Publications by authors named "Bruce C V Campbell"

157 Publications

Healthy Life-Year Costs of Treatment Speed From Arrival to Endovascular Thrombectomy in Patients With Ischemic Stroke: A Meta-analysis of Individual Patient Data From 7 Randomized Clinical Trials.

JAMA Neurol 2021 May 3. Epub 2021 May 3.

Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles.

Importance: The benefits of endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) are time dependent. Prior studies may have underestimated the time-benefit association because time of onset is imprecisely known.

Objective: To assess the lifetime outcomes associated with speed of endovascular thrombectomy in patients with acute ischemic stroke due to large-vessel occlusion (LVO).

Data Sources: PubMed was searched for randomized clinical trials of stent retriever thrombectomy devices vs medical therapy in patients with anterior circulation LVO within 12 hours of last known well time, and for which a peer-reviewed, complete primary results article was published by August 1, 2020.

Study Selection: All randomized clinical trials of stent retriever thrombectomy devices vs medical therapy in patients with anterior circulation LVO within 12 hours of last known well time were included.

Data Extraction/synthesis: Patient-level data regarding presenting clinical and imaging features and functional outcomes were pooled from the 7 retrieved randomized clinical trials of stent retriever thrombectomy devices (entirely or predominantly) vs medical therapy. All 7 identified trials published in a peer-reviewed journal (by August 1, 2020) contributed data. Detailed time metrics were collected including last known well-to-door (LKWTD) time; last known well/onset-to-puncture (LKWTP) time; last known well-to-reperfusion (LKWR) time; door-to-puncture (DTP) time; and door-to-reperfusion (DTR) time.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Change in healthy life-years measured as disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). DALYs were calculated as the sum of years of life lost (YLL) owing to premature mortality and years of healthy life lost because of disability (YLD). Disability weights were assigned using the utility-weighted modified Rankin Scale. Age-specific life expectancies without stroke were calculated from 2017 US National Vital Statistics.

Results: Among the 781 EVT-treated patients, 406 (52.0%) were early-treated (LKWTP ≤4 hours) and 375 (48.0%) were late-treated (LKWTP >4-12 hours). In early-treated patients, LKWTD was 188 minutes (interquartile range, 151.3-214.8 minutes) and DTP 105 minutes (interquartile range, 76-135 minutes). Among the 298 of 380 (78.4%) patients with substantial reperfusion, median DTR time was 145.0 minutes (interquartile range, 111.5-185.5 minutes). Care process delays were associated with worse clinical outcomes in LKW-to-intervention intervals in early-treated patients and in door-to-intervention intervals in early-treated and late-treated patients, and not associated with LKWTD intervals, eg, in early-treated patients, for each 10-minute delay, healthy life-years lost were DTP 1.8 months vs LKWTD 0.0 months; P < .001. Considering granular time increments, the amount of healthy life-time lost associated with each 1 second of delay was DTP 2.2 hours and DTR 2.4 hours.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this study, care delays were associated with loss of healthy life-years in patients with acute ischemic stroke treated with EVT, particularly in the postarrival time period. The finding that every 1 second of delay was associated with loss of 2.2 hours of healthy life may encourage continuous quality improvement in door-to-treatment times.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.1055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8094030PMC
May 2021

ANA Investigates: Tenecteplase.

Ann Neurol 2021 May 2. Epub 2021 May 2.

Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Melbourne Brain Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.26093DOI Listing
May 2021

White Matter Hyperintensities: How Much (and What Shape) Is Too Much?

Neurology 2021 04 16;96(17):781-782. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

From the Departments of Medicine and Neurology (N.Y., B.C.V.C.), Melbourne Brain Centre at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne; Population Health and Immunity Division (N.Y.), The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research; and Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health (B.C.V.C.), Parkville, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011829DOI Listing
April 2021

COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Care for Stroke in Australia: Emerging Evidence From the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry.

Front Neurol 2021 26;12:621495. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Stroke Division, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Heidelberg, VIC, Australia.

We present information on acute stroke care for the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia using data from the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (AuSCR). The first case of COVID-19 in Australia was recorded in late January 2020 and national restrictions to control the virus commenced in March. To account for seasonal effects of stroke admissions, patient-level data from the registry from January to June 2020 were compared to the same period in 2019 (historical-control) from 61 public hospitals. We compared periods using descriptive statistics and performed interrupted time series analyses. Perceptions of stroke clinicians were obtained from 53/72 (74%) hospitals participating in the AuSCR (80% nurses) a voluntary, electronic feedback survey. Survey data were summarized to provide contextual information for the registry-based analysis. Data from the registry covered locations that had 91% of Australian COVID-19 cases to the end of June 2020. For the historical-control period, 9,308 episodes of care were compared with the pandemic period (8,992 episodes). Patient characteristics were similar for each cohort (median age: 75 years; 56% male; ischemic stroke 69%). Treatment in stroke units decreased progressively during the pandemic period (control: 76% pandemic: 70%, < 0.001). Clinical staff reported fewer resources available for stroke including 10% reporting reduced stroke unit beds. Several time-based metrics were unchanged whereas door-to-needle times were longer during the peak pandemic period (March-April, 2020; 82 min, control: 74 min, = 0.012). Our data emphasize the need to maintain appropriate acute stroke care during times of national emergency such as pandemic management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.621495DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7952624PMC
February 2021

COVID-19 Impact as an Illustration of Big Data Monitoring of Clinical Practice.

