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1.  Organized Comprehensive Stroke Center is Associated with Reduced Mortality: Analysis of Consecutive Patients in a Single Hospital 
Journal of Stroke  2013;15(1):57-63.
Background and Purpose
Organized inpatient stroke care is one of the most effective therapies for improving patient outcomes. Many stroke centers have been established to meet this need, however, there are limited data on the effectiveness of these organized comprehensive stroke center (CSC) in the real-world setting. Our aim is to determine whether inpatient care following the establishment of CSC lowers mortality of patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS).
Based on a prospective stroke registry, we identified AIS patients hospitalized before and after the establishment of a CSC. We observed all-cause mortality within 30 days from time of admission. Logistic regression was used to determine whether the establishment of the CSC affects independently the 30-day all-cause mortality.
A total of 3,117 consecutive patients with AIS were admitted within seven days after the onset of the symptoms. Unadjusted 30-day mortality was lower for patients admitted to our hospital after the establishment of the CSC than before (5.9% vs. 8.2%, P=0.012). Advanced age, female gender, previous coronary artery disease, non-smoking, stroke subtype, admission on a holiday, referral from other hospitals, high NIHSS on admission, and admission before the establishment of CSC were associated with increased 30-day stroke case fatality. After adjustment for these factors, stroke inpatient care subsequent to the establishment of the CSC was independently associated with lower 30-day mortality (OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.412-0.795).
Patients treated after the establishment of a CSC had lower 30-mortality rates than ever before, even adjusting for the differences in the baseline characteristics. The present study reveals that organized stroke care in a CSC might improve the outcome after AIS.
PMCID: PMC3779674  PMID: 24324940
Stroke center; Acute ischemic stroke; Stroke care organization; Stroke mortality
2.  Cilostazol Reduces PAC-1 Expression on Platelets in Ischemic Stroke 
Background and Purpose
Cilostazol, a phosphodiesterase III inhibitor, is known to be a useful antiplatelet agent that inhibits the progression of atherosclerosis in ischemic stroke. This study investigated the effects of combining cilostazol with aspirin on the expressions of P-selectin and PAC-1 on activated platelets in acute ischemic stroke.
We analyzed 70 patients with acute ischemic stroke (<72 hrs of an ischemic event). The daily intake was 100 mg of aspirin in 37 patients and 100 mg of aspirin plus 200 mg of cilostazol in 33 patients. The expressions of P-selectin and PAC-1 on activated platelets were measured on the day of admission and 5 days later. We also evaluated the clinical progression using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) at the same times.
After 5 days the extent of PAC-1 expression on activated platelets was significantly lower for combined aspirin and cilostazol treatment (61.0±19.3%, p=0.008; mean±standard deviation) than the baseline level (70.9±12.9%), but did not differ between aspirin alone (66.0 ±19.0%) and baseline (70.1±15.7%). The expression of P-selectin did not differ between combined aspirin and cilostazol treatment and baseline. The clinical progression did not differ between the two groups, as indicated by the absence of significant changes on the NIHSS in the acute period.
This study found that the combined regimen of aspirin and cilostazol exerts the beneficial effect of reducing PAC-1 activity on activated platelets in acute ischemic stroke. However, the clinical outcome of this regimen was no better than that of the aspirin-only regimen. Therefore, further detailed studies of the possible clinical benefits of cilostazol in acute ischemic stroke are needed.
PMCID: PMC2686855  PMID: 19513289
cilostazol; acute ischemic stroke
3.  Symptomatic Steno-Occlusion in Patients with Acute Cerebral Infarction: Prevalence, Distribution, and Functional Outcome 
Journal of Stroke  2014;16(1):36-43.
Background and Purpose
Symptomatic steno-occlusion (SYSO) in acute ischemic stroke has a significant impact on treatment options and prognosis. However, the prevalence, distribution, clinical characteristics, and outcome of SYSO are not well known.
We retrospectively identified 3,451 patients hospitalized because of ischemic stroke within 24 hours of symptom onset at 9 stroke centers in South Korea. Patients who did not undergo magnetic resonance imaging were excluded. SYSO was defined as stenosis or occlusion of cerebral arteries with relevant ischemic lesions in the corresponding arterial territory. The number, location, and severity of SYSOs and their effects on functional outcome were analyzed.
In total, 1,929 of 3,057 subjects (63.1%) had SYSO. The most frequently affected vessels were the middle cerebral artery (34.6%), extracranial internal carotid artery (14%), vertebral artery (12.4%), and basilar artery (8.7%). SYSO predicted poor outcome on the modified Rankin Scale 3-6 (odds ratio, 1.77; 95% confidence interval, 1.46-2.15) with adjustments. Involvement of 2 or more vessels was observed in 30.6% of patients with SYSO and independently increased the risk of poor outcome (odds ratio, 2.76; 95% confidence interval, 2.12-3.59). The severity of SYSO was associated with outcome and showed a significant dose-response trend (P<0.001). The effect of SYSO on outcome did not significantly differ by individual arterial location (P for contrast=0.21).
