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1.  Pretreatment with statins improves early outcome in patients with first-ever ischaemic stroke: a pleiotropic effect of statins or a beneficial effect of hypercholesterolemia? 
BMC Neurology  2010;10:47.
Background
Data from different studies suggest a favourable association between pretreatment with statins or hypercholesterolemia and outcome after ischaemic stroke. We examined whether there were differences in in-hospital mortality according to the presence or absence of statin therapy in a large population of first-ever ischaemic stroke patients and assessed the influence of statins upon early death and spontaneous neurological recovery.
Methods
In 2,082 consecutive patients with first-ever ischaemic stroke collected from a prospective hospital-based stroke registry during a period of 19 years (1986-2004), statin use or hypercholesterolemia before stroke was documented in 381 patients. On the other hand, favourable outcome defined as grades 0-2 in the modified Rankin scale was recorded in 382 patients.
Results
Early outcome was better in the presence of statin therapy or hypercholesterolemia (cholesterol levels were not measured) with significant differences between the groups with and without pretreatment with statins in in-hospital mortality (6% vs 13.3%, P = 0.001) and symptom-free (22% vs 17.5%, P = 0.025) and severe functional limitation (6.6% vs 11.5%, P = 0.002) at hospital discharge, as well as lower rates of infectious respiratory complications during hospitalization. In the logistic regression model, statin therapy was the only variable inversely associated with in-hospital death (odds ratio 0.57) and directly associated with favourable outcome (odds ratio 1.32).
Conclusions
Use of statins or hypercholesterolemia before first-ever ischaemic stroke was associated with better early outcome with a reduced mortality during hospitalization and neurological disability at hospital discharge. However, statin therapy may increase the risk of intracerebral haemorrhage, particularly in the setting of thrombolysis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-10-47
PMCID: PMC2905355  PMID: 20565890
2.  Clinical predictors of lacunar syndrome not due to lacunar infarction 
BMC Neurology  2010;10:31.
Background
Lacunar syndrome not due to lacunar infarct is poorly characterised. This single centre, retrospective study was conducted to describe the clinical characteristics of patients with lacunar syndrome not due to lacunar infarct and to identify clinical predictors of this variant of lacunar stroke.
Methods
A total of 146 patients with lacunar syndrome not due to lacunar infarction were included in the "Sagrat Cor Hospital of Barcelona Stroke Registry" during a period of 19 years (1986-2004). Data from stroke patients are entered in the stroke registry following a standardized protocol with 161 items regarding demographics, risk factors, clinical features, laboratory and neuroimaging data, complications and outcome. The characteristics of these 146 patients with lacunar syndrome not due to lacunar infarct were compared with those of the 733 patients with lacunar infarction.
Results
Lacunar syndrome not due to lacunar infarct accounted for 16.6% (146/879) of all cases of lacunar stroke. Subtypes of lacunar syndromes included pure motor stroke in 63 patients, sensorimotor stroke in 51, pure sensory stroke in 14, atypical lacunar syndrome in 9, ataxic hemiparesis in 5 and dysarthria-clumsy hand in 4. Valvular heart disease, atrial fibrillation, sudden onset, limb weakness and sensory symptoms were significantly more frequent among patients with lacunar syndrome not due to lacunar infarct than in those with lacunar infarction, whereas diabetes was less frequent. In the multivariate analysis, atrial fibrillation (OR = 4.62), sensorimotor stroke (OR = 4.05), limb weakness (OR = 2.09), sudden onset (OR = 2.06) and age (OR = 0.96) were independent predictors of lacunar syndrome not due to lacunar infarct.
Conclusions
Although lacunar syndromes are highly suggestive of small deep cerebral infarctions, lacunar syndromes not due to lacunar infarcts are found in 16.6% of cases. The presence of sensorimotor stroke, limb weakness and sudden onset in a patient with atrial fibrillation should alert the clinician to the possibility of a lacunar syndrome not due to a lacunar infarct.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-10-31
PMCID: PMC2877662  PMID: 20482763
3.  Infarction in the territory of the anterior cerebral artery: clinical study of 51 patients 
BMC Neurology  2009;9:30.
Background
Little is known about clinical features and prognosis of patients with ischaemic stroke caused by infarction in the territory of the anterior cerebral artery (ACA). This single centre, retrospective study was conducted with the following objectives: a) to describe the clinical characteristics and short-term outcome of stroke patients with ACA infarction as compared with that of patients with ischaemic stroke due to middle cerebral artery (MCA) and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) infarctions, and b) to identify predictors of ACA stroke.
Methods
Fifty-one patients with ACA stroke were included in the "Sagrat Cor Hospital of Barcelona Stroke Registry" during a period of 19 years (1986–2004). Data from stroke patients are entered in the stroke registry following a standardized protocol with 161 items regarding demographics, risk factors, clinical features, laboratory and neuroimaging data, complications and outcome. The characteristics of these 51 patients with ACA stroke were compared with those of the 1355 patients with MCA infarctions and 232 patients with PCA infarctions included in the registry.