Stroke 2021 05 4;52(5):1691-1692. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Department of Medicine and Neurology, Melbourne Brain Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.033628DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078122PMC
May 2021

Ongoing Advances in Medical and Interventional Treatments of Large Vessel Occlusion Stroke.

Stroke 2021 Mar 16;52(3):1115-1117. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Department of Medicine and Neurology, Melbourne Brain Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia (B.C.V.C.).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.121.033448DOI Listing
March 2021

Routine Use of Tenecteplase for Thrombolysis in Acute Ischemic Stroke.

Stroke 2021 Mar 16;52(3):1087-1090. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Department of Neurology, Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand (C.S.Z., J.B., D.W., C.L.H., D.M., R.D., J.R., J.N.F., T.Y.W.).

Background And Purpose: In ischemic stroke, intravenous tenecteplase is noninferior to alteplase in selected patients and has some practical advantages. Several stroke centers in New Zealand changed to routine off-label intravenous tenecteplase due to improved early recanalization in large vessel occlusion, inconsistent access to thrombectomy within stroke networks, and for consistency in treatment protocols between patients with and without large vessel occlusion. We report the feasibility and safety outcomes in tenecteplase-treated patients.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of consecutive patients thrombolyzed with intravenous tenecteplase at 1 comprehensive and 2 regional stroke centers from July 14, 2018, to February 29, 2020. We report the baseline clinical characteristics, rates of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, and angioedema. These were then compared with patient outcomes with those treated with intravenous alteplase at 2 other comprehensive stroke centers. Multivariable mixed-effects logistic regression models were performed assessing the association of tenecteplase with symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage and independent outcome (modified Rankin Scale score, 0-2) at day 90.

Results: There were 165 patients treated with tenecteplase and 254 with alteplase. Age (75 versus 74 years), sex (56% versus 60% male), National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale scores (8 versus 10), median door-to-needle times (47 versus 48 minutes), or onset-to-needle time (129 versus 130 minutes) were similar between the groups. Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage occurred in 3 (1.8% [95% CI, 0.4-5.3]) tenecteplase patients compared with 7 (2.7% [95% CI, 1.1-5.7]) alteplase patients (=0.75). There were no differences between tenecteplase and alteplase in the rates of angioedema (4 [2.4%; 95% CI, 0.7-6.2] versus 1 [0.4%; 95% CI, 0.01-2.2], =0.08) or 90-day functional independence (100 [61%] versus 140 [57%], =0.47), respectively. In mixed-effects logistic regression models, there was no significant association between thrombolytic choice and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (odds ratio tenecteplase, 0.62 [95% CI, 0.14-2.80], =0.53) or functional independence (odds ratio tenecteplase, 1.20 [95% CI, 0.74-1.95], =0.46).

Conclusions: Routine use of tenecteplase for stroke thrombolysis was feasible and had comparable safety profile and outcome to alteplase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.030859DOI Listing
March 2021

Does Intravenous Thrombolysis Within 4.5 to 9 Hours Increase Clot Migration Leading to Endovascular Inaccessibility?

Stroke 2021 Mar 16;52(3):1083-1086. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Department of Medicine and Neurology, Melbourne Brain Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (A.B., H.M., B.C.V.C., M.W.P., S.M.D., G.A.D., B.Y.), University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.

Background And Purpose: Distal clot migration is a recognized event following intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) in the setting of acute ischemic stroke. Of note, clots that were initially retrievable by endovascular thrombectomy may migrate to a distal nonretrievable location and compromise clinical outcome. We investigated the incidence of clot migration leading to clot inaccessibility following IVT in the time window of 4.5 to 9 hours.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of the EXTEND trial (Extending the Time for Thrombolysis in Emergency Neurological Deficits) data. Baseline and 12- to 24-hour follow-up clot location was determined on computed tomography angiogram or magnetic resonance angiogram. The incidence of clot migration leading to a change from retrievable to nonretrievable location was identified and compared between the two treatment groups (IVT versus placebo).

Results: Two hundred twenty patients were assessed. Clot migration from a retrievable to nonretrievable location occurred in 37 patients: 21 patients (19.3%) in the placebo group and 16 patients (14.4%) in the IVT group. No significant difference was identified in the incidence of clot migration leading to inaccessibility between groups (=0.336).

Conclusions: Our results did not show increased clot migration leading to clot inaccessibility in patients treated with IVT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.030661DOI Listing
March 2021

Advancing Stroke Recovery Through Improved Articulation of Nonpharmacological Intervention Dose.

Stroke 2021 Jan 12;52(2):761-769. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Stroke Rehabilitation and Brain Recovery (J.B.), University of Melbourne, Heidelberg, Australia.

