Background and purpose
We investigated subsequent vascular events in patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) and determined the predictors of such events among vascular risk factors including large-artery disease, TIA-symptom duration, and acute ischemic lesions on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI).
We identified 98 consecutive patients with TIA who visited a tertiary university hospital and underwent DWI and brain magnetic resonance angiography within 48 hours of symptom onset. We reviewed the medical records to assess the clinical characteristics of TIA, demographics, and the subsequent vascular events including acute ischemic stroke, TIA, and myocardial infarction.
Large-artery disease was detected in 55 patients (56%). Ten patients (10%) experienced TIA symptoms for longer than 1 hour, and acute infarctions on DWI were identified in 30 patients (31%). During the mean follow-up period of 19 months, seven patients (7%) had an acute ischemic stroke and 20 patients (20%) had TIA. Retinal artery occlusion in two patients, spinal cord infarction in one patient, and peripheral vascular claudication in one patient were also recorded. Cox proportional-hazards multivariate analysis revealed that large-artery disease was an independent predictor of subsequent cerebral ischemia (hazard ratio [HR], 2.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-7.1; p=0.02) and subsequent vascular events (HR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.2-6.7; p=0.01).
In patients with TIA, large-artery disease is an independent predictor of subsequent vascular events. Acute infarction on DWI and a symptom duration of more than 1 hour are not significantly correlated with a higher risk of subsequent vascular events. These findings suggest that the underlying vascular status is more important than symptom duration or acute ischemic lesion on DWI.
Transient ischemic attack; Prognosis; Large-artery stenosis; Diffusion-weighted imaging
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.
Transient Ischemic Attacks; Infarction; Brain; Recurrence; Risk
To evaluate risk factors and prognosis of transient global amnesia (TGA), three groups of 30 subjects each affected respectively by: (1) first-ever TGA; (2) first-ever transient ischaemic attack (TIA); (3) depressive neurosis, were compared. Prevalence of cerebrovascular risk factors was similar in patients with TGA and TIA, but significantly lower in the third group. CT showed more hypodense lesions in TIA patients than in those with TGA. In a mean follow-up of 36 months, five TGA patients experienced a TIA and three others had recurrence of TGA, but none suffered stroke or myocardial infarction. In the TIA group, four had recurrence of TIA, two suffered a stroke and two others a myocardial infarction, whereas none had TGA attacks. None of the patients of the third group had any ischaemic event during follow-up. The similar prevalence of risk factors, but the different prognosis between TGA and TIA patients, suggest that TGA is an ischaemic event, probably not triggered by thromboembolism but by a different, possibly vasospastic, mechanism.
Background and purpose:
The risk of a stroke after a transient ischemic attack (TIA) is high in the short time following a TIA. The German Stroke Society recommends an early hospitalization of patients with TIA preferably in a stroke unit (SU). This study aims to compare the impact of SU care with conventional care (CC) in patients with TIA.
In a prospective study, during a 36-month phase (starting November 2007), patients with TIA who were admitted to the hospital within 48 h of symptom onset were enrolled. Stroke rate during hospitalization and the 90-day rates of stroke and mortality were studied. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the odds ratio (OR).
Of 2,200 patients (mean age, 17.6 ± 12 years, 49% female), 1,347 (61%) treated in a SU and 853 (39%) received CC at general departments. Patients treated in SU were significantly younger than those received a CC (69.9 vs. 71.7 years; P = 0.001). TIA patients treated on SU received more ultrasound investigations of the neck arteries (98 vs. 96%; P = 0.003) and of the brain arteries (97 vs. 82%; P < 0.001) than those of CC. The primary outcomes (stroke during hospitalization, stroke after 90 days, and mortality after 90 days) did not show a difference between the SU and CC groups. In patients of male sex, the 90-day stroke rate was significantly lower in the SU group than the CC group (1.8 vs. 4.5%; P = 0.033). Using the adjusted logistic regression analysis, treatment in a SU revealed a reduction of 90-day stroke rate in patients of male sex (OR 0.38; 95% CI 0.15–0.95; P = 0.04).
