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Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is an open hole between the right and left upper chambers of the heart. It may increase the risk of stroke, so closure of the hole is considered a secondary prevention in patients who have experienced cryptogenic stroke. Recent evidence has been published on the effectiveness of PFO closure, including a publicly funded prospective study on the effectiveness of PFO closure for preventing recurrent stroke or transient ischemic attack in selected Korean patients who have experienced cryptogenic stroke. The objective of this study was to examine the cost-effectiveness of PFO closure using this recent evidence.
Available clinical data from the aforementioned Korean prospective study and other recent multicenter trials funded by public bodies were used. The cost data were obtained from the current Korean National Health Insurance fee schedule. Utility data were extracted from local research on stroke patients. A cost-effectiveness analysis, based on a 20-year Markov model, was conducted using these data to compare PFO closure plus antiplatelet therapy with oral anticoagulants alone.
The initial analysis showed that PFO plus antiplatelet therapy costs KRW 7.13 million (USD 6,547) more than oral anticoagulants alone but has a higher utility of 1.3 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) per patient, which corresponds to an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of KRW 5.6 million (USD 5,142) per QALY. The implicit Korean ICER threshold is KRW 25 million (USD 22,955) for non-cancer drugs, so it seems that PFO plus antiplatelet therapy is cost effective in the Korean setting.
Since this study used some transition probabilities from foreign sources, the results may not be completely transferable to the Korean setting. However, this is the best available evidence so far in Korea for the economic evaluation of the PFO closure procedure. Therefore, use of PFO closure in carefully selected patients with a history of cryptogenic stroke may benefit the public payer in Korea.
few studies have addressed the association between the characteristics of ischemic lesions detected by diffusion-weighted imaging (dWi) and the clinical outcome in patients with hyperacute posterior circulation ischemic stroke. this study demonstrates a relationship between the findings assessed by dWi and the outcome in patients with hyperacute posterior circulation ischemic stroke.
We reviewed data from 118 patients who had posterior circulation ischemic stroke within six hours from the onset of their symptoms. the clinical outcome included early neurological deterioration (end) and a favorable outcome at three months after the onset of symptoms. using dWi, the lesion volume and the number and location of injured anatomical regions were analyzed to evaluate whether the results correlated with the clinical outcome measures.
the number of injured anatomical regions assessed by dWi was associated with the initial and delayed neurological status. Both the total volume and the number of injured anatomical regions associated with end and a favorable outcome. analysis of the location of the injured regions determined that only a pontine lesion independently associated with end. interestingly, four out of five patients who underwent decompressive craniectomy exhibited a large infarction volume but minor symptoms.
in patients with hyperacute posterior circulation ischemic strokes, the lesions assessed by dWi were associated with the clinical outcome, regardless of the initial neurological status. dWi is an effective initial imaging tool for assessing the extent of lesions and clinical outcomes in patients with hyperacute posterior circulation ischemic stroke.
Postural instability is one of the most disabling features of Parkinson's disease, usually occurring in late and advanced stages. The aim of this study was to investigate the postural performance of early-stage de novo Parkinson's disease patients with no clinical postural instability using computerized dynamic posturography. We sought to understand the relationship between postural sway and disease severity and the relationship between postural instability quantitatively measured by computerized dynamic posturography and cognitive impairment in early-stage Parkinson's disease patients.
Thirty-one subjects with Parkinson's disease and 20 healthy controls were assessed by the computerized dynamic posturography protocol using the sensory organization test and the motor control test. A neuropsychological assessment was also administered.
The mean equilibrium score for sensory organization test and the vestibular input ratio were significantly correlated with Hoehn-Yahr stage. No associations between motor latency for any motor control test condition and Hoehn-Yahr stage were found. The equilibrium score for sensory organization test correlated with the mini-mental status examination scores. There was a significant correlation between motor latency for large backward translation and mini-mental status examination scores. There were significant correlations between visual perception/construction/ memory of the neuropsychological battery test and the equilibrium score for sensory organization test and between verbal word learning test, controlled word association test and motor latency for large backward translation.
These findings showed the postural instability present in early-stage (Hoehn-Yahr stage 2-2.5) Parkinson's disease. We also found a close relationship between postural instability and cognitive function in Parkinson's disease patients.
Free fatty acids (FFAs), an important energy substrate, have an association with cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, myocardial dysfunction and abnormal cardiac rhythm. However, limited reports are available on the association between FFAs and ischemic stroke. We hypothesized that plasma FFA concentration could be associated with an ischemic stroke, emphasizing the relationship between FFA and subtypes of ischemic stroke.
A cross-sectional study examined the association between FFA concentration and subtypes of stroke and cerebral atherosclerosis from a hospital-based acute stroke registry.
Data of 715 stroke patients were analyzed. The concentration of FFA was highest in the cardioembolic stroke subtype compared with the other stroke subtypes. Logistic regression analysis revealed that an increase in FFA concentration was significantly associated with the cardioembolic subtype after the adjustment of covariates. FFA concentration was also higher in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) than those without AF. According to the presence of atherosclerotic stenosis, no significantly difference of FFA concentration was found for intracranial and extracranial cerebral arterial atherosclerosis.
Here we report a significant association between fasting FFA concentration and the cardioembolic stroke subtype. AF is suggested as the mediating factor between FFA and the cardioembolic stroke subtype.
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