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The 2020 update of the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations (CSBPR) for the Secondary Prevention of Stroke includes current evidence-based recommendations and expert opinions intended for use by clinicians across a broad range of settings. They provide guidance for the prevention of ischemic stroke recurrence through the identification and management of modifiable vascular risk factors. Recommendations address triage, diagnostic testing, lifestyle behaviors, vaping, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, other cardiac conditions, antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapies, and carotid and vertebral artery disease. This update of the previous 2017 guideline contains several new or revised recommendations. Recommendations regarding triage and initial assessment of acute transient ischemic attack (TIA) and minor stroke have been simplified, and selected aspects of the etiological stroke workup are revised. Updated treatment recommendations based on new evidence have been made for dual antiplatelet therapy for TIA and minor stroke; anticoagulant therapy for atrial fibrillation; embolic strokes of undetermined source; low-density lipoprotein lowering; hypertriglyceridemia; diabetes treatment; and patent foramen ovale management. A new section has been added to provide practical guidance regarding temporary interruption of antithrombotic therapy for surgical procedures. Cancer-associated ischemic stroke is addressed. A section on virtual care delivery of secondary stroke prevention services in included to highlight a shifting paradigm of care delivery made more urgent by the global pandemic. In addition, where appropriate, sex differences as they pertain to treatments have been addressed. The CSBPR include supporting materials such as implementation resources to facilitate the adoption of evidence into practice and performance measures to enable monitoring of uptake and effectiveness of recommendations.
Prehospital identification of large vessel occlusion (LVO) stroke may expedite treatment by direct transport to comprehensive stroke centers (CSCs) with endovascular capabilities. The Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale (CPSS) is commonly used for prehospital stroke detection. We aimed to assess whether (1) a high CPSS score can identify LVO and (2) an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) redirection protocol based on high CPSS accelerated endovascular treatment (EVT).
A retrospective comparison of patients transported by EMSs for suspected stroke to a high-volume CSC over a 16-month period, before and after implementation of an EMS redirection protocol based on high CPSS score (3/3). Charts were reviewed to determine the presence of LVO. Time to EVT and 3-month outcomes were compared before and after implementation.
A prehospital CPSS 3/3 score was found in 223 (59%) patients, demonstrating positive and negative predictive values for LVO of 29% and 94%, respectively. CPSS-based EMS redirection increased the proportion of EVT performed after direct transport to CSC [before: 21 (36%), after: 45 (63%), p < 0.01] and decreased median first door-to-groin puncture time by 28 minutes [109 (interquartile range (IQR) 64–116) versus 81 (IQR 56–130), p = 0.03]. At 3 months, the proportion of patients achieving functional independence (modified Rankin score 0–2) went from 20/57 (35%) to 29/68 (43%) (p = 0.39) following implementation.
CPSS-based EMS redirection accelerated identification of LVO strokes in the out-of-hospital setting and decreased time to EVT. Nevertheless, this protocol was also associated with high rates of non-LVO stroke. Impact on clinical outcomes should be evaluated in a larger cohort.
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