Approximately 60% of patients with acute ischemic stroke had SYSO, and the severity and number were inversely correlated with outcome. The results suggest that SYSO could predict stroke outcome.
PMCID: PMC3961813  PMID: 24741563
Cerebrovascular occlusion; Stroke; Cerebral arteries; Magnetic Resonance Imaging
4.  Direct Relationship between Angiographic Characteristics of Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaque and Filling Defect in the Cerebral Protection Filters : Based on the Conventional Angiography 
Neurologic complications during carotid artery stenting (CAS) are usually associated with distal embolic event. These embolic incident during CAS are highly associated with the carotid plaque instability. The current study was undertaken to identify the angiographic characteristics of carotid plaque vulnerability, which was represented as filling defect in the cerebral protection filters during CAS.
A total of 107 patients underwent CAS with use of a distal protection filter. Angiographic carotid plaque surface morphology was classified as smooth, irregular, and ulcerated. To determine predictable factors of filling defect in the protection filters, 11 variables were retrospectively analyzed which might influence filling defect in the protection filters during CAS.
Filling defects during CAS were presented in the 33 cerebral protection filters. In multivariate analysis, angiographic ulceration [odds ratio (OR), 6.60; 95% confidence interval (CI) : 2.24, 19.4; p=0.001], higher stenosis degree (OR, 1.06; 95% CI : 1.00, 1.12; p=0.039), and coexistent thrombus (OR, 7.58; 95% CI : 1.69, 34.05; p=0.08) were highly associated with filling defect in the cerebral protection devices during CAS. Among several variables, angiographic surface ulceration was the only significant factor associated with flow stagnation during CAS (OR, 4.11; 95% CI : 1.33, 12.72; p=0.014).
Plaque surface morphology on carotid angiography can be a highly sensitive marker of plaque instability during CAS. The independent risk factors for filling defect in the filter devices during CAS were plaque ulceration, stenosis degree, and coexistent thrombus.
PMCID: PMC3809450  PMID: 24175022
Carotid artery; Angiography; Plaque
5.  Outcome Following Decompressive Craniectomy for Malignant Middle Cerebral Artery Infarction in Patients Older Than 70 Years Old 
Malignant middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction occurs in 10% of all ischemic strokes and these severe strokes are associated with high mortality rates. Recent clinical trials demonstrated that early decompressive craniectomy reduce mortality rates and improves functional outcomes in healthy young patients (less than 61 years of age) with a malignant infarction. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of decompressive craniectomy in elderly patients (older than 70 years of age) with a malignant MCA infarction.
Between February 2008 and October 2011, 131 patients were diagnosed with malignant MCA infarctions. We divided these patients into two groups: patients who underwent decompressive craniectomy (n = 58) and those who underwent conservative care (n = 73). A cut-off point of 70 years of age was set, and the study population was segregated into those who fell above or below this point. Mortality rates and functional outcome scores were assessed, and a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of > 3 was considered to represent a poor outcome.
Mortality rates were significantly lower at 29.3% (one-month mortality rate) and 48.3% (six-month mortality rate) in the craniectomy group as compared to 58.9% and 71.2%, respectively, in the conservative care group (p < 0.001, p = 0.007). Age (≥70 years vs. < 70 years) did not statistically differ between groups for the six-month mortality rate (p = 0.137). However, the pre-operative National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score did contribute to the six-month mortality rate (p = 0.047).
Decompressive craniectomy is effective for patients with a malignant MCA infarction regardless of their age. Therefore, factors other than age should be considered and the treatment should be individualized in elderly patients with malignant infarctions.
PMCID: PMC3471258  PMID: 23210030
Age; Mortality; Middle cerebral artery; Cerebral infarction; Decompressive craniectomy
6.  Leukoaraiosis on Magnetic Resonance Imaging Is Related to Long-Term Poor Functional Outcome after Thrombolysis in Acute Ischemic Stroke 
Leukoaraiosis (LA) has been suggested to be related to the poor outcome or the occurrence of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) after acute ischemic stroke. We retrospectively investigated the influences of LA on long-term outcome and the occurrence of sICH after thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke (AIS).
In this study, we recruited 164 patients with AIS and magnetic resonance image (MRI)-detected thrombolysis. The presence and extent of LA were assessed using the Fazekas grading system. The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was used to assess the baseline measure of neurologic severity, and the modified Rankin Scale score assessment was used up to 1 year after thrombolysis.
