Large Vessel Occlusion Stroke due to Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease: Identification, Medical and Interventional Treatment, and Outcomes
Large vessel occlusion stroke due to underlying intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD-LVO) is prevalent in 10 to 30% of LVOs depending on patient factors such as vascular risk factors, race and ethnicity, and age. Patients with ICAD-LVO derive similar functional outcome benefit from endovascular thrombectomy as other mechanisms of LVO, but up to half of ICAD-LVO patients reocclude after revascularization. Therefore, early identification and treatment planning for ICAD-LVO are important given the unique considerations before, during, and after endovascular thrombectomy. In this review of ICAD-LVO, we propose a multistep approach to ICAD-LVO identification, pretreatment and endovascular thrombectomy considerations, adjunctive medications, and medical management. There have been no large-scale randomized controlled trials dedicated to studying ICAD-LVO, therefore this review focuses on observational studies.
Borderzone infarction and recurrent stroke in intracranial atherosclerosis
BACKGROUND:Intracranial stenosis (ICAS) is a common cause of stroke worldwide and patients with symptomatic ICAS exhibit a high rate of recurrence, particularly in the early period after the initial event. In this study, we aimed to study the association between borderzone infarct and recurrent ischemic stroke in patients hospitalized with symptomatic ICAS. METHODS:This is a retrospective single center study that included patients hospitalized with acute ischemic stroke in the setting of intracranial stenosis (50% or more and an acute ischemic stroke in the territory supplied by the stenosed artery) over a 32-month period. We excluded patients who did not receive a brain MRI or did not have an infarct on brain imaging. The primary predictor is infarct pattern (any borderzone vs. no borderzone infarct) and the primary outcome was recurrent cerebrovascular events (RCVE) within 90 days. We used unadjusted, and age and sex adjusted logistic regression models to determine associations between infarct pattern and RCVE at 90-days. RESULTS:Among 99 patients who met the inclusion criteria (4 tandem), the mean age was 70.1 ± 11.2 years and 41.4% were women; 43 had borderzone infarcts and 19 had RCVE. In adjusted binary logistic regression analysis, borderzone infarct was associated with increased risk of RCVE (adjusted OR 4.00 95% CI 1.33-11.99, p=0.013). The association between borderzone infarction and RCVE was not different among anterior circulation ICAD (adjusted HR 2.85 95% CI 0.64-12.76, p=0.172) vs. posterior circulation ICAD (adjusted HR 6.69 95% CI 1.06-42.11, p=0.043), p-value for interaction = 0.592. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:In real world post-SAMMPRIS medically treated patients with ICAD, the borderzone infarct pattern was associated with 90-day RCVE. Borderzone infarcts are likely a surrogate marker of impaired distal blood flow, highlighting the importance of targeting stroke mechanisms and developing alternative treatment strategies for high-risk cohorts.
Infarct on Brain Imaging, Subsequent Ischemic Stroke, and Clopidogrel-Aspirin Efficacy: A Post Hoc Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial
Importance/UNASSIGNED:In the Platelet-Oriented Inhibition in New TIA and Minor Ischemic Stroke (POINT) trial, acute treatment with clopidogrel-aspirin was associated with significantly reduced risk of recurrent stroke. There may be specific patient groups who are more likely to benefit from this treatment. Objective/UNASSIGNED:To investigate whether the association of clopidogrel-aspirin with stroke recurrence in patients with minor stroke or high-risk transient ischemic attack (TIA) is modified by the presence of infarct on imaging attributed to the index event (index imaging) among patients enrolled in the POINT Trial. Design, Setting, and Participants/UNASSIGNED:In the POINT randomized clinical trial, patients with high-risk TIA and minor ischemic stroke were enrolled at 269 sites in 10 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand from May 28, 2010, to December 19, 2017. In this post hoc analysis, patients were divided into 2 groups according to whether they had an acute infarct on index imaging. All POINT trial participants with information available on the presence or absence of acute infarct on index imaging were eligible for this study. Univariable Cox regression models evaluated associations between the presence of an infarct on index imaging and subsequent ischemic stroke and evaluated whether the presence of infarct on index imaging modified the association of clopidogrel-aspirin with subsequent ischemic stroke risk. Data were analyzed from July 2020 to May 2021. Exposures/UNASSIGNED:Presence or absence of acute infarct on index imaging. Main Outcomes and Measures/UNASSIGNED:The primary outcome is whether the presence of infarct on index imaging modified the association of clopidogrel-aspirin with subsequent ischemic stroke risk. Results/UNASSIGNED:Of the 4881 patients enrolled in POINT, 4876 (99.9%) met the inclusion criteria (mean [SD] age, 65â€‰ years; 2685 men [55.0%]). A total of 1793 patients (36.8%) had an acute infarct on index imaging. Infarct on index imaging was associated with ischemic stroke during follow-up (hazard ratio [HR], 3.68; 95% CI, 2.73-4.95; Pâ€‰<â€‰.001). Clopidogrel-aspirin vs aspirin alone was associated with decreased ischemic stroke risk in patients with an infarct on index imaging (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.41-0.77; Pâ€‰<â€‰.001) compared with those without an infarct on index imaging (HR, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.74-1.65; Pâ€‰=â€‰.62), with a significant interaction association (P for interactionâ€‰=â€‰.008). Conclusions and Relevance/UNASSIGNED:In this study, the presence of an acute infarct on index imaging was associated with increased risk of recurrent stroke and a more pronounced benefit from clopidogrel-aspirin. Future work should focus on validating these findings before targeting specific patient populations for acute clopidogrel-aspirin treatment.
