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Numerous studies have shown longer pre-hospital and in-hospital workflow times and poorer outcomes in women after acute ischemic stroke (AIS) in general and after endovascular treatment (EVT) in particular. We investigated sex differences in acute stroke care of EVT patients over 5 years in a comprehensive Canadian provincial registry.
Clinical data of all AIS patients who underwent EVT between January 2017 and December 2022 in the province of Saskatchewan were captured in the Canadian OPTIMISE registry and supplemented with patient data from administrative data sources. Patient baseline characteristics, transport time metrics, and technical EVT outcomes between female and male EVT patients were compared.
Three-hundred-three patients underwent EVT between 2017 and 2022: 144 (47.5%) women and 159 (52.5%) men. Women were significantly older (median age 77.5 [interquartile range: 66–85] vs.71 [59–78], p < 0.001), while men had more intracranial internal carotid artery occlusions (48/159 [30.2%] vs. 26/142 [18.3%], p = 0.03). Last-known-well to comprehensive stroke center (CSC)-arrival time (median 232 min [interquartile range 90–432] in women vs. 230 min [90–352] in men), CSC-arrival-to-reperfusion time (median 108 min [88–149] in women vs. 102 min [77–141] in men), reperfusion status (successful reperfusion 106/142 [74.7%] in women vs. 117/158 [74.1%] in men) as well as modified Rankin score at 90 days did not differ significantly. This held true after adjusting for baseline variables in multivariable analyses.
While women undergoing EVT in the province of Saskatchewan were on average older than men, they were treated just as fast and achieved similar technical and clinical outcomes compared to men.
Whereas the beneficial effect of antiplatelet therapy for recurrent stroke prevention has been well established, uncertainties remain regarding the optimal antithrombotic regimen for recently symptomatic carotid stenosis. We sought to explore the approaches of stroke physicians to antithrombotic management of patients with symptomatic carotid stenosis.
We employed a qualitative descriptive methodology to explore the decision-making approaches and opinions of physicians regarding antithrombotic regimens for symptomatic carotid stenosis. We conducted semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 22 stroke physicians (11 neurologists, 3 geriatricians, 5 interventional-neuroradiologists, and 3 neurosurgeons) from 16 centers on four continents to discuss symptomatic carotid stenosis management. We then conducted thematic analysis on the transcripts.
Important themes revealed from our analysis included limitations of existing clinical trial evidence, competing surgeon versus neurologist/internist preferences, and the choice of antiplatelet therapy while awaiting revascularization. There was a greater concern for adverse events while using multiple antiplatelet agents (e.g., dual-antiplatelet therapy (DAPT)) in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy compared to carotid artery stenting. Regional variations included more frequent use of single antiplatelet agents among European participants. Areas of uncertainty included antithrombotic management if already on an antiplatelet agent, implications of nonstenotic features of carotid disease, the role of newer antiplatelet agents or anticoagulants, platelet aggregation testing, and timing of DAPT.
Our qualitative findings can help physicians critically examine the rationale underlying their own antithrombotic approaches to symptomatic carotid stenosis. Future clinical trials may wish to accommodate identified variations in practice patterns and areas of uncertainty to better inform clinical practice.
Although age-standardized stroke occurrence has been decreasing, the absolute number of stroke events globally, and in Canada, is increasing. Stroke surveillance is necessary for health services planning, informing research design, and public health messaging. We used administrative data to estimate the number of stroke events resulting in hospital or emergency department presentation across Canada in the 2017–18 fiscal year.
Hospitalization data were obtained from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) Discharge Abstract Database and the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Quebec. Emergency department data were obtained from the CIHI National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (Alberta and Ontario). Stroke events were identified using ICD-10 coding. Data were linked into episodes of care to account for readmissions and interfacility transfers. Projections for emergency department visits for provinces/territories outside of Alberta and Ontario were generated based upon age and sex-standardized estimates from Alberta and Ontario.
In the 2017–18 fiscal year, there were 108,707 stroke events resulting in hospital or emergency department presentation across the country. This was made up of 54,357 events resulting in hospital admission and 54,350 events resulting in only emergency department presentation. The events resulting in only emergency department presentation consisted of 25,941 events observed in Alberta and Ontario and a projection of 28,409 events across the rest of the country.
We estimate a stroke event resulting in hospital or emergency department presentation occurs every 5 minutes in Canada.