Dose articulation is a universal issue of intervention development and testing. In stroke recovery, dose of a nonpharmaceutical intervention appears to influence outcome but is often poorly reported. The challenges of articulating dose in nonpharmacological stroke recovery research include: (1) the absence of specific internationally agreed dose reporting guidelines; (2) inadequate conceptualization of dose, which is multidimensional; and (3) unclear and inconsistent terminology that incorporates the multiple dose dimensions. To address these challenges, we need a well-conceptualized and consistent approach to dose articulation that can be applied across stroke recovery domains to stimulate critical thinking about dose during intervention development, as well as promote reporting of planned intervention dose versus actually delivered dose. We followed the Design Research Paradigm to develop a framework that guides how to articulate dose, conceptualizes the multidimensional nature and systemic linkages between dose dimensions, and provides reference terminology for the field. Our framework recognizes that dose is multidimensional and comprised of a duration of days that contain individual sessions and episodes that can be active (time on task) or inactive (time off task), and each individual episode can be made up of information about length, intensity, and difficulty. Clinical utility of this framework was demonstrated via hypothetical application to preclinical and clinical domains of stroke recovery. The suitability of the framework to address dose articulation challenges was confirmed with an international expert advisory group. This novel framework provides a pathway for better articulation of nonpharmacological dose that will enable transparent and accurate description, implementation, monitoring, and reporting, in stroke recovery research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.032496DOI Listing
January 2021

Tenecteplase vs Alteplase Before Endovascular Therapy in Basilar Artery Occlusion.

Neurology 2021 03 6;96(9):e1272-e1277. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

From the Department of Medicine and Neurology (F. Alemseged, G.S., L.C., B.Y., M.W.P., S.M.D., P.J.M., N.Y. B.C.V.C.), University of Melbourne, and Department of Radiology (C.W., S.B., R.D.), Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Australia; Stroke Unit (F. Alemseged, A.R., F.S., M.D.) and Department of Biomedicine and Prevention (F.D.), University Hospital of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Department of Neurology (F.C.N.), Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Neurology (V.P.), Institute of Neuroradiology (D.K.), and Dresden Neurovascular Center (V.P., D.K.), University of Technology Dresden, Germany; Department of Interventional Neuroradiology (G.B.), Sainte-Anne-Hospital, Paris, France; Department of Neurology (T.J.K.), Royal Adelaide Hospital, Australia; Department of Neurology (T.Y.W.), Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand; Division of Medicine (D.S.), Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia; NEUROFARBA Department (F. Arba), Careggi University Hospital, Florence; ASST Valcamonica (A.M.), Department of Neurology, Esine, Italy; Department of Neurosciences (H.M.D.), Eastern Health, Melbourne; Department of Neurology (P.B.), Gold Coast University Hospital, Queensland; Department of Neurology (B.O.), Gosford Hospital, New South Wales; and Population Health and Immunity Division (N.Y.), The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, Australia.

Objective: To investigate the efficacy of tenecteplase (TNK), a genetically modified variant of alteplase with greater fibrin specificity and longer half-life than alteplase, prior to endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) in patients with basilar artery occlusion (BAO).

Methods: To determine whether TNK is associated with better reperfusion rates than alteplase prior to EVT in BAO, clinical and procedural data of consecutive patients with BAO from the Basilar Artery Treatment and Management (BATMAN) registry and the Tenecteplase vs Alteplase before Endovascular Therapy for Ischemic Stroke (EXTEND-IA TNK) trial were retrospectively analyzed. Reperfusion >50% or absence of retrievable thrombus at the time of the initial angiogram was evaluated.

Results: We included 110 patients with BAO treated with IV thrombolysis prior to EVT (mean age 69 [SD 14] years; median NIH Stroke Scale score 16 [interquartile range (IQR) 7-32]). Nineteen patients were thrombolysed with TNK (0.25 mg/kg or 0.40 mg/kg) and 91 with alteplase (0.9 mg/kg). Reperfusion >50% occurred in 26% (n = 5/19) of patients thrombolysed with TNK vs 7% (n = 6/91) thrombolysed with alteplase (risk ratio 4.0, 95% confidence interval 1.3-12; = 0.02), despite shorter thrombolysis to arterial puncture time in the TNK-treated patients (48 [IQR 40-71] minutes) vs alteplase-treated patients (110 [IQR 51-185] minutes; = 0.004). No difference in symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage was observed (0/19 [0%] TNK, 1/91 [1%] alteplase; = 0.9).

Conclusions: TNK may be associated with an increased rate of reperfusion in comparison with alteplase before EVT in BAO. Randomized controlled trials to compare TNK with alteplase in patients with BAO are warranted.

Clinicaltrialsgov Identifiers: NCT02388061 and NCT03340493.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class III evidence that TNK leads to higher reperfusion rates in comparison with alteplase prior to EVT in patients with BAO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011520DOI Listing
March 2021

Utility of Severity-Based Prehospital Triage for Endovascular Thrombectomy: ACT-FAST Validation Study.

Stroke 2021 01 22;52(1):70-79. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Melbourne Brain Centre at The Royal Melbourne Hospital (H.Z., L.C., J.L.N., C.W., F.A., F.N., P.J.M., M.W.P., N.Y., S.M.D., B.C.V.C.), University of Melbourne, Australia.

Background And Purpose: Severity-based assessment tools may assist in prehospital triage of patients to comprehensive stroke centers (CSCs) for endovascular thrombectomy (EVT), but criticisms regarding diagnostic inaccuracy have not been adequately addressed. This study aimed to quantify the benefits and disadvantages of severity-based triage in a large real-world paramedic validation of the Ambulance Clinical Triage for Acute Stroke Treatment (ACT-FAST) algorithm.