COVID-19 and ischemic stroke
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a substantial proportion of COVID-19 patients had documented thrombotic complications and ischemic stroke. Several mechanisms related to immune mediated thrombosis, the renin angiotensin system, and the effect of SARS-CoV-2 in cardiac and brain tissue may contribute to the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke in patients with COVID-19. Simultaneously, significant strains on global healthcare delivery, including ischemic stroke management, have made treatment of stroke in the setting of COVID-19 particularly challenging. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on epidemiology, clinical manifestation and pathophysiology of ischemic stroke in patients with COVID-19 to bridge the gap from bench to bedside and clinical practice during the most challenging global health crisis of the last decades.
Stroke Prevention in Patients with Patent Foramen Ovale
PURPOSE OF REVIEW/OBJECTIVE:Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is widely prevalent and studies have suggested an association with ischemic stroke. In this review, we aim to highlight current management of patients with ischemic stroke in the setting of PFO and discuss some areas of controversy. RECENT FINDINGS/RESULTS:Upon reviewing the literature, we have found that the evidence regarding the management of patients with cryptogenic stroke and PFO has come a long way in the past several years, and many uncertainties remain in clinical practice. The Risk of Paradoxical Embolism (RoPE) score helps to predict the probability of a pathogenic PFO, and recent trial data confirms the benefit of closure in carefully selected patients. The benefit of closure in older patients and in patients with alternate, competing mechanisms is still uncertain, and the long-term risks of closure are not known. Finally, the efficacy of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in this patient population as compared to other medical therapy or mechanical closure has not yet been investigated. Randomized data is needed to help answer these questions. PFO closure is a safe and effective strategy in reducing stroke risk in carefully selected patients with cryptogenic stroke in the setting of a PFO. More studies are needed to test optimal medical treatment strategies and the safety and efficacy of PFO closure in patient subgroups not included in prior PFO closure trials.
HIV-Associated Rapidly Progressive Lymphoma of the Cavernous Sinus
Anticoagulation use and Hemorrhagic Stroke in SARS-CoV-2 Patients Treated at a New York Healthcare System
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:While the thrombotic complications of COVID-19 have been well described, there are limited data on clinically significant bleeding complications including hemorrhagic stroke. The clinical characteristics, underlying stroke mechanism, and outcomes in this particular subset of patients are especially salient as therapeutic anticoagulation becomes increasingly common in the treatment and prevention of thrombotic complications of COVID-19. METHODS:We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients with hemorrhagic stroke (both non-traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage and spontaneous non-aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage) who were hospitalized between March 1, 2020, and May 15, 2020, within a major healthcare system in New York, during the coronavirus pandemic. Patients with hemorrhagic stroke on admission and who developed hemorrhage during hospitalization were both included. We compared the clinical characteristics of patients with hemorrhagic stroke and COVID-19 to those without COVID-19 admitted to our hospital system between March 1, 2020, and May 15, 2020 (contemporary controls), and March 1, 2019, and May 15, 2019 (historical controls). Demographic variables and clinical characteristics between the individual groups were compared using Fischer's exact test for categorical variables and nonparametric test for continuous variables. We adjusted for multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni method. RESULTS:During the study period in 2020, out of 4071 patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19, we identified 19 (0.5%) with hemorrhagic stroke. Of all COVID-19 with hemorrhagic stroke, only three had isolated non-aneurysmal SAH with no associated intraparenchymal hemorrhage. Among hemorrhagic stroke in patients with COVID-19, coagulopathy was the most common etiology (73.7%); empiric anticoagulation was started in 89.5% of these patients versus 4.2% in contemporary controls (pâ€‰â‰¤â€‰.001) and 10.0% in historical controls (pâ€‰â‰¤â€‰.001). Compared to contemporary and historical controls, patients with COVID-19 had higher initial NIHSS scores, INR, PTT, and fibrinogen levels. Patients with COVID-19 also had higher rates of in-hospital mortality (84.6% vs. 4.6%, pâ€‰â‰¤â€‰0.001). Sensitivity analyses excluding patients with strictly subarachnoid hemorrhage yielded similar results. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:We observed an overall low rate of imaging-confirmed hemorrhagic stroke among patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Most hemorrhages in patients with COVID-19 infection occurred in the setting of therapeutic anticoagulation and were associated with increased mortality. Further studies are needed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of therapeutic anticoagulation in patients with COVID-19.