The impact of evaluation and treatment of patients with TIA in SU and CC appears to differ only among patients of male sex. Further randomized trials are necessary.
TIA; prognosis; stroke; stroke unit; mortality; management; hospitalization
Background and Purpose
Dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance are common presenting symptoms in the emergency department. Stroke is a leading concern even when these symptoms occur in isolation. The objective of the present study was to determine the “real-world” proportion of stroke among patients presenting to the emergency department with these dizziness symptoms (DS).
From a population-based study, patients >44 years of age presenting with DS to the emergency department, or directly admitted to the hospital, were identified. Demographics, the frequency of new cerebrovascular events, and the frequency of isolated DS (ie DS with no other stroke screening term or accompanying neurologic signs or symptoms) were assessed. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate the association of age, gender, ethnicity, and isolated DS with stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA). The association of the presenting symptoms with stroke/TIA was also assessed.
Stroke/TIA was diagnosed in 3.2% (53 of 1666) of all patients with DS. Only 0.7% (9 of 1297) of those with isolated DS had a stroke/TIA. Patients with stroke/TIA were slightly older than those without stroke/TIA (69.3±11.7 vs 65.3±12.9, P=0.02). Male gender was associated with stroke/TIA, whereas isolated DS was negatively associated with stroke/TIA. Patients with imbalance (dizziness as referent) were more likely to have stroke/TIA.
The proportion of cerebrovascular events in patients presenting with dizziness, vertigo, or imbalance is very low. Isolated dizziness, vertigo, or imbalance strongly predicts a noncerebrovascular cause. The symptom of imbalance is a predictor of stroke/TIA.
cerebrovascular accident; dizziness; gait disorders; population surveillance; vertigo
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients are at a high vascular risk. Recently the ABCD2 score was validated for evaluating short-term stroke risk after TIA. We assessed the value of this score to predict the vascular outcome after TIA during medium- to long-term follow-up.
The ABCD2 score of 176 TIA patients consecutively admitted to the Stroke Unit was retrospectively calculated and stratified into three categories. TIA was defined as an acute transient focal neurological deficit caused by vascular disease and being completely reversible within 24 hours. All patients had to undergo cerebral MRI within 5 days after onset of symptoms as well as extracranial and transcranial Doppler and duplex ultrasonography. At a median follow-up of 27 months, new vascular events were recorded. Multivariate Cox regression adjusted for EDC findings and heart failure was performed for the combined endpoint of cerebral ischemic events, cardiac ischemic events and death of vascular or unknown cause.
Fifty-five patients (32.0%) had an ABCD2 score ≤ 3, 80 patients (46.5%) had an ABCD2 score of 4-5 points and 37 patients (21.5%) had an ABCD2 score of 6-7 points. Follow-up data were available in 173 (98.3%) patients. Twenty-two patients (13.8%) experienced an ischemic stroke or TIA; 5 (3.0%) a myocardial infarction or acute coronary syndrome; 10 (5.7%) died of vascular or unknown cause; and 5 (3.0%) patients underwent arterial revascularization. An ABCD2 score > 3 was significantly associated with the combined endpoint of cerebral or cardiovascular ischemic events, and death of vascular or unknown cause (hazard ratio (HR) 4.01, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.21 to 13.27). After adjustment for extracranial ultrasonographic findings and heart failure, there was still a strong trend (HR 3.13, 95% CI 0.94 to 10.49). Whereas new cardiovascular ischemic events occurred in 9 (8.3%) patients with an ABCD2 score > 3, this happened in none of the 53 patients with a score ≤ 3.
An ABCD2 score > 3 is associated with an increased general risk for vascular events in the medium- to long-term follow-up after TIA.
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients are at high vascular risk. We assessed the value of extracranial (ECD) and transcranial (TCD) Doppler and duplex ultrasonography to predict clinical outcome after TIA.
176 consecutive TIA patients admitted to the Stroke Unit were recruited in the study. All patients received diffusion-weighted imaging, standardized ECD and TCD. At a median follow-up of 27 months, new vascular events were recorded.