Of 164 subjects, 56 (34.2%) showed LA on MRI. Compared to the 108 patients without LA, the patients with LA were of much older age (p<0.01), had a higher prevalence of hypertension (p<0.01), and had a much poorer outcome at 90 days (p=0.05) and 1 yr (p=0.01) after thrombolysis. There were no significant differences in sICH between patients with and without LA on MRI. In univariate analysis for the occurrence of poor outcome at 90 days after thrombolysis, the size of ischemic lesion on diffusion weighted images (DWI), [odds ratio (OR), 1.03; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.01-1.04; p<0.01], recanalization (OR, 0.03; 95% CI, 0.01-0.10; p<0.01), sICH (OR, 12.2; 95% CI, 1.54-95.8), neurologic severity (OR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.09-1.25; p<0.01), blood glucose level (OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00-1.02; p=0.03), and the presence of LA on MRI (OR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.04-3.01; p=0.04) were statistically significant. In multivariate analysis, neurologic severity (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.04-1.24; p<0.01), recanalization (OR, 0.03; 95% CI, 0.01-0.11; p<0.01), lesion size on DWI (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.03; p=0.02), serum glucose level (OR, 1.01; 95% CI; 1.01-1.02; p=0.03), and the presence of LA on MRI (OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.22-8.48; p<0.01) showed statistically significant differences. These trends persisted up to 1 yr after thrombolysis.
In this study, we demonstrated that the presence of LA on MRI might be related to poor outcome after use of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator in AIS.
PMCID: PMC3206282  PMID: 22053223
Leukoaraiosis; Intracerebral hemorrhage; Thrombolysis; Acute ischemic stroke
7.  Dementia with Lewy Bodies versus Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease Dementia: A Comparison of Cognitive Profiles 
Background and Purpose
It is particularly difficult to differentiate dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) from the related dementias of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD). Few studies have been designed to comparatively analyze detailed neuropsychological assessments of DLB patients and patients with AD and PDD.
Three groups of patients participated in this study: 10 with DLB, 76 with AD, and 17 with PDD, who had been diagnosed as probable DLB, AD, and PDD, respectively, according to the clinical criteria of the consortium on DLB, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Diseases and Stroke/Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorder Association, and the clinical diagnostic criteria for PDD. All patients were evaluated by careful neurological examination with detailed neuropsychological testing.
Significant differences among the three groups were found for attention, memory, and executive function, which included tasks of backward digit span, three-word recall, verbal delayed recall, and the Stroop test. Post hoc analysis revealed that the deficiencies of attention on the digit span task were greater in the DLB group than in the AD and PDD groups. The scores for episodic verbal memory tasks were significantly lower in the DLB and AD groups than in the PDD group. The performance in frontal executive function, as indicated by the Stroop test, was significantly worse in the DLB and PDD groups than in the AD group.
The results of the present study show that the pattern of cognitive dysfunction, in terms of attention, episodic memory, and executive functions, differ between patients with DLB and patients with AD and PDD.
PMCID: PMC3079155  PMID: 21519522
dementia with lewy bodies; Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease dementia; cognition; neuropsychology
8.  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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2950918  PMID: 20944814
stroke; thrombolysis; prehospital notification; stroke care system
9.  Severe Episodic Memory Impairment in a Patient With Clinical Features Compatible With Corticobasal Degeneration 
Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by asymmetric parkinsonism associated with apraxia, cortical sensory loss, and alien-limb phenomenon. Neuropsychological testing in patients with CBD typically shows deficits in executive functions, praxis, language, and visuospatial functioning, but not in memory. We report a CBD patient with severely impaired memory function but relatively mild motor symptoms. Detailed neuropsychological assessment showed significant verbal and visual memory deficits accompanied by frontal executive dysfunctions. Our observations indicate that CBD can in rare cases present with severe episodic memory impairment associated with frontal executive dysfunctions in the early stage of illness.
PMCID: PMC2686868  PMID: 19513310
Corticobasal degeneration; Episodic memory; PET
10.  Surface expression of P-selectin on platelets is related with clinical worsening in acute ischemic stroke. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2002;17(6):811-816.
Platelet activation has a critical role in arterial disorders. In this study, we showed that the upregulation of P-selectin expression on platelets was related with clinical worsening in acute ischemic stroke. We serially (within 24 hr, at 72 hr, and 7 days) measured the expression of P-selectin on platelets in patients with acute ischemic stroke (n=45) and investigated the correlation between their extents and clinical severity of ischemic stroke. A significant relationship between the P-selectin expressions and National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) was observed at 72 hr and 7 days after ischemic stroke onset. Patients with clinical deterioration showed significantly increased expression of P-selectin on platelets as compared to those without deterioration. These results suggest that the P-selectin expression on platelets may contribute to the aggravation of clinical course in acute ischemic stroke. Thus, adequate manipulation of activated platelets is an important therapeutic strategy in acute ischemic stroke.
PMCID: PMC3054976  PMID: 12483007

Results 1-10 (10)