Methods: Ambulance Victoria paramedics assessed the prehospital ACT-FAST algorithm in patients with suspected stroke from November 2017 to July 2019 following an 8-minute training video. All patients were transported to the nearest stroke center as per current guidelines. ACT-FAST diagnostic accuracy was compared with hospital imaging for the presence of large vessel occlusion (LVO) and need for CSC-level care (LVO, intracranial hemorrhage, and tumor). Patient-level time saving to EVT was modeled using a validated Google Maps algorithm. Disadvantages of CSC bypass examined potential thrombolysis delays in non-LVO infarcts, proportion of patients with false-negative EVT, and CSC overburdening.

Results: Of 517 prehospital assessments, 168/517 (32.5%) were ACT-FAST positive and 132/517 (25.5%) had LVO. ACT-FAST sensitivity and specificity for LVO was 75.8% and 81.8%, respectively. Positive predictive value was 58.8% for LVO and 80.0% when intracranial hemorrhage and tumor (CSC-level care) were included. Within the metropolitan region, 29/55 (52.7%) of ACT-FAST-positive patients requiring EVT underwent a secondary interhospital transfer. Prehospital bypass with avoidance of secondary transfers was modeled to save 52 minutes (95% CI, 40.0-61.5) to EVT commencement. ACT-FAST was false-positive in 8 patients receiving thrombolysis (8.1% of 99 non-LVO infarcts) and false-negative in 4 patients with EVT requiring secondary transfer (5.4% of 74 EVT cases). CSC bypass was estimated to over-triage 1.1 patients-per-CSC-per-week in our region.

Conclusions: The overall benefits of an ACT-FAST algorithm bypass strategy in expediting EVT and avoiding secondary transfers are estimated to substantially outweigh the disadvantages of potentially delayed thrombolysis and over-triage, with only a small proportion of EVT patients missed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.031467DOI Listing
January 2021

Sex Differences in Diagnosis and Diagnostic Revision of Suspected Minor Cerebral Ischemic Events.

Neurology 2021 02 12;96(5):e732-e739. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

From the Department of Medicine (Neurology) (A.Y.X.Y., R.H.S.), University of Toronto, Ontario; Department of Clinical Neurosciences (M.D.H., A.M.D., M.G., B.K.M., S.B.C.), University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Department of Neurology (N.A.), University of Miami, FL; Department of Neurology (J.-M.B.), Sherbrooke University, Longueil; Department of Neurosciences (M.-C.C.), Laval University, Québec City, Québec, Canada; Department of Medicine and Neurology (B.C.V.C.), University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia; Vancouver Stroke Program (T.S.F.), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Northern Clinical School (M.K.), University of Sydney, Australia; Department of Clinical Neurosciences (J.M.), Western University, London, Ontario, Canada; Neurological Department (R.M.), St. Anne's University Hospital and Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic; Department of Medicine (F.M.), Neurology, Université de Sherbrooke, Québec; and Division of Neurology (A.M.P.), Vancouver Island Health Authority, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Objective: To describe sex differences in the presentation, diagnosis, and revision of diagnosis after early brain MRI in patients who present with acute transient or minor neurologic events.

Methods: We performed a secondary analysis of a prospective multicenter cohort study of patients referred to neurology between 2010 and 2016 with a possible cerebrovascular event and evaluated with brain MRI within 8 days of symptom onset. Investigators documented the characteristics of the event, initial diagnosis, and final diagnosis. We used multivariable logistic regression analyses to evaluate the association between sex and outcomes.

Results: Among 1,028 patients (51% women, median age 63 years), more women than men reported headaches and fewer reported chest pain, but there were no sex differences in other accompanying symptoms. Women were more likely than men to be initially diagnosed with stroke mimic (54% of women vs 42% of men, adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.24-2.07), and women were overall less likely to have ischemia on MRI (10% vs 17%, OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.36-0.76). Among 496 patients initially diagnosed with mimic, women were less likely than men to have their diagnosis revised to minor stroke or TIA (13% vs 20%, OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.32-0.88) but were equally likely to have acute ischemia on MRI (5% vs 8%, OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.26-1.21).

Conclusions: Stroke mimic was more frequently diagnosed in women than men, but diagnostic revisions were common in both. Early brain MRI is a useful addition to clinical evaluation in diagnosing transient or minor neurologic events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011212DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884992PMC
February 2021

Intravenous alteplase for stroke with unknown time of onset guided by advanced imaging: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data.

Lancet 2020 11 8;396(10262):1574-1584. Epub 2020 Nov 8.

Department of Neurology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Background: Patients who have had a stroke with unknown time of onset have been previously excluded from thrombolysis. We aimed to establish whether intravenous alteplase is safe and effective in such patients when salvageable tissue has been identified with imaging biomarkers.

Methods: We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data for trials published before Sept 21, 2020. Randomised trials of intravenous alteplase versus standard of care or placebo in adults with stroke with unknown time of onset with perfusion-diffusion MRI, perfusion CT, or MRI with diffusion weighted imaging-fluid attenuated inversion recovery (DWI-FLAIR) mismatch were eligible. The primary outcome was favourable functional outcome (score of 0-1 on the modified Rankin Scale [mRS]) at 90 days indicating no disability using an unconditional mixed-effect logistic-regression model fitted to estimate the treatment effect. Secondary outcomes were mRS shift towards a better functional outcome and independent outcome (mRS 0-2) at 90 days. Safety outcomes included death, severe disability or death (mRS score 4-6), and symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage. This study is registered with PROSPERO, CRD42020166903.