22 (13.8%) patients experienced an ischemic stroke or TIA, 5 (3.1%) a myocardial infarction or acute coronary syndrome, and 5 (3.1%) underwent arterial revascularization. ECD revealed extracranial ≥ 50% stenosis or occlusions in 34 (19.3%) patients, TCD showed intracranial stenosis in 15 (9.2%) and collateral flow patterns due to extracranial stenosis in 5 (3.1%) cases. Multivariate analysis identified these abnormal ECD and TCD findings as predictors of new cerebral ischemic events (ECD: hazard ratio (HR) 4.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.75 to 10.57, P = 0.01; TCD: HR 4.73, 95% CI 1.86 to 12.04, P = 0.01). Abnormal TCD findings were also predictive of cardiovascular ischemic events (HR 18.51, 95% CI 3.49 to 98.24, P = 0.001).
TIA patients with abnormal TCD findings are at high risk to develop further cerebral and cardiovascular ischemic events.
The 2010 American Academy of Neurology guideline for the diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke recommends MRI with diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) over noncontrast head CT. No studies have evaluated the influence of imaging choice on patient outcome. We sought to evaluate the variables that influenced one-year outcomes of stroke and TIA patients, including the type of imaging utilized.
Patients were identified from a prospectively collected stroke and TIA database at a single primary stroke center during a one-year period. Data were abstracted from patient electronic medical records. The primary outcome measure was death, myocardial infarction, or recurrent stroke within the following year. Secondary outcome measures included predictors of getting an MRI study.
727 consecutive patients with a discharge diagnosis of stroke or TIA were identified (616 and 111 respectively); 536 had CT and MRI, 161 had CT alone, 29 had MRI alone, and one had no neuroimaging. On multiple logistic regression analysis, there were no differences in primary or secondary outcome measures among different imaging strategies. Predictors of the primary outcome measure included age and NIHSS, while performance of a CT angiogram (CTA) predicted a decreased odds of death, stroke, or MI. The strongest predictor of having an MRI was admission to a stroke unit.
These results suggest that long-term (one-year) patient outcomes may not be influenced by imaging strategy. Performance of a CTA was protective in this cohort. A randomized trial of different imaging modalities should be considered.
Imaging modality; Outcomes; Stroke; MRI; CT.
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is described as a brief episode of neurological dysfunction caused by focal brain ischemia, with clinical symptoms typically lasting less than an hour, and without evidence of acute infarction. Recent studies depict TIA as a particularly unstable condition. Risk of stroke is greater than 10% in the first 90 days after an index TIA. The presentation, prognosis and intervention for TIA have not been reported in South-Asians in a developing country.
A retrospective chart review was done for 158 patients who were admitted with the diagnosis of TIA, as defined by ICD 9 code 435, from January 2003 to December 2005 at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. The data was entered and analyzed in SPSS version 14.0.
Among 158 patients, 57.6% were male and 41.1% were female. The common presenting symptoms were motor symptoms (51.3%), speech impairment (43%), sensory impairment (34.8%) and loss of balance/vertigo (29.1%). The median delay in presenting to the hospital was 4 hours. Those with motor symptoms were found to present earlier. The study showed that only 60.8% of all the patients presenting with TIA received any immediate treatment out of which 44.7% received aspirin. Neuroimaging was used in 91.1% of the patients. Of all the TIA patients 9.1% converted to stroke with 50% doing so within the first 24 hours.
The natural history of TIA from this developing nation is comparable to international descriptions. A large percentage of patients are still not receiving any immediate treatment as recommended in available guidelines, even in a tertiary care hospital.
Brain imaging in stroke aims at the detection of the relevant ischemic tissue pathology. Cranial computed tomography (CT) is frequently used in patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) but no data is available on how it directly compares to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
We compared detection of acute ischemic lesions on CT and MRI in 215 consecutive TIA patients who underwent brain imaging with either CT (n = 161) or MRI (n = 54). An MRI was performed within 24 h in all patients who had CT initially.
