Stroke

Short-duration hypothermia after ischemic stroke prevents delayed intracranial pressure rise

Authors: Murtha LA, McLeod DD, McCann SK, Pepperall D, Chung S, Levi CR, Calford MB, Spratt NJ.

BACKGROUND: Intracranial pressure elevation, peaking three to seven post-stroke is well recognized following large strokes. Data following small-moderate stroke are limited. Therapeutic hypothermia improves outcome after cardiac arrest, is strongly neuroprotective in experimental stroke, and is under clinical trial in stroke. Hypothermia lowers elevated intracranial pressure; however, rebound intracranial pressure elevation and neurological deterioration may occur during rewarming.
HYPOTHESES: (1) Intracranial pressure increases 24 h after moderate and small strokes. (2) Short-duration hypothermia-rewarming, instituted before intracranial pressure elevation, prevents this 24 h intracranial pressure elevation.

Impaired perfusion modifies the relationship between blood pressure and stroke risk in major cerebral artery disease

Authors: Yamauchi H, Higashi T, Kagawa S, Kishibe Y, Takahashi M.

OBJECTIVE: Blood pressure (BP) lowering may increase stroke risk in patients with symptomatic major cerebral artery disease and impaired perfusion. To investigate the relationships among BP, impaired perfusion and stroke risk.
METHODS: We retrospectively analysed data from 130 non-disabled, medically treated patients with either symptomatic extracranial carotid occlusion or intracranial stenosis or occlusion of the carotid artery or middle cerebral arteries. All patients had baseline haemodynamic measurements with 15O-gas positron emission tomography and were followed for 2 years or until stroke recurrence or death.
RESULTS: There was a negative linear relationship between systolic BP (SBP) and risk of stroke in the territory of the diseased artery. The 2-year incidence of ischaemic stroke in the territory in patients with normal SBP (<130 mm Hg, 5/32 patients) was significantly higher than in patients with high SBP (2/98, p<0.005). Multivariate analysis revealed that normal SBP and impaired perfusion were independently associated with increased risk of stroke in the previously affected territory, while risk of stroke elsewhere was positively correlated with SBP. Overall, high total stroke risk was observed at lower BP in patients with impaired perfusion and at higher BPs in patients without (interaction, p<0.01). Overall, the relationship between SBP and total stroke recurrence was J-shaped.
CONCLUSIONS: Impaired perfusion modified the relationship between blood pressure and stroke risk, although this study had limitations including the retrospective analysis, the potentially biased sample, the small number of critical events and the fact that BP was measured only as a snapshot in clinic.

Blood-pressure targets in patients with recent lacunar stroke: the SPS3 randomised trial

Authors: The SPS3 Study Group

BACKGROUND: Lowering of blood pressure prevents stroke but optimum target levels to prevent recurrent stroke are unknown. We investigated the effects of different blood-pressure targets on the rate of recurrent stroke in patients with recent lacunar stroke.
METHODS: In this randomised open-label trial, eligible patients lived in North America, Latin America, and Spain and had recent, MRI-defined symptomatic lacunar infarctions. Patients were recruited between March, 2003, and April, 2011, and randomly assigned, according to a two-by-two multifactorial design, to a systolic-blood-pressure target of 130-149 mm Hg or less than 130 mm Hg. The primary endpoint was reduction in all stroke (including ischaemic strokes and intracranial haemorrhages). Analysis was done by intention to treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT 00059306.
FINDINGS: 3020 enrolled patients, 1519 in the higher-target group and 1501 in the lower-target group, were followed up for a mean of 3·7 (SD 2·0) years. Mean age was 63 (SD 11) years. After 1 year, mean systolic blood pressure was 138 mm Hg (95% CI 137-139) in the higher-target group and 127 mm Hg (95% CI 126-128) in the lower-target group. Non-significant rate reductions were seen for all stroke (hazard ratio 0·81, 95% CI 0·64-1·03, p=0·08), disabling or fatal stroke (0·81, 0·53-1·23, p=0·32), and the composite outcome of myocardial infarction or vascular death (0·84, 0·68-1·04, p=0·32) with the lower target. The rate of intracerebral haemorrhage was reduced significantly (0·37, 0·15-0·95, p=0·03). Treatment-related serious adverse events were infrequent.
INTERPRETATION: Although the reduction in stroke was not significant, our results support that in patients with recent lacunar stroke, the use of a systolic-blood-pressure target of less than 130 mm Hg is likely to be beneficial.
FUNDING: National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH-NINDS).

