as likely stroke. Revisions to the current national dispatcher structured interview and complaint identification algorithm for stroke may facilitate more accurate recognition of stroke by EMDs.
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.108.545574
PMCID: PMC2711028  PMID: 19390065
Stroke; Emergency Medical Services; Prehospital Care
21.  The Massachusetts Emergency Medical Service Stroke Quality Improvement Collaborative, 2009–2012 
Introduction
Quality improvement collaboratives are a popular model used to address gaps between evidence-based practice and patient care. Little is known about use of such collaboratives in emergency medical services, particularly for improving prehospital stroke care. To determine the feasibility of using this approach to improve prehospital stroke care, we conducted a pilot study of the Emergency Medical Services Stroke Quality Improvement Collaborative.
Methods
Seventeen Massachusetts emergency medical service agencies participated in the quality improvement collaborative pilot project. We identified 5 prehospital stroke performance measures to assess the quality of prehospital care, guide collaborative activities, and monitor change in performance over time. During learning sessions, participants were trained in quality improvement and performance measurement, analyzed performance measure results, and shared successes and challenges. Focus groups were conducted to understand participants’ experiences with the collaborative.
Results
Participating emergency medical service agencies collected stroke performance measures on 3,009 stroke patients during the pilot study. Adherence to 4 of 5 performance measures increased significantly over time. Participants acknowledged that the collaborative provided them with an efficient and effective framework for stroke quality improvement and peer-learning opportunities.
Conclusion
As evidenced in Massachusetts, quality improvement collaboratives can be an effective tool to improve prehospital stroke care. The data collected, improvements made, participation of emergency medical service agencies, and positive experiences within the collaborative support the continued use of this approach.
doi:10.5888/pcd10.130126
PMCID: PMC3786607  PMID: 24070033
22.  Predictive Value of Fundus Autofluorescence for Development of Geographic Atrophy in Age-Related Macular Degeneration 
Purpose
It has been suggested that lipofuscin accumulation, as measured by increased fundus autofluorescence (FAF), precedes progression or development of junctional zone geographic atrophy (GA) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The tools of biomedical image analysis were used to measure the probabilistic relationship of GA progression to increased FAF.
Methods
Serial AF images of eight eyes of six patients with AMD with GA were registered on computer. The images were leveled with a 12-zone quadratic polynomial mathematical model to minimize background variability. Semiautomated segmentation of GA was performed on the leveled images. Increased FAF was defined as a gray level greater than 2 standard deviations above the leveled image mean, identified on the initial image with automated segmentation, and measured as a fraction of the 250-μm border zone surrounding the initial GA lesion. Areas of GA lesions were identified on the final image. The positive predictive value (PPV) of increased FAF was determined as the probability that any pixel with increased FAF in the initial image would become part of new GA in the final image. Relative PPV was determined relative to the total quantity of new GA. The NPV (NPV) of increased FAF was calculated as the probability that any pixels without increased FAF would not become atrophic. The relative NPV was determined similarly. A similar analysis was also conducted with a 500-μm border zone to determine the predictive value of proximity to the original GA lesion (“proximity”) for GA progression.
Results
As a fraction of the geographic atrophy border zone, the mean new GA was 0.44 ± 0.20, and the mean increased FAF was 0.06 ± 0.06. The mean PPV of increased FAF for new GA formation was 0.50 ± 0.26. Compared with the relative PPV of chance of 1.0, the mean relative PPV of increased FAF was 1.15 ± 0.28. The mean NPV of increased FAF was 0.57 ± 0.20. The mean relative NPV of increased FAF was 1.00 ± 0.02. In the 500-μm border zone, the mean relative PPV of FAF and of proximity were essentially equal (1.56 ± 0.70 and 1.52 ± 0.26, respectively), whereas the mean relative NPV of proximity was significantly greater than that of FAF (1.26 ± 0.19 and 1.01 ± 0.01, respectively, P = 0.02)
Conclusions
The results of digital image analysis suggest that although increased FAF may have a modest PPV for new GA development, the relative PPV is generally no greater than chance. Similarly, the relative NPV demonstrates negligible difference from chance and is also lower than the relative NPV of proximity. This suggests that increased FAF, though a disease manifestation, is not a strong risk factor for development or extension of GA.
doi:10.1167/iovs.05-1027
PMCID: PMC2754747  PMID: 16723483
23.  Validation of the Kirundi versions of brief self-rating scales for common mental disorders among children in Burundi 
BMC Psychiatry  2014;14:36.
Background
In Sub Saharan Africa, there has been limited research on instruments to identify specific mental disorders in children in conflict-affected settings. This study evaluates the psychometric properties of three self-report scales for child mental disorder in order to inform an emerging child mental health programme in post-conflict Burundi.