An initial assessment with CT revealed no acute pathology in 154 (95.7%) and possible acute infarction in 7 (4.3%) patients. The acute infarct on CT was confirmed by diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in only 2 cases (28.6%). DWI detected an acute infarct in 50 of the 154 patients with normal baseline CT (32.5%). Among 54 patients without baseline CT, DWI showed acute ischemic lesions in 19 (35.2%). The ischemic lesions had a median volume of 0.87 cm3 (range: 0.08–15.61), and the lesion pattern provided clues to the underlying etiology in 13.7%.
Acute MRI is advantageous over CT to confirm the probable ischemic nature and to identify the etiology in TIA patients.
Transient ischemic attack; TIA; CT; MRI
Headache is a common symptom in stroke, however the frequency, location, duration and other characteristics of the patients who developed headache during stroke are difficult to define. We studied headache characteristics in patients with first-ever acute stroke (hemorrhagic or ischemic) or transient ischemic attack (TIA) and assessed the relationship between headache, stroke location, and etiology. The study included 104 consecutive patients (mean age 55.8±0.8 years; range, 40–70 years) admitted with acute stroke. Eleven patients had TIA, 70 ischemic stroke, and 23 hemorrhagic stroke. Headache was reported in 37 patients (35.6%) and was more common in hemorrhagic stroke compared to ischemic stroke or TIA (p<0.05). Headache was present in 26.8% of the patients with anterior circulation stroke and in 62.5% of the patients with posterior circulation stroke (p=0.006). No relationship was found between the size of the lesion detected by computed tomography and the presence of headache.
Key words Headache; Migraine; Neurophysiological tests; Neuroradiological studies; Stroke
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.
Cerebral ischemic preconditioning; transient ischemic attack; elderly; stroke
Among 407 New England Medical Center Posterior Circulation Registry (NEMC-PCR) patients, 59% had strokes without transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), 24% had TIAs before strokes, and 16% had only posterior circulation TIAs. Embolism was the commonest stroke mechanism accounting for 40% of cases (24% cardiac origin, 14% arterial origin, 2% had potential cardiac and arterial sources). In 32%, large artery occlusive lesions caused hemodynamic brain infarction. Stroke mechanisms in the posterior and anterior circulation are very similar. Infarcts most often included the distal posterior circulation territory (rostral brainstem, superior cerebellum and occipital and temporal lobes), while the proximal (medulla and posterior inferior cerebellum) and middle (pons and anterior inferior cerebellum) territories were equally involved. Infarcts that included the distal territory were twice as common as those that included the proximal or middle territories. Most distal territory infarcts were attributable to embolism. Thirty day mortality was low (3.6%). Embolic stroke mechanism, distal territory location, and basilar artery occlusive disease conveyed the worst prognosis.
Brain ischemia; Brain embolism; Posterior circulation; Vertebral arteries; Basilar artery
Transient ischemic attacks (TIA) entail a high risk of stroke recurrence, which depends on the etiology. New organizational models have been created, but there is not much information about the long-term evolution of patients managed according to these premises. Our aim is to refer the follow-up of patients attended according to our model of TIA Unit.
TIA Unit is located in the Emergency Department and staffed by vascular neurologists. Patients admitted during the Neurology night shift stayed in such Unit <48h with complete etiological study. Preventive treatment is instituted in patients discharged to a high resolution Neurology consult, in order to review in <2 weeks and subsequent follow-up.
During a year 161 patients were attended, being admitted to the hospital 8.6%. A total of 1470 hospital days were avoided. Recurrence at 90 days was of 0.6%. Mean follow-up was 18.14 ± 8.02 months (0–34), total recurrence 6.2% (70% cardioembolic strokes). There were no complications derived from treatment. Cardiological events were recorded in 10.6%, neoplastic in 5%, cognitive impairment in 11%. There were 3 deaths unrelated nor to the stroke or its treatment.
This model allows an early diagnosis and treatment of TIA, preventing recurrences of stroke in a long term. It detects atherothrombotic strokes, most of them admitted to the hospital, and it shows a greater difficulty for detecting all cardioembolic strokes. TIA Unit appeared to be safe in using anticoagulation therapy, as the follow-up shows. It shows the same quality of management than hospital admission, with a significant saving in hospital stays.