The 2022 update of the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations (CSBPR) for Acute Stroke Management, 7th edition, is a comprehensive summary of current evidence-based recommendations, appropriate for use by an interdisciplinary team of healthcare providers and system planners caring for persons with an acute stroke or transient ischemic attack. These recommendations are a timely opportunity to reassess current processes to ensure efficient access to acute stroke diagnostics, treatments, and management strategies, proven to reduce mortality and morbidity. The topics covered include prehospital care, emergency department care, intravenous thrombolysis and endovascular thrombectomy (EVT), prevention and management of inhospital complications, vascular risk factor reduction, early rehabilitation, and end-of-life care. These recommendations pertain primarily to an acute ischemic vascular event. Notable changes in the 7th edition include recommendations pertaining the use of tenecteplase, thrombolysis as a bridging therapy prior to mechanical thrombectomy, dual antiplatelet therapy for stroke prevention,1 the management of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage following thrombolysis, acute stroke imaging, care of patients undergoing EVT, medical assistance in dying, and virtual stroke care. An explicit effort was made to address sex and gender differences wherever possible. The theme of the 7th edition of the CSBPR is building connections to optimize individual outcomes, recognizing that many people who present with acute stroke often also have multiple comorbid conditions, are medically more complex, and require a coordinated interdisciplinary approach for optimal recovery. Additional materials to support timely implementation and quality monitoring of these recommendations are available at www.strokebestpractices.ca.
Despite the high proportion of stroke patients with a pre-existing impairment, patients with disabilities are often excluded from stroke treatment trials. Trials are designed for “perfect patients”: patients who are functionally independent and thus generally younger with fewer comorbidities; ironically, such patients are less likely to experience stroke than those with premorbid disability. Exclusionary practices in trials may translate into disparities in stroke care in practice. Through a review of literature, our purpose is to illuminate how people with disabilities are treated across the care continuum following a stroke.
We completed a qualitative systematized review of articles pertaining to the care of patients with premorbid disability and stroke and their outcomes. Using a critical disability studies' theoretical lens, we analyzed inequity across the stroke care continuum.
Among 24 included studies, we found evidence that people with disabilities did not receive equitable access to treatment ranging from being admitted to stroke units to receiving post-stroke rehabilitation. However, observational studies suggest that stroke therapies may be beneficial in selected patients with disabilities when measures of success are framed more achievable (e.g. return to pre-stroke status). This leaves us concerned about how people with pre-existing impairments might be structurally disabled within current systems of stroke care.
We use our critical disability studies' theoretical lens to argue that an intersectional approach to stroke treatment is much needed if we are to remedy structural inequities embedded throughout the care continuum.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been associated with various neurological and atypical head/eyes/ears/nose/throat (HEENT) manifestations. We sought to review the evidence for these manifestations.
In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we compiled studies published until March 31, 2021 that examined non-respiratory HEENT, central, and peripheral nervous system presentations in COVID-19 patients. We included 477 studies for qualitative synthesis and 59 studies for meta-analyses.
Anosmia, ageusia, and conjunctivitis may precede typical upper/lower respiratory symptoms. Central nervous system (CNS) manifestations include stroke and encephalopathy, potentially with brainstem or cranial nerve involvement. MRI studies support CNS para-/postinfectious etiologies, but direct neuroinvasion seems very rare, with few cases detecting Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the CNS. Peripheral nervous system (PNS) manifestations include muscle damage, Guillain–Barre syndrome (GBS), and its variants. There was moderate-to-high study heterogeneity and risk of bias. In random-effects meta-analyses, anosmia/ageusia was estimated to occur in 56% of COVID-19 patients (95% CI: 0.41–0.71, I2:99.9%), more commonly than in patients without COVID-19 (OR: 14.28, 95% CI: 8.39–24.29, I2: 49.0%). Neurological symptoms were estimated to occur in 36% of hospitalized patients (95% CI: 0.31–0.42, I2: 99.8%); ischemic stroke in 3% (95% CI: 0.03–0.04, I2: 99.2%), and GBS in 0.04% (0.033%–0.047%), more commonly than in patients without COVID-19 (OR[stroke]: 2.53, 95% CI: 1.16–5.50, I2: 76.4%; OR[GBS]: 3.43,1.15–10.25, I2: 89.1%).
Current evidence is mostly from retrospective cohorts or series, largely in hospitalized or critically ill patients, not representative of typical community-dwelling patients. There remains a paucity of systematically gathered prospective data on neurological manifestations. Nevertheless, these findings support a high index of suspicion to identify HEENT/neurological presentations in patients with known COVID-19, and to test for COVID-19 in patients with such presentations at risk of infection.
Decisions to treat large-vessel occlusion with endovascular therapy (EVT) or intravenous alteplase depend on how physicians weigh benefits against risks when considering patients’ comorbidities. We explored EVT/alteplase decision-making by stroke experts in the setting of comorbidity/disability.
In an international multi-disciplinary survey, experts chose treatment approaches under current resources and under assumed ideal conditions for 10 of 22 randomly assigned case scenarios. Five included comorbidities (cancer, cardiac/respiratory/renal disease, mild cognitive impairment [MCI], physical dependence). We examined scenario/respondent characteristics associated with EVT/alteplase decisions using multivariable logistic regressions.
Among 607 physicians (38 countries), EVT was chosen less often in comorbidity-related scenarios (79.6% under current resources, 82.7% assuming ideal conditions) versus six “level-1A” scenarios for which EVT/alteplase was clearly indicated by current guidelines (91.1% and 95.1%, respectively, odds ratio [OR] [current resources]: 0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.31–0.47). However, EVT was chosen more often in comorbidity-related scenarios compared to all other 17 scenarios (79.6% versus 74.4% under current resources, OR: 1.34, 1.17–1.54). Responses favoring alteplase for comorbidity-related scenarios (e.g. 75.0% under current resources) were comparable to level-1A scenarios (72.2%) and higher than all others (60.4%). No comorbidity independently diminished EVT odds when considering all scenarios. MCI and dependence carried higher alteplase odds; cancer and cardiac/respiratory/renal disease had lower odds. Being older/female carried lower EVT odds. Relevant respondent characteristics included performing more EVT cases/year (higher EVT-, lower alteplase odds), practicing in East Asia (higher EVT odds), and in interventional neuroradiology (lower alteplase odds vs neurology).
Moderate-to-severe comorbidities did not consistently deter experts from EVT, suggesting equipoise about withholding EVT based on comorbidities. However, alteplase was often foregone when respondents chose EVT. Differences in decision-making by patient age/sex merit further study.
Modern global food supply chains are characterized by extremely high levels of concentration in the middle of those chains. This paper argues that such concentration leads to excessive buyer power, which harms the consumers and food producers at the ends of the supply chains. It also argues that the harms suffered by farmers are serious enough as to constitute violations of the international human right to food, as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and more specifically, in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. World competition law regimes cannot ignore these human rights imperatives. To a certain extent, these imperatives can be accommodated under existing consumerist competition law theories by the interpretive mechanism of conform-interpretation. However, when one comprehends the truly global scale of modern food supply chains, it becomes obvious that conform-interpretation alone will not suffice. Instead, the protection of a minimum level of producer welfare congruent to those producers’ right to a minimum adequate level of food must find a place among the aims of any credible theory of competition law. Moreover, the same globalized nature of these food supply chains means that current doctrines of extraterritorial jurisdiction of competition control have also to be revised.
After defining Cosmopolitan Right as being limited to the conditions of “hospitality,” Kant includes “Wirtbarkeit” in brackets, a word that connotes innkeeping. Moreover, significant similarities obtain between the relevant passages of the Perpetual Peace and those of the Digest of Justinian on the obligations of ships’ masters, innkeepers, and stable keepers. Unlike for ordinary householders, hospitality for innkeepers is a legal obligation, not a matter of philanthropy: they have traditionally been deemed public officials with limited discretion to refuse travelers, and as fiduciaries of their guests strictly liable for losses to their property. This article attempts to explain Kant's concept of Cosmopolitan Right by analogy to the private law of innkeeping, and ultimately engages in the central philosophical debate about Cosmopolitan Right by accounting for Cosmopolitan Right solely from the “innate” right to freedom, rather than from “acquired” facts such as land or resource distributions or historical injustices.
Background: Stroke patients of lower socioeconomic status have worse outcomes. It remains poorly understood whether this is due to illness severity or personal or health system barriers. We explored the experiences of stroke patients with financial barriers in a qualitative descriptive pilot study, seeking to capture perceived challenges that interfere with their poststroke health and recovery. Methods: We interviewed six adults with a history of stroke and financial barriers in Alberta, Canada, inquiring about their: (1) experiences after stroke; (2) experience of financial barriers; (3) perceived reasons for financial barriers; (4) health consequences of financial barriers; and (5) mechanisms for coping with financial barriers. Two reviewers analyzed data using inductive thematic analysis. Results: The participants developed new or worsened financial circumstances as a consequence of stroke-related disability. Poststroke impairments and financial barriers took a toll on their mental health. They struggled to access several aspects of long-term poststroke care, including allied health professional services, medications, and proper nutrition. They described opportunity costs and tradeoffs when accessing health services. In several cases, they were unaware of health resources available to them and were hesitant to disclose their struggles to their physicians and even their families. Conclusion: Some patients with financial barriers perceive challenges to accessing various aspects of poststroke care. They may have inadequate knowledge of resources available to them and may not disclose their concerns to their health care team. This suggests that providers themselves might consider asking stroke patients about financial barriers to optimize their long-term poststroke care.
The medical profession's modern quandaries with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) largely began in 1849, with Friedrich von Frerichs' (1819–1885) early description of the clinical and pathological features of what he termed Hirnsklerose (“brain sclerosis”). This manuscript is an overview of the century of research (1850–1950) that followed the emergence of this clinical entity, with a focus on the hitherto under-explored English Canadian perspective. Using journal articles, reviews, and case studies, this historiographical paper reviews what may be some of the earliest recorded cases of MS in Canada, and outlines the diagnostic challenges that confronted early Canadian physicians in their encounters with MS. Early Canadian attempts to characterize the aetiology and epidemiology of MS and treat it are also discussed. These activities were influenced by developments in the field in Europe and the United States, and helped set the stage for the modern era of immunologic and therapeutic research on MS.