Methods
Trained lay interviewers administered local language versions of three self-report scales, the Depression Self-Rating Scale (DSRS), the Child PSTD Symptom Scale (CPSS) and the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED-41), to a sample of 65 primary school children in Burundi. The test scores were compared with an external ‘gold standard’ criterion: the outcomes of a comprehensive semistructured clinical psychiatric interview for children according the DSM-IV criteria (the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children – K-SADS-PL).
Results
The DSRS has an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.85 with a confidence interval (c.i.) of 0.73–0.97. With a cut-off point of 19, the sensitivity was 0.64, and the specificity was 0.88. For the CPSS, with a cut-off point of 26, the AUC was 0.78 (c.i.: 0.62–0.95) with a sensitivity of 0.71 and a specificity of 0.83. The AUC for the SCARED-41, with a cut-off point of 44, was 0.69 (c.i.: 0.54–0.84) with a sensitivity of 0.55 and a specificity of 0.90.
Conclusions
The DSRS and CPSS showed good utility in detecting depressive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder in Burundian children, but cut-off points had to be put considerably higher than in western norm populations. The psychometric properties of the SCARED-41 to identify anxiety disorders were less strong. The DSRS and CPSS have acceptable properties, and they could be used in clinical practice as part of a two-stage screening procedure in public mental health programmes in Burundi and in similar cultural and linguistic settings in the African Great Lakes region.
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-14-36
PMCID: PMC3926688  PMID: 24520829
Burundi; Validation; Depression; Posttraumatic stress disorder; Screening; Children
24.  Prehospital Notification from the Emergency Medical Service Reduces the Transfer and Intra-Hospital Processing Times for Acute Stroke Patients 
Background and Purpose
There is little information available about the effects of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) hospital notification on transfer and intrahospital processing times in cases of acute ischemic stroke.
Methods
This study retrospectively investigated the real transfer and imaging processing times for cases of suspected acute stroke (AS) with EMS notification of a requirement for intravenous (IV) tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) and for cases without notification. Also we compared the intra-hospital processing times for receiving t-PA between patients with and without EMS prehospital notification.
Results
Between December 2008 and August 2009, the EMS transported 102 patients with suspected AS to our stroke center. During the same period, 33 patients received IV t-PA without prehospital notification from the EMS. The mean real transfer time after the EMS call was 56.0±32.0 min. Patients with a transfer distance of more than 40 km could not be transported to our center within 60 min. Among the 102 patients, 55 were transferred via the EMS to our emergency room for IV t-PA. The positive predictive value for stroke (90.9% vs. 68.1%, p=0.005) was much higher and the real transfer time was much faster in patients with an EMS t-PA call (47.7±23.1 min, p=0.004) than in those without one (56.3±32.4 min). The door-to-imaging time (17.8±11.0 min vs. 26.9±11.5 min, p=0.01) and door-to-needle time (29.7±9.6 min vs. 42.1±18.1 min, p=0.01) were significantly shorter in the 18 patients for whom there was prehospital notification and who ultimately received t-PA than in those for whom there was no prehospital notification.
Conclusions
Our results indicate that prehospital notification could enable the rapid dispatch of AS patients needing IV t-PA to a stroke centre. In addition, it could reduce intrahospital delays, particularly, imaging processing times.
doi:10.3988/jcn.2010.6.3.138
PMCID: PMC2950918  PMID: 20944814
stroke; thrombolysis; prehospital notification; stroke care system
25.  Between-course targeting of methotrexate exposure using pharmacokinetically guided dosage adjustments 
Purpose
It is advantageous to individualize high-dose methotrexate (HDMTX) to maintain adequate exposure while minimizing toxicities. Previously, we accomplished this through within-course dose adjustments.
Methods
In this study, we evaluated a strategy to individualize HDMTX based on clearance of each individual’s previous course of HDMTX in 485 patients with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Doses were individualized to achieve a steady-state plasma concentration (Cpss) of 33 or 65 μM (approximately 2.5 or 5 g/m2/day) for low- and standard-/high-risk patients, respectively.
Results
Individualized doses resulted in 70 and 63 % of courses being within 20 % of the targeted Cpss in the low- and standard-/high-risk arms, respectively, compared to 60 % (p < 0.001) and 61 % (p = 0.43) with conventionally dosed therapy. Only 1.3 % of the individualized courses in the standard-/high-risk arm had a Cpss greater than 50 % above the target compared to 7.3 % (p < 0.001) in conventionally dosed therapy. We observed a low rate (8.5 % of courses) of grade 3–4 toxicities. The odds of gastrointestinal toxicity were related to methotrexate plasma concentrations in both the low (p = 0.021)- and standard-/high-risk groups (p = 0.003).
Conclusions
Individualizing HDMTX based on the clearance from the prior course resulted in fewer extreme Cpss values and less delayed excretion compared to conventional dosing.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00280-013-2206-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s00280-013-2206-x
PMCID: PMC3719000  PMID: 23760811
Methotrexate; Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Pharmacokinetics; Individualized therapy

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