TIA; Mild stroke; TIA unit; Stroke care models; TIA management
As a significant number of patients diagnosed with transient ischemic attack (TIA) at emergency department are at risk to develop TIA or cerebral vascular accident (CVA), several attempts have been made to figure out a predictive method to detect those at higher risk of such attacks. Therefore, the present study was aimed to evaluate the role of ABCD2 scoring including age, blood pressure, clinical features, duration, and diabetes mellitus (DM), in predicting short term outcome of the patients presenting with TIA.
One hundred consecutive patients who have attended Hazrat Rasoul Akram Hospital (Kermanshah, Iran) during 2009 to 2010 and diagnosed with TIA were enrolled in the study. Their ABCD2 scores were recorded. The incidences of death, CVA, and TIA during the first week after the attack were recorded.
Eleven patients suffered from new TIA/CVA after 1 week. Sensitivity and specificity of ABCD2 score for predicting CVA/TIA at cut-off point of the 4th day were 72.7% and 52.8%, respectively. At the same cut-off point for ABCD2, positive and negative predictive values were 16% and 94 %, respectively.
Our results show that although patients with ABCD2 score greater than 4 were more likely to develop recurrent TIA/CVA in short term, those with lower scores are still susceptible to a considerable risk of TIA/CVA. Though ABCD2 as an easily applicable tool is very helpful in management of TIA patients at emergency department, but it should not be the only measure to rely on in our decision making.
Ischemic stroke, Transient ischemic attack, Cerebral vascular accident, ABCD2 scoring
Background and Purpose
White matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden increases risk of ischemic stroke; furthermore, it predicts infarct growth in acute cerebral ischemia. We hypothesized that WMH would be less severe in patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA), as compared to those with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) and completed infarct.
Cases (TIA, n=30) and controls (AIS, n=120) were selected from an ongoing longitudinal cohort study of patients with stroke and matched for age, gender, and race/ethnicity. All subjects had brain MRI within 48 hours of presentation to evaluate for acute cerebral ischemia. WMH burden on MRI was quantified using a validated computer-assisted program with high inter-rater reliability.
Median WMH in individuals with TIA was 3.7 cm3 (IQR 1.5 - 8.33cm3) compared to 6.9 cm3 (IQR 3.1 - 11.9 cm3) in AIS (p<0.04). In multivariable analysis, the odds of completed infarct were higher (OR 2.19, 95% CI 1.27 - 3.77, p<0.005) in subjects with larger volumes of WMH.
WMH burden was significantly less in subjects with TIA as opposed to ischemic stroke. These data provide further evidence to support a detrimental role of WMH burden on the capacity of cerebral tissue to survive acute ischemia.
transient ischemic attacks ; leukoaraiosis; acute cerebral infarction ; CT and MRI ; risk factors for stroke 
Objective. To determine the influence of transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE) on therapy and prognosis in patients with cryptogenic transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or ischaemic stroke under the age of 50 years.
Methods and results. We evaluated all patients aged 50 and under who were referred to our university hospital for cryptogenic TIA or ischaemic stroke during the period 1 January 1996 to 31 December 2004. All patients underwent both transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and TEE. Patients with known pre-existent heart disease, such as atrial fibrillation, were excluded. Eighty-three patients with TIA (22) and ischaemic stroke (61) were enrolled. Mean age was 39±8 years (range 18 to 50). In 30% of the patients TEE detected one or more potential cardioembolic source, compared with 10% for TTE (p=0.003). Standard treatment (aspirin 38 mg daily) was changed in 7% of the patients due to the TEE findings. Complete followup was obtained in 93% with an average of 5±3 years. Twelve recurrences occurred; two out of six patients (33%) with therapy change and ten out of 71 (14%) of the patients without therapy change had a recurrent TIA or ischaemic Stroke.
