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1.  Sensitivity of Diffusion-Weighted STEAM MRI and EPI-DWI to Infratentorial Ischemic Stroke 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(8):e0161416.
To assess the sensitivity of stimulated echo acquisition mode diffusion weighted imaging (STEAM-DWI) to ischemic stroke in comparison to echo-planar imaging diffusion weighted imaging (EPI-DWI) in the infratentorial compartment.
Fifty-seven patients presenting with clinical features of infratentorial stroke underwent STEAM-DWI, high-resolution EPI-DWI (HR-DWI, 2.5 mm slice thickness) and low-resolution EPI-DWI (LR-DWI, 5 mm slice thickness). Four readers assessed the presence of ischemic lesions and artifacts. Agreement between sequences and interobserver agreement on the presence of ischemia were calculated. The sensitivities of the DWI sequences were calculated in 45 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of infratentorial stroke.
Median time from symptom onset to imaging was 24 hours. STEAM-DWI agreed with LR-DWI in 89.5% of cases (kappa = 0.72, p<0.0001) and with HR-DWI in 89.5% of cases (kappa = 0.68, p<0.0001). STEAM-DWI showed fewer intraparenchymal artifacts (1/57) than HR-DWI (44/57) and LR-DWI (41/57). Ischemia was visible in 87% of cases for LR-DWI, 93% of cases for HR-DWI, and 89% of cases for STEAM-DWI. Interobserver agreement was good for STEAM-DWI (kappa = 0.62, p<0.0001).
Compared to the best currently available MR sequence for detecting ischemia (HR-DWI), STEAM-DWI shows fewer artifacts and a similar sensitivity to infratentorial stroke.
PMCID: PMC4987060  PMID: 27529697
2.  Rate of cardiac arrhythmias and silent brain lesions in experienced marathon runners: rationale, design and baseline data of the Berlin Beat of Running study 
Regular exercise is beneficial for cardiovascular health but a recent meta-analysis indicated a relationship between extensive endurance sport and a higher risk of atrial fibrillation, an independent risk factor for stroke. However, data on the frequency of cardiac arrhythmias or (clinically silent) brain lesions during and after marathon running are missing.
Methods/ Design
In the prospective observational “Berlin Beat of Running” study experienced endurance athletes underwent clinical examination (CE), 3 Tesla brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), carotid ultrasound imaging (CUI) and serial blood sampling (BS) within 2-3 days prior (CE, MRI, CUI, BS), directly after (CE, BS) and within 2 days after (CE, MRI, BS) the 38th BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2011. All participants wore a portable electrocardiogram (ECG)-recorder throughout the 4 to 5 days baseline study period. Participants with pathological MRI findings after the marathon, troponin elevations or detected cardiac arrhythmias will be asked to undergo cardiac MRI to rule out structural abnormalities. A follow-up is scheduled after one year.
Here we report the baseline data of the enrolled 110 athletes aged 36-61 years. Their mean age was 48.8 ± 6.0 years, 24.5% were female, 8.2% had hypertension and 2.7% had hyperlipidaemia. Participants have attended a mean of 7.5 ± 6.6 marathon races within the last 5 years and a mean of 16 ± 36 marathon races in total. Their weekly running distance prior to the 38th BMW BERLIN-MARATHON was 65 ± 17 km. Finally, 108 (98.2%) Berlin Beat-Study participants successfully completed the 38th BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2011.
Findings from the “Berlin Beats of Running” study will help to balance the benefits and risks of extensive endurance sport. ECG-recording during the marathon might contribute to identify athletes at risk for cardiovascular events. MRI results will give new insights into the link between physical stress and brain damage.
Trial registration NCT01428778
PMCID: PMC3458995  PMID: 22938148
Marathon running; ECG-recording; Magnetic resonance imaging; Blood sampling; Cardiac arrhythmia

Results 1-2 (2)