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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.
There is definitive evidence for effectiveness of thrombectomy for acute stroke with large vessel occlusion (LVO). A clinical tool to identify patients with LVO is therefore required for effective triage and prehospital decision making. We developed the FAST VAN tool, which follows from the Heart and Stroke Foundation FAST stroke screen, with the addition of cortical features of vision, aphasia, and neglect, to differentiate from lacunar syndromes.
Consecutive acute stroke alerts initiated by emergency medical services (EMS) were prospectively analyzed from April 2017 to Jan 2021. FAST VAN signs were recorded by first responders who had received online education about the tool. These findings were compared to the presence or absence of LVO on CT angiography. Analysis was also performed by appropriateness for comprehensive stroke centers (CSC) transfer if no LVO was present. EMS providers were surveyed regarding ease of use in terms of learning the tool and using in real-world practice.
Data from 1080 consecutive acute strokes included 440 patients considered to have VAN signs by EMS. Fifty-four percent of VAN-positive patients showed LVO on CTA. Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 86%, 75%, and 77%, respectively. In 204 false-positive cases, 143 (70%) were considered appropriate for evaluation at the CSC. EMS providers reported high satisfaction with learning and using the tool.
The FAST VAN tool for identification of LVO meets desired characteristics of an effective screening tool in ease of use, efficiency, and accuracy. Aphasia remains the most challenging cortical feature to identify accurately.
Spontaneous intermittent generalized attenuations (SIGAs) are defined as a transient decrease in amplitude of electroencephalography (EEG) activity in response to a physiologic process, external stimuli, or as a result of a pathologic condition. We seek to investigate their relationship to clinical outcomes. Demographic information, modified Rankin Scale (mRS), and clinical information were noted on 22 consecutive patients with SIGAs on their EEG. 12 of the 22 patients (54.5%) died, and 12 patients (54.5%) were admitted to the intensive care unit or coronary care unit. Future studies should attempt to prospectively compare outcomes among patients with SIGAs against a control group.
Crisis resolution teams (CRTs) offer brief, intensive home treatment for people experiencing mental health crisis. CRT implementation is highly variable; positive trial outcomes have not been reproduced in scaled-up CRT care.
To evaluate a 1-year programme to improve CRTs’ model fidelity in a non-masked, cluster-randomised trial (part of the Crisis team Optimisation and RElapse prevention (CORE) research programme, trial registration number: ISRCTN47185233).
Fifteen CRTs in England received an intervention, informed by the US Implementing Evidence-Based Practice project, involving support from a CRT facilitator, online implementation resources and regular team fidelity reviews. Ten control CRTs received no additional support. The primary outcome was patient satisfaction, measured by the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ-8), completed by 15 patients per team at CRT discharge (n = 375). Secondary outcomes: CRT model fidelity, continuity of care, staff well-being, in-patient admissions and bed use and CRT readmissions were also evaluated.
All CRTs were retained in the trial. Median follow-up CSQ-8 score was 28 in each group: the adjusted average in the intervention group was higher than in the control group by 0.97 (95% CI −1.02 to 2.97) but this was not significant (P = 0.34). There were fewer in-patient admissions, lower in-patient bed use and better staff psychological health in intervention teams. Model fidelity rose in most intervention teams and was significantly higher than in control teams at follow-up. There were no significant effects for other outcomes.
The CRT service improvement programme did not achieve its primary aim of improving patient satisfaction. It showed some promise in improving CRT model fidelity and reducing acute in-patient admissions.
Surface electroencephalogram (EEG) recording remains the gold standard for noninvasive assessment of electrical brain activity. It is the most efficient way to diagnose and classify epilepsy syndromes as well as define the localization of the epileptogenic zone. The EEG is useful for management decisions and for establishing prognosis in some types of epilepsy. Electroencephalography is an evolving field in which new methods are being introduced. The Canadian Society of Clinical Neurophysiologists convened an expert panel to develop new national minimal guidelines. A comprehensive evidence review was conducted. This document is organized into 10 sections, including indications, recommendations for trained personnel, EEG yield, paediatric and neonatal EEGs, laboratory minimal standards, requisitions, reports, storage, safety measures, and quality assurance.