Conclusion. In patients with cryptogenic TIA or ischaemic stroke, TEE is superior to TTE in the detection of a potential cardiac source of embolism. However, findings obtained by TEE only influence the already initiated treatment in a small percentage of patients. The recurrence rate both in the group with and without therapy change is high. (Neth Heart J 2009;17:373-7.19949646)
cardioembolism; transient ischaemic attach (TIA); stroke; echocardiography
Leptin is an adipokine with both protective and harmful effects on the cardiovascular (CV) system. Prior studies evaluating the association between leptin and CV outcomes have yielded conflicting results. Thus, we sought to investigate the relationship between leptin and CV events and mortality in patients with chronic stable coronary artery disease (CAD).
We performed a prospective cohort study of 981 outpatients with stable CAD. Leptin levels were measured in fasting venous samples at baseline. We used proportional hazards models to evaluate the association of baseline leptin with subsequent CV events (myocardial infarction, stroke, transient ischemic attack) and death.
During a mean follow-up of 6.2 ± 2.1 years, there were 304 deaths, 112 myocardial infarctions, and 52 strokes/TIAs. In models adjusted for age, sex, and race, low leptin was associated with a 30% increased risk of the combined outcome (HR 1.30, CI 1.05 – 1.59, p = 0.01). After further adjustment for obesity, traditional CV risk factors and biomarkers, low leptin remained associated with a 37% increased risk of events (HR 1.37, CI 1.06 – 1.76, p = 0.02).
Low leptin is associated with increased CV events and mortality in patients with stable coronary artery disease. This association is independent of known factors affecting leptin levels, including gender and obesity.
leptin; coronary artery disease (CAD); adipokine; reverse epidemiology
To evaluate the clinical outcomes and incremental health care costs of ischemic stroke in a US managed care population.
Patients and methods
A retrospective cohort analysis was done on patients (aged 18+ years) hospitalized with noncardioembolic ischemic stroke from January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2003, identified from commercial health plan administrative claims. New or recurrent stroke was based on history in the previous 12 months, with index date defined as first date of indication of stroke. A control group without stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) was matched (1:3) on age, sex, and geographic region, with an index date defined as the first medical claim during the patient identification period. Patients with atrial fibrillation or mitral value abnormalities were excluded. Ischemic stroke and control cohorts were compared on 4-year clinical outcomes and 1-year costs.
Of 2180 ischemic stroke patients, 1808 (82.9%) had new stroke and 372 (17.1%) had a recurrent stroke. Stroke patients had higher unadjusted rates of additional stroke, TIA, and fatal outcomes compared with the 6540 matched controls. Recurrent stroke patients had higher rates of adverse clinical outcomes compared with new stroke patients; costs attributed to recurrent stroke were also higher. Stroke patients were 2.4 times more likely to be hospitalized in follow-up compared with controls (hazard ratio [HR] 2.4, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.2, 2.6). Occurrence of stroke following discharge was 21 times more likely among patients with index stroke compared with controls (HR 21.0, 95% CI: 16.1, 27.3). Stroke was also predictive of death (HR 1.8, 95% CI: 1.3, 2.5). Controlling for covariates, stroke patients had significantly higher costs compared with control patients in the year following the index event.
Noncardioembolic ischemic stroke patients had significantly poorer outcomes and higher costs compared with controls. Recurrent stroke appears to contribute substantially to these higher rates of adverse outcomes and costs.
burden of illness; stroke/cerebrovascular accident; cardiovascular disease; claims analysis; costs of care; health care outcomes
D-dimer levels in plasma, a degradation product of fibrin, have been shown to correlate with the severity of ischemic stroke. In order to investigate the outcome of patients with elevated D-dimer we have carried out a follow-up study of patients of 65 years of age and younger with acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attacks (TIA) admitted to our stroke unit from 1991 to 1992. Twenty-two of the 57 patients had elevated D-dimer levels in the plasma. High levels were associated with cardioembolic stroke. On follow-up after a mean of 12 years, 15 patients had died and six patients had suffered another stroke or TIA (three of whom were dead). Ten patients had suffered other cardiovascular events and seven of them were dead. We concluded that high levels of D-dimer in acute ischemic stroke patients on admission were associated with cardioembolic stroke and might have prognostic value for the development of further cardioor cerebrovascular events. Advanced age was found to be an independent risk factor.