Findings: Of 249 identified abstracts, four trials met our eligibility criteria for inclusion: WAKE-UP, EXTEND, THAWS, and ECASS-4. The four trials provided individual patient data for 843 individuals, of whom 429 (51%) were assigned to alteplase and 414 (49%) to placebo or standard care. A favourable outcome occurred in 199 (47%) of 420 patients with alteplase and in 160 (39%) of 409 patients among controls (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1·49 [95% CI 1·10-2·03]; p=0·011), with low heterogeneity across studies (I=27%). Alteplase was associated with a significant shift towards better functional outcome (adjusted common OR 1·38 [95% CI 1·05-1·80]; p=0·019), and a higher odds of independent outcome (adjusted OR 1·50 [1·06-2·12]; p=0·022). In the alteplase group, 90 (21%) patients were severely disabled or died (mRS score 4-6), compared with 102 (25%) patients in the control group (adjusted OR 0·76 [0·52-1·11]; p=0·15). 27 (6%) patients died in the alteplase group and 14 (3%) patients died among controls (adjusted OR 2·06 [1·03-4·09]; p=0·040). The prevalence of symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage was higher in the alteplase group than among controls (11 [3%] vs two [<1%], adjusted OR 5·58 [1·22-25·50]; p=0·024).

Interpretation: In patients who have had a stroke with unknown time of onset with a DWI-FLAIR or perfusion mismatch, intravenous alteplase resulted in better functional outcome at 90 days than placebo or standard care. A net benefit was observed for all functional outcomes despite an increased risk of symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage. Although there were more deaths with alteplase than placebo, there were fewer cases of severe disability or death.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32163-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7734592PMC
November 2020

Association of Reperfusion After Thrombolysis With Clinical Outcome Across the 4.5- to 9-Hours and Wake-up Stroke Time Window: A Meta-Analysis of the EXTEND and EPITHET Randomized Clinical Trials.

JAMA Neurol 2021 Feb;78(2):236-240

Department of Medicine and Neurology, Melbourne Brain Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Importance: Intravenous alteplase reduces disability after ischemic stroke in patients 4.5 to 9 hours after onset and with wake-up onset stroke selected using perfusion imaging mismatch. However, whether the benefit is consistent across the 4.5- to 6-hours, 6- to 9-hours, and wake-up stroke epochs is uncertain.

Objective: To examine the association of reperfusion with reduced disability, including by onset-to-randomization time strata in the Extending the Time for Thrombolysis in Emergency Neurological Deficits (EXTEND) and Echoplanar Imaging Thrombolytic Evaluation Trial (EPITHET) randomized clinical trials.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Individual patient meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials performed from August 2001 to June 2018 with 3-month follow-up. Patients had acute ischemic stroke with 4.5-to 9-hours poststroke onset or with wake-up stroke were randomized to alteplase or placebo after perfusion mismatch imaging. Analysis began July 2019 and ended May 2020.

Exposures: Reperfusion was defined as more than 90% reduction in time to maximum of more than 6 seconds' lesion volume at 24- to 72-hour follow-up.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Ordinal logistic regression adjusted for baseline age and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was used to analyze functional improvement in day 90 modified Rankin Scale score overall, including a reperfusion × time-to-randomization multiplicative interaction term, and in the 4.5- to 6-hours, 6- to 9-hours, and wake-up time strata. Symptomatic hemorrhage was defined as large parenchymal hematoma with a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score increase of 4 points or more.

Results: Reperfusion was assessable in 270 of 295 patients (92%), 68 of 133 (51%) in the alteplase group, and 38 of 137 (28%) in the placebo reperfused group (P < .001). The median (interquartile range) age was 76 (66-81) years in the reperfusion group vs 74 (64.5-81.0) years in the group with no reperfusion. The median (interquartile range) baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 10 (7-15) in the reperfusion group vs 12 (8.0-17.5) in the no reperfusion group. Overall, reperfusion was associated with improved functional outcome (common odds ratio, 7.7; 95% CI, 4.6-12.8; P < .001). Reperfusion was associated with significantly improved functional outcome in each of the 4.5- to 6-hours, 6- to 9-hours, and wake-up time strata, with no evidence of association between time to randomization and beneficial effect of reperfusion (P = .63). Symptomatic hemorrhage, assessed in all 294 patients, occurred in 3 of 51 (5.9%) in the 4.5- to 6-hours group, 2 of 28 (7.1%) in the 6- to 9-hours group, and 4 of 73 (5.5%) in the wake-up stroke in patients treated with alteplase (Fisher P = .91).

Conclusions And Relevance: Strong benefits of reperfusion in all time strata without differential risk in symptomatic hemorrhage support the consistent treatment effect of alteplase in perfusion mismatch-selected patients throughout the 4.5- to 9-hours and wake-up stroke time window.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.4123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7607491PMC
February 2021

Tranexamic acid in patients with intracerebral haemorrhage (STOP-AUST): a multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Neurol 2020 12 28;19(12):980-987. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Department of Neurology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Background: Despite intracerebral haemorrhage causing 5% of deaths worldwide, few evidence-based therapeutic strategies other than stroke unit care exist. Tranexamic acid decreases haemorrhage in conditions such as acute trauma and menorrhoea. We aimed to assess whether tranexamic acid reduces intracerebral haemorrhage growth in patients with acute intracerebral haemorrhage.