There is evidence for health benefits from ‘Palaeolithic’ diets; however, there are a few data on the acute effects of rationally designed Palaeolithic-type meals. In the present study, we used Palaeolithic diet principles to construct meals comprising readily available ingredients: fish and a variety of plants, selected to be rich in fibre and phyto-nutrients. We investigated the acute effects of two Palaeolithic-type meals (PAL 1 and PAL 2) and a reference meal based on WHO guidelines (REF), on blood glucose control, gut hormone responses and appetite regulation. Using a randomised cross-over trial design, healthy subjects were given three meals on separate occasions. PAL2 and REF were matched for energy, protein, fat and carbohydrates; PAL1 contained more protein and energy. Plasma glucose, insulin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) and peptide YY (PYY) concentrations were measured over a period of 180 min. Satiation was assessed using electronic visual analogue scale (EVAS) scores. GLP-1 and PYY concentrations were significantly increased across 180 min for both PAL1 (P= 0·001 and P< 0·001) and PAL2 (P= 0·011 and P= 0·003) compared with the REF. Concomitant EVAS scores showed increased satiety. By contrast, GIP concentration was significantly suppressed. Positive incremental AUC over 120 min for glucose and insulin did not differ between the meals. Consumption of meals based on Palaeolithic diet principles resulted in significant increases in incretin and anorectic gut hormones and increased perceived satiety. Surprisingly, this was independent of the energy or protein content of the meal and therefore suggests potential benefits for reduced risk of obesity.
We report the case of a 58-year-old female with clinical, radiological, and histopathological evidence of Rasmussen's encephalitis, representing the oldest confirmed case to date.
The patient presented with complex partial seizures characterized by numbness of the left face and staring spells. These progressed to a state of epilepsia partialis continua with jerking of the left face, as well as severe cognitive impairment and loss of all communication. The patient responded well to Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy despite early complications and with ongoing treatment is living independently with minimal cognitive impairment.
This represents the oldest confirmed case of Rasmussen's encephalitis and suggests that this diagnosis should be considered in patients of any age with an appropriate clinical picture. We recommend IVIG as a first line therapy for adult cases of Rasmussen's encephalitis.
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) can be an elusive diagnosis, and poor visual outcomes may occur. Currently, the only means of accurately diagnosing and following these patients is with repeated lumbar puncture. Previous work has shown that transcranial doppler measurements of pulsatility correlate accurately with elevated intracranial pressure (ICP). This study is designed to assess whether pulsatility index (PI) correlates with ICP in patients newly diagnosed with IIH.
Seven patients with clinical suspicion of IIH were included in this study. Clinical suspicion was based on history of recurrent headaches and papilledema. All patients had otherwise normal examinations and imaging. Middle cerebral arteries were insonated to obtain average PI values. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was then withdrawn, and closing pressures were recorded. Pulsatility index values were then obtained again, within ten minutes after completing CSF withdrawal. PI values were correlated with ICP values, and pre and post CSF withdrawal values were compared.
All seven patients had elevated opening pressures (average 39 cm H2O, range 27-70). The average closing pressure after approximately 30 cc of CSF withdrawal was 11.9 cm H2O. The average PI before CSF withdrawal was 0.95, which dropped to 0.70 after CSF withdrawal (p = 0.02). The change in ICP was found to be correlated with a change in PI (p = 0.004).
These findings suggest that PI may be useful for following patients with IIH non-invasively. Further study with larger groups and blinded assessments should be useful in better characterizing the accuracy of this technique.
Status epilepticus is among the most dramatic of clinical presentations encountered by emergency room physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons and intensivists. While progress in its management has been aided significantly with an increasing number of effective treatment options, improved diagnostic methods and more effective monitoring, poor outcomes and diagnostic failures are still frequently encountered. Refractory cases still carry significant morbidity and mortality rates, including poor cognitive outcomes. This review discusses basic pathophysiology and management of status epilepticus, neuroimaging findings, the role of continuous electroencephalogram monitoring and nonconvulsive status epilepticusas well as recent developments in treatment options for refractory cases.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a virus of the family Flaviviridae. The main route of human infection is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Approximately 90% of WNV infections in humans are asymptomatic, but neurologic manifestations can be severe.
This study reviews the clinical profile of cases with neuroinvasive West Nile infection (NWNI) reported by the Surveillance program of the government of Saskatchewan in the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR). In 2007, 1456 cases of human West Nile cases were reported by the government of Saskatchewan in the whole province. One hundred and thirteen cases had severe symptoms of NWNI (8%), 1172 (80%) cases had mild symptoms of WNI and 171 (12%) had asymptomatic disease. Three hundred and fifty six cases were reported in the SHR, where 57 (16%) fulfilled criteria for NWNI.
From the 57 cases, 39 (68%) were females. Nine (16%) patients had a history of recent camping, two (4%) reported outdoor sports and four (8%) reported outdoor activities not otherwise specified. Twenty five patients had headache (43.9%), 25 confusion (42.1%), 23 meningitis (40.4%), 17 encephalitis (29.8%), 14 encephalopathy (24.6%), 11 meningoencephalitis (19.3%), 10 tremor (17.5%), acute flaccid paralysis 10 (17.5%), myoclonus 1 (1.8%), nystagmus 2 (3.5%), diplopia 2 (3.5%), dizziness 2 (3.5%). Three patients died related with comorbidities during admission.
During a year of high occurrence of WNI in Saskatchewan, 16% of cases developed NWNI. The recognition of neurological complications associated with WNI is important to improve their referral to tertiary centers.