D-dimer; stroke; transient ischemic attacks; cerebral ischemia.
The aims of this study were to determine the important prognostic factors at presentation which identify patients with transient ischaemic attacks (TIA) who are at high risk (and low risk) of serious vascular events and to derive a prediction model (equation) for each of the major vascular outcome events. A cohort of 469 TIA patients referred to a University hospital, without prior stroke, were evaluated prospectively and followed up over a mean period of 4.1 years (range 1-10 years). The major outcome events of interest were 1) stroke 2) coronary event and 3) stroke, myocardial infarction or vascular death (whichever occurred first). Prognostic factors and their hazard ratios were identified by means of the Cox proportional hazards multiple regression analysis. The significant adverse prognostic factors (in order of strength of association) for stroke were an increasing number of TIAs in the three months before presentation, increasing age, peripheral vascular disease, left ventricular hypertrophy and TIAs of the brain (compared with the eye); the prognostic factors for coronary event were increasing age, ischaemic heart disease, male sex, and a combination of carotid and vertebrobasilar TIAs at presentation; and for stroke, myocardial infarction or vascular death they were increasing age, peripheral vascular disease, increasing number of TIAs in the three months before presentation, male sex, a combination of carotid and vertebrobasilar TIAs at presentation, TIAs of the brain (compared with the eye), left ventricular hypertrophy and the eye), left ventricular hypertrophy and the eye), left ventricular hypertrophy and the presence of residual neurological signs after the TIA. Prediction models (equations) of both the relative risk and absolute risk of each of the major outcome events were produced, based on the presence or level of the significant prognostic factors and their hazard. Before it can be concluded that our equations accurately predict prognosis and can be generalised to other populations, their predictive power needs to be validated in other, independent samples of TIA patients (which we are currently doing).
There are several proven therapies for patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), including prophylaxis of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and initiation of antithrombotic medications within 48 h and at discharge. Stroke registries have been promoted as a means of increasing use of such interventions, which are currently underutilized.
From 1999 through 2003, 86 U.S. hospitals participated in Ethos, a voluntary web-based acute stroke treatment registry. Detailed data were collected on all patients admitted with a diagnosis of TIA or ischemic stroke. Rates of optimal treatment (defined as either receipt or a valid contraindication) were examined within each hospital as a function of its length of time in registry. Generalized estimating equations were used to adjust for patient and hospital characteristics.
A total of 16,301 patients were discharged with a diagnosis of stroke or TIA from 50 hospitals that participated for more than 1 year. Rates of optimal treatment during the first 3 months of participation were as follows: 92.5% for antithrombotic medication within 48 h, 84.6% for antithrombotic medications at discharge, and 77.1% for DVT prophylaxis. Rates for all treatments improved with duration of participation in the registry (p < 0.05), with the most dramatic improvements in the first year.
In a large cohort of patients with stroke or TIA, three targeted quality-improvement measures improved among hospitals participating in a disease-specific registry. Although the changes could be attributed to interventions other than the registry, these findings demonstrate the potential for hospital-level interventions to improve care for patients with stroke and TIA.
We sought to evaluate the prognostic performance of the CHADS2 score for prediction of ischemic stroke/TIA in subjects with coronary heart disease (CHD) without atrial fibrillation (AF).
In 916 non-anticoagulated outpatients with stable CHD and no AF by baseline electrocardiogram, we calculated CHADS2 scores (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥ 75, diabetes (1 point each), and prior stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) (2 points)). The primary outcome was time to ischemic stroke or TIA over a mean follow-up of 6.4 ± 2.3 years.
Over 5821 person-years of follow-up, 40 subjects suffered an ischemic stroke/TIA (rate 0.69 per 100 person-years, 95% CI 0.50-0.94). Compared to subjects with low (0-1) CHADS2 scores, those with intermediate (2-3) and high (4-6) CHADS2 scores had an increased rate of stroke/TIA, even after adjustment for age, tobacco, antiplatelet therapy, statins, and angiotensin inhibitors (CHADS2 score 2-3: HR 2.4, 95% CI 1.1-5.3, p=0.03, CHADS2 score 4-6: HR 4.0, 95% CI 1.5-10.6, p=0.006). Model discrimination (c-statistic = 0.65) was comparable to CHADS2 model fit in published AF-only cohorts.