Methods: We did a prospective, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, investigator-led, phase 2 trial at 13 stroke centres in Australia, Finland, and Taiwan. Patients were eligible if they were aged 18 years or older, had an acute intracerebral haemorrhage fulfilling clinical criteria (eg, Glasgow Coma Scale score of >7, intracerebral haemorrhage volume <70 mL, no identified or suspected secondary cause of intracerebral haemorrhage, no thrombotic events within the previous 12 months, no planned surgery in the next 24 h, and no use of anticoagulation), had contrast extravasation on CT angiography (the so-called spot sign), and were treatable within 4·5 h of symptom onset and within 1 h of CT angiography. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either 1 g of intravenous tranexamic acid over 10 min followed by 1 g over 8 h or matching placebo, started within 4·5 h of symptom onset. Randomisation was done using a centralised web-based procedure with randomly permuted blocks of varying size. All patients, investigators, and staff involved in patient management were masked to treatment. The primary outcome was intracerebral haemorrhage growth (>33% relative or >6 mL absolute) at 24 h. The primary and safety analyses were done in the intention-to-treat population. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01702636).

Findings: Between March 1, 2013, and Aug 13, 2019, we enrolled and randomly assigned 100 participants to the tranexamic acid group (n=50) or the placebo group (n=50). Median age was 71 years (IQR 57-79) and median intracerebral haemorrhage volume was 14·6 mL (7·9-32·7) at baseline. The primary outcome was not different between the two groups: 26 (52%) patients in the placebo group and 22 (44%) in the tranexamic acid group had intracerebral haemorrhage growth (odds ratio [OR] 0·72 [95% CI 0·32-1·59], p=0·41). There was no evidence of a difference in the proportions of patients who died or had thromboembolic complications between the groups: eight (16%) in the placebo group vs 13 (26%) in the tranexamic acid group died and two (4%) vs one (2%) had thromboembolic complications. None of the deaths was considered related to study medication.

Interpretation: Our study does not provide evidence that tranexamic acid prevents intracerebral haemorrhage growth, although the treatment was safe with no increase in thromboembolic complications. Larger trials of tranexamic acid, with simpler recruitment methods and an earlier treatment window, are justified.

Funding: National Health and Medical Research Council, Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(20)30369-0DOI Listing
December 2020

Motor neuroprosthesis implanted with neurointerventional surgery improves capacity for activities of daily living tasks in severe paralysis: first in-human experience.

J Neurointerv Surg 2021 Feb 28;13(2):102-108. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Background: Implantable brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), functioning as motor neuroprostheses, have the potential to restore voluntary motor impulses to control digital devices and improve functional independence in patients with severe paralysis due to brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve or muscle dysfunction. However, reports to date have had limited clinical translation.

Methods: Two participants with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) underwent implant in a single-arm, open-label, prospective, early feasibility study. Using a minimally invasive neurointervention procedure, a novel endovascular Stentrode BCI was implanted in the superior sagittal sinus adjacent to primary motor cortex. The participants undertook machine-learning-assisted training to use wirelessly transmitted electrocorticography signal associated with attempted movements to control multiple mouse-click actions, including zoom and left-click. Used in combination with an eye-tracker for cursor navigation, participants achieved Windows 10 operating system control to conduct instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) tasks.

Results: Unsupervised home use commenced from day 86 onwards for participant 1, and day 71 for participant 2. Participant 1 achieved a typing task average click selection accuracy of 92.63% (100.00%, 87.50%-100.00%) (trial mean (median, Q1-Q3)) at a rate of 13.81 (13.44, 10.96-16.09) correct characters per minute (CCPM) with predictive text disabled. Participant 2 achieved an average click selection accuracy of 93.18% (100.00%, 88.19%-100.00%) at 20.10 (17.73, 12.27-26.50) CCPM. Completion of IADL tasks including text messaging, online shopping and managing finances independently was demonstrated in both participants.

Conclusion: We describe the first-in-human experience of a minimally invasive, fully implanted, wireless, ambulatory motor neuroprosthesis using an endovascular stent-electrode array to transmit electrocorticography signals from the motor cortex for multiple command control of digital devices in two participants with flaccid upper limb paralysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/neurintsurg-2020-016862DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7848062PMC
February 2021

Patterns of Use and Discontinuation of Secondary Prevention Medications After Stroke.

Neurology 2021 01 22;96(1):e30-e41. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

From Stroke and Ageing Research, Department of Medicine (L.L.D., J.K., A.G.T., R.G., D.A.C., M.F.K.), School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Department of Neuroscience (N.A.L.), and Department of Medicine (N.E.A.), Peninsula Clinical School, Central Clinical School, Monash University; Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health (J.K., D.A.C., M.F.K.); School of Population and Global Health (F.M.S., D.L.), The University of Western Australia; Sunshine Coast Clinical School, School of Medicine (R.G.), Griffith University; Princess Alexandra Hospital and Metro South Aged Care Assessment Team (L.W.), Metro South Health, Woolloongabba, Queensland; Faculty of Medicine and Health (R.I.L.), The University of Sydney, New South Wales; Department of Medicine and Neurology (B.C.V.C.), Melbourne Brain Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria; The George Institute for Global Health (C.S.A), University of New South Wales, Australia; and The George Institute for Global Health at Peking University (C.S.A.), China.