Carotid Stenosis and Recurrent Ischemic Stroke: A Post-Hoc Analysis of the POINT Trial
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Randomized trials demonstrated the benefit of dual antiplatelet therapy in patients with minor ischemic stroke or high-risk transient ischemic attack. We sought to determine whether the presence of carotid stenosis was associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke and whether the addition of clopidogrel to aspirin was associated with more benefit in patients with versus without carotid stenosis. METHODS:This is a post-hoc analysis of the POINT trial (Platelet-Oriented Inhibition in New TIA and Minor Ischemic Stroke) that randomized patients with minor ischemic stroke or high-risk transient ischemic attack within 12 hours from last known normal to receive either clopidogrel plus aspirin or aspirin alone. The primary predictor was the presence of â‰¥50% stenosis in either cervical internal carotid artery. The primary outcome was ischemic stroke. We built Cox regression models to determine the association between carotid stenosis and ischemic stroke and whether the effect of clopidogrel was modified by â‰¥50% carotid stenosis. RESULTS:value for interaction=0.573. CONCLUSIONS:The presence of carotid stenosis was associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke during follow-up. The effect of added clopidogrel was not significantly different in patients with versus without carotid stenosis. REGISTRATION/UNASSIGNED:URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03354429.
A Prospective Study of Neurologic Disorders in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients in New York City
OBJECTIVE:To determine the prevalence and associated mortality of well-defined neurologic diagnoses among COVID-19 patients, we prospectively followed hospitalized SARS-Cov-2 positive patients and recorded new neurologic disorders and hospital outcomes. METHODS:We conducted a prospective, multi-center, observational study of consecutive hospitalized adults in the NYC metropolitan area with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. The prevalence of new neurologic disorders (as diagnosed by a neurologist) was recorded and in-hospital mortality and discharge disposition were compared between COVID-19 patients with and without neurologic disorders. RESULTS:Of 4,491 COVID-19 patients hospitalized during the study timeframe, 606 (13.5%) developed a new neurologic disorder in a median of 2 days from COVID-19 symptom onset. The most common diagnoses were: toxic/metabolic encephalopathy (6.8%), seizure (1.6%), stroke (1.9%), and hypoxic/ischemic injury (1.4%). No patient had meningitis/encephalitis, or myelopathy/myelitis referable to SARS-CoV-2 infection and 18/18 CSF specimens were RT-PCR negative for SARS-CoV-2. Patients with neurologic disorders were more often older, male, white, hypertensive, diabetic, intubated, and had higher sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) scores (all P<0.05). After adjusting for age, sex, SOFA-scores, intubation, past history, medical complications, medications and comfort-care-status, COVID-19 patients with neurologic disorders had increased risk of in-hospital mortality (Hazard Ratio[HR] 1.38, 95% CI 1.17-1.62, P<0.001) and decreased likelihood of discharge home (HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.63-0.85, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS:Neurologic disorders were detected in 13.5% of COVID-19 patients and were associated with increased risk of in-hospital mortality and decreased likelihood of discharge home. Many observed neurologic disorders may be sequelae of severe systemic illness.
Special considerations in the assessment of catastrophic brain injury and determination of brain death in patients with SARS-CoV-2
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has led to challenges in provision of care, clinical assessment and communication with families. The unique considerations associated with evaluation of catastrophic brain injury and death by neurologic criteria in patients with Covid-19 infection have not been examined. METHODS:We describe the evaluation of six patients hospitalized at a health network in New York City in April 2020 who had Covid-19, were comatose and had absent brainstem reflexes. RESULTS:Four males and two females with a median age of 58.5 (IQR 47-68) were evaluated for catastrophic brain injury due to stroke and/or global anoxic injury at a median of 14Â days (IQR 13-18) after admission for acute respiratory failure due to Covid-19. All patients had hypotension requiring vasopressors and had been treated with sedative/narcotic drips for ventilator dyssynchrony. Among these patients, 5 had received paralytics. Apnea testing was performed for 1 patient due to the decision to withdraw treatment (nÂ =Â 2), concern for inability to tolerate testing (nÂ =Â 2) and observation of spontaneous respirations (nÂ =Â 1). The apnea test was aborted due to hypoxia and hypotension. After ancillary testing, death was declared in three patients based on neurologic criteria and in three patients based on cardiopulmonary criteria (after withdrawal of support (nÂ =Â 2) or cardiopulmonary arrest (nÂ =Â 1)). A family member was able to visit 5/6 patients prior to cardiopulmonary arrest/discontinuation of organ support. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:It is feasible to evaluate patients with catastrophic brain injury and declare brain death despite the Covid-19 pandemic, but this requires unique considerations.