Results
Infarctions of the ACA accounted for 1.3% of all cases of stroke (n = 3808) and 1.8% of cerebral infarctions (n = 2704). Stroke subtypes included cardioembolic infarction in 45.1% of patients, atherothrombotic infarction in 29.4%, lacunar infarct in 11.8%, infarct of unknown cause in 11.8% and infarction of unusual aetiology in 2%. In-hospital mortality was 7.8% (n = 4). Only 5 (9.8%) patients were symptom-free at hospital discharge. Speech disturbances (odds ratio [OR] = 0.48) and altered consciousness (OR = 0.31) were independent variables of ACA stroke in comparison with MCA infarction, whereas limb weakness (OR = 9.11), cardioembolism as stroke mechanism (OR = 2.49) and sensory deficit (OR = 0.35) were independent variables associated with ACA stroke in comparison with PCA infarction.
Conclusion
Cardioembolism is the main cause of brain infarction in the territory of the ACA. Several clinical features are more frequent in stroke patients with ACA infarction than in patients with ischaemic stroke due to infarction in the MCA and PCA territories.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-9-30
PMCID: PMC2714497  PMID: 19589132
4.  Thalamic haemorrhage vs internal capsule-basal ganglia haemorrhage: clinical profile and predictors of in-hospital mortality 
BMC Neurology  2007;7:32.
Background
There is a paucity of clinical studies focused specifically on intracerebral haemorrhages of subcortical topography, a subject matter of interest to clinicians involved in stroke management. This single centre, retrospective study was conducted with the following objectives: a) to describe the aetiological, clinical and prognostic characteristics of patients with thalamic haemorrhage as compared with that of patients with internal capsule-basal ganglia haemorrhage, and b) to identify predictors of in-hospital mortality in patients with thalamic haemorrhage.
Methods
Forty-seven patients with thalamic haemorrhage were included in the "Sagrat Cor Hospital of Barcelona Stroke Registry" during a period of 17 years. Data from stroke patients are entered in the stroke registry following a standardized protocol with 161 items regarding demographics, risk factors, clinical features, laboratory and neuroimaging data, complications and outcome. The region of the intracranial haemorrhage was identified on computerized tomographic (CT) scans and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain.
Results
Thalamic haemorrhage accounted for 1.4% of all cases of stroke (n = 3420) and 13% of intracerebral haemorrhage (n = 364). Hypertension (53.2%), vascular malformations (6.4%), haematological conditions (4.3%) and anticoagulation (2.1%) were the main causes of thalamic haemorrhage. In-hospital mortality was 19% (n = 9). Sensory deficit, speech disturbances and lacunar syndrome were significantly associated with thalamic haemorrhage, whereas altered consciousness (odds ratio [OR] = 39.56), intraventricular involvement (OR = 24.74) and age (OR = 1.23), were independent predictors of in-hospital mortality.
Conclusion
One in 8 patients with acute intracerebral haemorrhage had a thalamic hematoma. Altered consciousness, intraventricular extension of the hematoma and advanced age were determinants of a poor early outcome.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-7-32
PMCID: PMC2169250  PMID: 17919332
5.  Cerebral infarction in diabetes: Clinical pattern, stroke subtypes, and predictors of in-hospital mortality 
BMC Neurology  2005;5:9.
Background
To compare the characteristics and prognostic features of ischemic stroke in patients with diabetes and without diabetes, and to determine the independent predictors of in-hospital mortality in people with diabetes and ischemic stroke.
Methods
Diabetes was diagnosed in 393 (21.3%) of 1,840 consecutive patients with cerebral infarction included in a prospective stroke registry over a 12-year period. Demographic characteristics, cardiovascular risk factors, clinical events, stroke subtypes, neuroimaging data, and outcome in ischemic stroke patients with and without diabetes were compared. Predictors of in-hospital mortality in diabetic patients with ischemic stroke were assessed by multivariate analysis.
Results
People with diabetes compared to people without diabetes presented more frequently atherothrombotic stroke (41.2% vs 27%) and lacunar infarction (35.1% vs 23.9%) (P < 0.01). The in-hospital mortality in ischemic stroke patients with diabetes was 12.5% and 14.6% in those without (P = NS). Ischemic heart disease, hyperlipidemia, subacute onset, 85 years old or more, atherothrombotic and lacunar infarcts, and thalamic topography were independently associated with ischemic stroke in patients with diabetes, whereas predictors of in-hospital mortality included the patient's age, decreased consciousness, chronic nephropathy, congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation
Conclusion
Ischemic stroke in people with diabetes showed a different clinical pattern from those without diabetes, with atherothrombotic stroke and lacunar infarcts being more frequent. Clinical factors indicative of the severity of ischemic stroke available at onset have a predominant influence upon in-hospital mortality and may help clinicians to assess prognosis more accurately.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-5-9
PMCID: PMC1097737  PMID: 15833108

Results 1-5 (5)