Cerebral sinus thrombosis - an uncommon but important differential diagnosis to headache, stroke and seizures. Cases and overview

Authors: Sveinsson OA, Kjartansson O, Valdimarsson EM.

Thrombosis of the cerebral veins and sinuses is an unusual but important cause of increased intracranial pressure and stroke, especially in the young and middle aged. Pregnant women, especially during the puerperium, and individuals with thrombophilia are a special risk group. What makes the diagnosis difficult is the vast range of symptoms including: headache, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, reduction of consciousness, aphasia and motor and sensory disturbances. We present four cases which reflect the diverse clinical presentation of the disease. Key words: cerebral sinus thrombosis, raised intracranial pressure, stroke, anti-coagulation. 

Stroke feature and management in dialysis patients

Authors: Iseki K.

Strokes remain the major complication among dialysis population as the number of diabetes and elderly is increasing. In chronic hemodialysis patients, prevalence and incidence of stroke is higher than that of the general population. According to the annual registry data of the Japanese Society for Dialysis Therapy, prevalence of stroke death has been declining, yet the incidence of nonfatal incidence of stroke is not known. Underlying mechanisms of stroke are multiple. Among them, control of hypertension is important for the primary prevention; however, the ideal target level of blood pressure is not determined. Other than hypertension, maintaining good nutritional status is utmost important. Most observational studies suggested that the target was 140/90 mm Hg at prehemodialysis session. However, blood pressure levels are variable in both at office (before and after dialysis session) and at home. It is advisable to measure blood pressure multiple occasions and also at home. In case of acute cerebral hemorrhage, glycerol is indicated to prevent cerebral edema. Blood pressure is recommended to control as systolic <180 mm Hg or mean arterial pressure <130 mm Hg, and lower blood pressure gradually to 80% of the baseline level. In case of acute cerebral infarction hypertension is not treated unless severely hypertensive, systolic >220 mm Hg or diastolic >120 mm Hg and lower blood pressure gradually to 85-90% of the baseline level. Use of warfarin is controversial in case of acute cerebral infarction. Modification of dialysis modality is needed to prevent the increase in intracranial pressure and/or recurrence of stroke.

Timing of recanalization after intravenous thrombolysis and functional outcomes after acute ischemic stroke

Authors: Yeo LL, Paliwal P, Teoh HL, Seet RC, Chan BP, Liang S, Venketasubramanian N, Rathakrishnan R, Ahmad A, Ng KW, Loh PK, Ong JJ, Wakerley BR, Chong VF, Bathla G, Sharma VK.

BACKGROUND: Recanalization of occluded intracranial arteries remains the aim of intravenous (IV) tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) therapy in acute ischemic stroke (AIS).
OBJECTIVE: To examine the timing and impact of recanalization on functional outcomes in AIS.
DESIGN: A longitudinal cohort of consecutive IV tPA–treated patients with AIS from January 2007 through December 2010. Data were collected for demography, risk factors, stroke subtypes, blood pressure, and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale scores. Early recanalization (ER) was identified by transcranial Doppler monitoring during the first 2 hours of treatment. Recanalization was reevaluated at 24 hours by computed tomographic angiography (CTA). Patients with ER and patent index artery at 24 hours on CTA were labeled as having persistent recanalization (PR). Recanalization at 24 hours on CTA regardless of transcranial Doppler status was labeled as CTR. Favorable outcome was defined as a modified Rankin Scale score of 0 to 1 at 3 months.

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