Objective: To investigate whether certain patient, acute care, or primary care factors are associated with medication initiation and discontinuation in the community after stroke or TIA.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study using prospective data on adult patients with first-ever acute stroke/TIA from the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (April 2010 to June 2014), linked with nationwide medication dispensing and Medicare claims data. Medication users were those with ≥1 dispensing in the year postdischarge. Discontinuation was assessed among medication users and defined as having no medication supply for ≥90 days in the year postdischarge. Multivariable competing risks regression, accounting for death during the observation period, was conducted to investigate factors associated with time to medication discontinuation.

Results: Among 17,980 registry patients with stroke/TIA, 91.4% were linked to administrative datasets. Of these, 9,817 adults with first-ever stroke/TIA were included (45.4% female, 47.6% aged ≥75 years, and 11.4% intracerebral hemorrhage). While most patients received secondary prevention medications (79.3% antihypertensive, 81.8% antithrombotic, and 82.7% lipid-lowering medication), between one-fifth and one-third discontinued treatment over the subsequent year postdischarge (20.9% antihypertensive, 34.1% antithrombotic, and 28.5% lipid-lowering medications). Prescription at hospital discharge (sub-hazard ratio [SHR] 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.62-0.79), quarterly contact with a primary care physician (SHR 0.62; 95% CI 0.57-0.67), and prescription by a specialist physician (SHR 0.87; 95% CI 0.77-0.98) were all inversely associated with antihypertensive discontinuation.

Conclusions: Patterns of use of secondary prevention medications after stroke/TIA are not optimal, with many survivors discontinuing treatment within 1 year postdischarge. Improving postdischarge care for patients with stroke/TIA is needed to minimize unwarranted discontinuation.
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January 2021

Challenges of Mild Stroke.

Stroke 2020 11 21;51(11):3203-3204. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Department of Medicine and Neurology, Melbourne Brain Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (B.C.V.C.).

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November 2020

Cost-Effectiveness of Tenecteplase Before Thrombectomy for Ischemic Stroke.

Stroke 2020 12 7;51(12):3681-3689. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Department of Medicine and Neurology, Melbourne Brain Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (L.C., N.Y., B.Y., M.W.P., G.A.D., S.M.D., B.C.V.C.), University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.

Background And Purpose: Tenecteplase improved functional outcomes and reduced the requirement for endovascular thrombectomy in ischemic stroke patients with large vessel occlusion in the EXTEND-IA TNK randomized trial. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of tenecteplase versus alteplase in this trial.

Methods: Post hoc within-trial economic analysis included costs of index emergency department and inpatient stroke hospitalization, rehabilitation/subacute care, and rehospitalization due to stroke within 90 days. Sources for cost included key study site complemented by published literature and government websites. Quality-adjusted life-years were estimated using utility scores derived from the modified Rankin Scale score at 90 days. Long-term modeled cost-effectiveness analysis used a Markov model with 7 health states corresponding to 7 modified Rankin Scale scores. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.

Results: Within the 202 patients in the randomized controlled trial, total cost was nonsignificantly lower in the tenecteplase-treated patients (40 997 Australian dollars [AUD]) compared with alteplase-treated patients (46 188 AUD) for the first 90 days(=0.125). Tenecteplase was the dominant treatment strategy in the short term, with similar cost (5412 AUD [95% CI, -13 348 to 2523]; =0.181) and higher benefits (0.099 quality-adjusted life-years [95% CI, 0.001-0.1967]; =0.048), with a 97.4% probability of being cost-effective. In the long-term, tenecteplase was associated with less additional lifetime cost (96 357 versus 106 304 AUD) and greater benefits (quality-adjusted life-years, 7.77 versus 6.48), and had a 100% probability of being cost-effective. Both deterministic sensitivity analysis and probabilistic sensitivity analyses yielded similar results.

Conclusions: Both within-trial and long-term economic analyses showed that tenecteplase was highly likely to be cost-effective for patients with acute stroke before thrombectomy. Recommending the use of tenecteplase over alteplase could lead to a cost saving to the healthcare system both in the short and long term. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT02388061.
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December 2020

Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction 2b Reperfusions: To Treat or to Stop?

Stroke 2020 11 30;51(11):3461-3471. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Department of Neurology (T.R.M., U.F.), University Hospital Bern, Inselspital, University of Bern, Switzerland.

In patients undergoing mechanical thrombectomy, achieving complete (Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction 3) rather than incomplete successful reperfusion (Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction 2b) is associated with better functional outcome. Despite technical improvements, incomplete reperfusion remains the final angiographic result in 40% of patients according to recent trials. As most incomplete reperfusions are caused by distal vessel occlusions, they are potentially amenable to rescue strategies. While observational data suggest a net benefit of up to 20% in functional independence of incomplete versus complete reperfusions, the net benefit of secondary improvement from Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction 2b to 3 reperfusion might differ due to lengthier procedures and delayed reperfusion. Current strategies to tackle distal vessel occlusions consist of distal (microcatheter) aspiration, small adjustable stent retrievers, and administration of intra-arterial thrombolytics. While there are promising reports evaluating those techniques, all available studies show relevant limitations in terms of selection bias, single-center design, or nonconsecutive patient inclusion. Besides an assessment of risks associated with rescue maneuvers, we advocate that the decision-making process should also include a consideration of potential outcomes if complete reperfusion would successfully be achieved. These include (1) a futile angiographic improvement (hypoperfused territory is already infarcted), (2) an unnecessary angiographic improvement (the patient would not have developed infarction if no rescue maneuver was performed), and (3) a successful rescue maneuver with clinical benefit. Currently there is paucity of data on how these scenarios can be predicted and the decision whether to treat or to stop in a patient with incomplete reperfusion involves many unknowns. To advance the status quo, we outline current knowledge gaps and avenues of potential research regarding this clinically important question.
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November 2020

Public health and cost consequences of time delays to thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke.

Neurology 2020 11 17;95(18):e2465-e2475. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

From the University of Calgary (W.G.K., M.A.A., B.K.M., A.M.D., M.D.H., M.G.), Alberta, Canada; Department of Radiology (W.G.K.), University Hospital, LMU Munich, Germany; Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (M.G.H.), Boston, MA; Erasmus MC (M.G.H., D.W.J.D.), University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Faculty of Medicine (M.A.A.), King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; David Geffen School of Medicine (J.L.S.), University of California-Los Angeles; Academic Medical Center (C.B.L.M.M.), Amsterdam, the Netherlands; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (T.G.J.), PA; Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol (A.D.), Barcelona, Spain; University Hospital of Nancy (S. Bracard, F.G.), France; University of Melbourne (B.C.V.C., P.J.M.), Australia; Newcastle University (P.W.), UK; University of Glasgow (K.W.M.), UK; and Altair Biostatistics (S. Brown), St. Louis Park, MN.

Objective: To determine public health and cost consequences of time delays to endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) for patients, health care systems, and society, we estimated quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) of EVT-treated patients and associated costs based on times to treatment.

Methods: The Markov model analysis was performed from US health care and societal perspectives over a lifetime horizon. Contemporary data from 7 trials within the Highly Effective Reperfusion Evaluated in Multiple Endovascular Stroke Trials (HERMES) collaboration served as data source. Aside from cumulative lifetime costs, we calculated the net monetary benefit (NMB) to determine the economic value of care. We used a contemporary willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000 per QALY for NMB calculations.

Results: Every 10 minutes of earlier treatment resulted in an average gain of 39 days (95% prediction interval 23-53 days) of disability-free life. Overall, the cumulative lifetime costs for patients with earlier or later treatment were similar. Patients with later treatment had higher morbidity-related costs but over a shorter time span due to their shorter life expectancy, resulting in similar lifetime costs as in patients with early treatment. Regarding the economic value of care, every 10 minutes of earlier treatment increased the NMB by $10,593 (95% prediction interval $5,549-$14,847) and by $10,915 (95% prediction interval $5,928-$15,356) taking health care and societal perspectives, respectively.

Conclusions: Any time delay to EVT reduces QALYs and decreases the economic value of care provided by this intervention. Health care policies to implement efficient prehospital triage and to accelerate in-hospital workflow are urgently needed.
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November 2020

Effect of age and baseline ASPECTS on outcomes in large-vessel occlusion stroke: results from the HERMES collaboration.

J Neurointerv Surg 2020 Sep 14. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Background: Patient age and baseline Alberta Stroke Program Early CT score (ASPECTS) are both independent predictors of outcome in acute ischemic stroke patients treated with endovascular therapy (EVT). We assessed the combined effect of age and ASEPCTS on clinical outcome in acute ischemic stroke patients with LVO with and without EVT, and EVT treatment effect in different age/ASPECTS subgroups.

Methods: The HERMES collaboration pooled data of seven randomized controlled trials that tested the efficacy of EVT. Adjusted logistic regression was performed to test for multiplicative interaction of age and ASPECTS with the primary outcome (ordinal mRS) and secondary outcomes (mRS 0-2/0-1/0-3) in the EVT and control arms. Patients were then stratified by age (<75 vs ≥75 years) and ASPECTS (0-5/6-7/8-10), and adjusted effect-size estimates for the association of EVT were derived for the six age/ASPECTS subgroups.

Results: 1735 patients were included in the analysis. There was no multiplicative interaction between age and ASPECTS on clinical outcomes. In the exploratory subgroup analysis, we found a nominally negative point estimate for the association of EVT with clinical outcome in the ASPECTS 0-5/age ≥75, subgroup (acOR 0.36, 95% CI 0.07 to 1.89). The point estimate for moderate outcome (mRS0-3) nominally favored EVT (aOR 1.24, 95% CI 0.16 to 9.84). In all other subgroups, effect size-estimates consistently favored EVT.

Conclusion: There was no multiplicative interaction of age and ASPECTS on clinical outcomes in EVT or control arm patients. Outcomes in patients ≥75 years with ASPECTS 0-5 were poor, irrespective of treatment. Further investigation to define the role of EVT and range of acceptable outcomes in this subgroup is warranted.
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September 2020

Stroke.

Lancet 2020 07;396(10244):129-142

Department of Neurology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA.

Stroke is a major cause of death and disability globally. Diagnosis depends on clinical features and brain imaging to differentiate between ischaemic stroke and intracerebral haemorrhage. Non-contrast CT can exclude haemorrhage, but the addition of CT perfusion imaging and angiography allows a positive diagnosis of ischaemic stroke versus mimics and can identify a large vessel occlusion target for endovascular thrombectomy. Management of ischaemic stroke has greatly advanced, with rapid reperfusion by use of intravenous thrombolysis and endovascular thrombectomy shown to reduce disability. These therapies can now be applied in selected patients who present late to medical care if there is imaging evidence of salvageable brain tissue. