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      Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management (submit here)

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      NIHSS and acute complications after anterior and posterior circulation strokes


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          Video abstract




          The purpose of this study was to determine whether the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score was associated with inhospital neurological and medical complications (NMC) in patients with posterior circulation infarction.


          This retrospective study included all patients admitted to our stroke unit during a one-year period (n = 289). NMC included neurological deterioration (ie, worsening by 4 points or more of the NIHSS score during the hospital stay) and all other medical complications based on what was recorded in the patients’ charts.


          Seventy-nine patients (27%) experienced NMC. In posterior circulation infarction patients (n = 90), patients with NMC had a higher baseline NIHSS score (10.9 versus 2.2, P = 0.004) and a baseline NIHSS score >2 (78% versus 36%, P = 0.003). In stepwise logistic regression, an NIHSS score >2 (odds ratio: 8.2; 95% confidence interval: 1.64–41.0; P = 0.01) was associated with NMC. Similar results were observed for anterior circulation infarction patients but with a higher cutoff value for NIHSS score.


          In ischemic stroke patients, an increased baseline NIHSS score was associated with an increased risk of NMC. This association applied to anterior-circulation as well as posterior circulation stroke, although zero on the NIHSS for posterior circulation stroke does not mean the absence of NMC during hospitalization. The clinical significance of these findings requires further evaluation in larger prospective studies.

          Most cited references35

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          Classification and natural history of clinically identifiable subtypes of cerebral infarction.

          We describe the incidence and natural history of four clinically identifiable subgroups of cerebral infarction in a community-based study of 675 patients with first-ever stroke. Of 543 patients with a cerebral infarct, 92 (17%) had large anterior circulation infarcts with both cortical and subcortical involvement (total anterior circulation infarcts, TACI); 185 (34%) had more restricted and predominantly cortical infarcts (partial anterior circulation infarcts, PACI); 129 (24%) had infarcts clearly associated with the vertebrobasilar arterial territory (posterior circulation infarcts, POCI); and 137 (25%) had infarcts confined to the territory of the deep perforating arteries (lacunar infarcts, LACI). There were striking differences in natural history between the groups. The TACI group had a negligible chance of good functional outcome and mortality was high. More than twice as many deaths were due to the complications of immobility than to direct neurological sequelae of the infarct. Patients in the PACI group were much more likely to have an early recurrent stroke than were patients in other groups. Those in the POCI group were at greater risk of a recurrent stroke later in the first year after the index event but had the best chance of a good functional outcome. Despite the small anatomical size of the infarcts in the LACI group, many patients remained substantially handicapped. The findings have important implications for the planning of stroke treatment trials and suggest that various therapies could be directed specifically at the subgroups.
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            Risk of myocardial infarction and vascular death after transient ischemic attack and ischemic stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

            Whether stroke patients should be investigated for asymptomatic coronary artery disease remains matter of debate. Absolute risks of myocardial infarction (MI) and vascular death after a stroke have not been accurately assessed. We performed a systematic review and a meta-analysis to determine the risk of MI and nonstroke vascular death after transient ischemic attack (TIA) and ischemic stroke. Cohort studies of TIA or ischemic stroke patients were included if they were published between 1980 and March 2005, reported risk of MI and nonstroke vascular death, enrolled >100 patients, and had at least 1 year of follow-up. We included 39 studies in a total of 65,996 patients with mean follow-up of 3.5 years. Two reviewers independently carried out data extraction using a standardized form. Absolute annual risks were estimated through weighted meta-regressions with a random effect. To test the predictions of expected event rates derived from our analysis, we used individual patient data. The annual risks were 2.1% (CI 95%: 1.9 to 2.4) for nonstroke vascular death, 2.2% (1.7 to 2.7) for total MI, 0.9% (0.7 to 1.2) for nonfatal MI and 1.1% (0.8 to 1.5) for fatal MI. The time course of risk was linear. Estimated risks fitted well with observed risks at the individual level. There was no heterogeneity in the absolute risks according to baseline study characteristics. Patients with TIA or stroke have a relatively high risk of MI and nonstroke vascular death. Additional research is needed to identify the determinants of coronary artery disease in stroke patients.
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              Effects of tissue plasminogen activator for acute ischemic stroke at one year. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Recombinant Tissue Plasminogen Activator Stroke Study Group.

              In 1995, the two-part National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Recombinant Tissue Plasminogen Activator Stroke Trial found that patients who were treated with tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) within three hours after the onset of symptoms of acute ischemic stroke were at least 30 percent more likely than patients given placebo to have minimal or no disability three months after the stroke. It was unknown, however, whether the benefit would be sustained for longer periods. In the NINDS Trial, a total of 624 patients with stroke were randomly assigned to receive either t-PA or placebo. We collected outcome data over a period of 12 months after the occurrence of stroke. The primary outcome measure was a "favorable outcome," defined as minimal or no disability as measured by the Barthel index, the modified Rankin Scale, and the Glasgow Outcome Scale. We assessed the treatment effect using a global statistic. Using an intention-to-treat analysis for the combined results of the two parts of the trial at 6 months and 12 months, we found that the global statistic favored the t-PA group (odds ratio for a favorable outcome at 6 months, 1.7; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.3 to 2.3; odds ratio at 12 months, 95 percent confidence interval, 1.7; 1.2 to 2.3). The patients treated with t-PA were at least 30 percent more likely to have minimal or no disability at 12 months than were the placebo-treated patients (absolute increase in the proportion with a favorable outcome, 11 to 13 percentage points). There was no significant difference in mortality at 12 months between the t-PA group and the placebo group (24 percent vs. 28 percent, P=0.29). There was no interaction between the type of stroke identified at base line and treatment with respect to the long-term response. The rate of recurrent stroke at 12 months was similar in the two groups. During 12 months of follow-up, the patients with acute ischemic stroke who were treated with t-PA within three hours after the onset of symptoms were more likely to have minimal or no disability, than the patients given placebo. These results indicate a sustained benefit of t-PA for such patients.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                27 February 2012
                : 8
                : 87-93
                [1 ]Department of Neurology, Amiens University Hospital, Amiens, France
                [2 ]INSERM ERI-12, and University of Picardie, Amiens, France
                [3 ]Laboratory of Functional Neurosciences and Pathology (EA 4559), Amiens, France
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Jean-Marc Bugnicourt, Service de Neurologie, CHU Amiens, France, Place Victor Pauchet, F-80054 Amiens Cedex 1, France, Tel +333 2266 8240, Fax +333 2266 8244, Email bugnicourt.jean-marc@ 123456chu-amiens.fr
                © 2012 Boone et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research

                complications,rating scales,stroke,acute
                complications, rating scales, stroke, acute


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