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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.
The modality of treatment of third nerve palsy (TNP) associated with intracranial aneurysms remains controversial. While treatment varies with the location of the aneurysm, microsurgical clipping of PComm aneurysms has generally been the traditional choice, with endovascular coiling emerging as a reasonable alternative.
Patients with TNP due to an intracranial aneurysm who subsequently underwent treatment at a mid-sized Canadian neurosurgical center over a 15-year period (2003–2018) were examined.
A total of 616 intracranial aneurysms in 538 patients were treated; the majority underwent endovascular coiling with only 24 patients treated with surgical clipping. Only 37 patients (6.9%) presented with either a partial or complete TNP and underwent endovascular embolization; of these, 17 presented with a SAH secondary to intracranial aneurysm rupture. Aneurysms associated with TNP included PComm (64.9%), terminal ICA (29.7%), proximal MCA (2.7%), and basilar tip (2.7%) aneurysms. In general, smaller aneurysms and earlier treatment were provided for patients for ruptured aneurysms with a shorter mean interval to TNP recovery. In the endovascularly treated cohort initially presenting with TNP, seven presented with a complete TNP and the remaining were partial TNPs. TNP resolved completely in 20 patients (55.1%) and partially in 10 patients (27.0%). Neither time to coiling nor SAH at presentation were significantly associated with the recovery status of TNP.
Endovascular coil embolization is a viable treatment modality for patients presenting with an associated cranial nerve palsy.
Evidence about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of specific subpopulations, such as university students, is needed as communities prepare for future waves.
To study the association of proximity of COVID-19 with symptoms of anxiety and depression in university students.
This trend study analysed weekly cross-sectional surveys of probabilistic samples of students from the University of British Columbia for 13 weeks, through the first wave of COVID-19. The main variable assessed was propinquity of COVID-19, defined as ‘knowing someone who tested positive for COVID-19’, which was specified at different levels: knowing someone anywhere globally, in Canada, in Vancouver, in their course or at home. Proximity was included in multivariable linear regressions to assess its association with primary outcomes, including 30-day symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.
Of 1388 respondents (adjusted response rate of 50%), 5.6% knew someone with COVID-19 in Vancouver, 0.8% in their course and 0.3% at home. Ten percent were overwhelmed and unable to access help. Knowing someone in Vancouver was associated with an 11-percentage-point increase in the probability of 30-day anxiety symptoms (s.e. 0.05, P ≤ 0.05), moderated by gender, with a significant interaction of the exposure and being female (coefficient −20, s.e. 0.09, P ≤ 0.05). No association was found with depressive symptoms.
Propinquity of COVID-19 cases may increase the likelihood of anxiety symptoms in students, particularly among men. Most students reported coping well, but additional support is needed for an emotionally overwhelmed minority who report being unable to access help.
A 26-year-old female presented with a complaint of intermittent oscillopsia and binocular vertical diplopia for the past 5 years. Over the past several months, she had noticed intermittent pulsatile tinnitus. She was otherwise healthy with no previous history of trauma and had no other visual or neurologic complaints. In Neuro-ophthalmology clinic, she was found to have 20/15 vision in both eyes with full ocular motility. There was a small exophoria in primary position and small esophoria in downgaze. Her slit lamp and fundus examinations were normal. During the assessment, the left eye was noted to undergo high-frequency, small amplitude incyclotorsional oscillations for a few seconds at a time (Video 1 in the supplementary material), which she was able to provoke by looking down. The diagnosis of superior oblique myokymia was made, and an MRI/MRA of the brain was requested.
We investigated the impact of regionally imposed social and healthcare restrictions due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to the time metrics in the management of acute ischemic stroke patients admitted at the regional stroke referral site for Central South Ontario, Canada.
We compared relevant time metrics between patients with acute ischemic stroke receiving intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and/or endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) before and after the declared restrictions and state of emergency imposed in our region (March 17, 2020).
We identified a significant increase in the median door-to-CT times for patients receiving intravenous tPA (19 min, interquartile range (IQR): 14–27 min vs. 13 min, IQR: 9–17 min, p = 0.008) and/or EVT (20 min, IQR: 15–33 min vs. 11 min, IQR: 5–20 min, p = 0.035) after the start of social and healthcare restrictions in our region compared to the previous 12 months. For patients receiving intravenous tPA treatment, we also found a significant increase (p = 0.005) in the median door-to-needle time (61 min, IQR: 46–72 min vs. 37 min, IQR: 30–50 min). No delays in the time from symptom onset to hospital presentation were uncovered for patients receiving tPA and/or endovascular reperfusion treatments in the first 1.5 months after the establishment of regional and institutional restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We detected an increase in our institutional time to treatment metrics for acute ischemic stroke patients receiving tPA and/or endovascular reperfusion therapies, related to delays from hospital presentation to the acquisition of cranial CT imaging for both tPA- and EVT-treated patients, and an added delay to treatment with tPA.