The CHADS2 score predicts ischemic stroke/TIA in subjects with stable CHD and no baseline AF. The event rate in non-AF subjects with high CHADS2 scores (5-6) was comparable to published rates in AF patients with moderate CHADS2 scores (1-2), a population known to derive benefit from stroke prevention therapies. These findings should inform efforts to determine whether stroke prevention therapies or screening for silent AF may benefit subjects with stable CHD and high CHADS2 scores.
CHADS2; Stroke; Atrial Fibrillation; Coronary Heart Disease; Risk Stratification
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is usually defined as a neurologic ischemic disorder without permanent cerebral infarction. Studies have showed that patients with TIA can have lasting cognitive functional impairment. Inherent brain activity in the resting state is spatially organized in a set of specific coherent patterns named resting state networks (RSNs), which epitomize the functional architecture of memory, language, attention, visual, auditory and somato-motor networks. Here, we aimed to detect differences in RSNs between TIA patients and healthy controls (HCs).
Twenty one TIA patients suffered an ischemic event and 21 matched HCs were enrolled in the study. All subjects were investigated using cognitive tests, psychiatric tests and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Independent component analysis (ICA) was adopted to acquire the eight brain RSNs. Then one-sample t-tests were calculated in each group to gather the spatial maps of each RSNs, followed by second level analysis to investigate statistical differences on RSNs between twenty one TIA patients and 21 controls. Furthermore, a correlation analysis was performed to explore the relationship between functional connectivity (FC) and cognitive and psychiatric scales in TIA group.
Compared with the controls, TIA patients exhibited both decreased and increased functional connectivity in default mode network (DMN) and self-referential network (SRN), and decreased functional connectivity in dorsal attention network (DAN), central-executive network (CEN), core network (CN), somato-motor network (SMN), visual network (VN) and auditory network (AN). There was no correlation between neuropsychological scores and functional connectivity in regions of RSNs.
We observed selective impairments of RSN intrinsic FC in TIA patients, whose all eight RSNs had aberrant functional connectivity. These changes indicate that TIA is a disease with widely abnormal brain networks. Our results might put forward a novel way to look into neuro-pathophysiological mechanisms in TIA patients.
Significance: Aortic arch (AA) atheroma and AA atheroma progression are independent risk factors for recurrent vascular events in stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients. Total homocysteine level (tHcy) is an independent risk marker for atherosclerosis including that found in AA. The purpose of this study was to prospectively test the association between AA atheroma progression and tHcy. Methods: This is a cohort study of 307 consecutive hospitalized stroke/TIA patients undergoing transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) as a part of their clinical workup. Measurable AA atheroma was detected in 167 patients of whom 125 consented to a protocol-mandated follow-up TEE at 12 months. Patients had evaluation for vascular risk factors, dietary factors (folate, B12 and pyridoxine), and methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphism. One hundred eighteen stroke/TIA patients had tHcy, acceptable paired AA images, and detailed plaque measurements. An increase by ≥1 grade of AA atheroma was defined as progression. Results: Of the 118 patients, 33 (28%) showed progression and 17 (14%) showed regression of their index arch lesion at 1 year. tHcy (≥14.0 μmol/l) was significantly associated with progression on both univariate (RR = 3.4, 95% CI 2.0–5.8) and multivariate analyses (adjusted RR = 3.6, 95% CI 2.2–4.6). The changes in AA plaque thickness (r2 = 0.11; p < 0.001) and AA plaque area (r2 = 0.08; p = 0.002) correlated with tHcy. tHcy was associated with change in plaque thickness over 12 months, independent of age, dietary factors, renal function and MTHFR polymorphism (Standardized β-coefficient 0.335, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Our results validate the association and a linear correlation between tHcy and progression of AA atheroma.
cerebrovascular disease; stroke; cardiac embolism; aorta; homocysteine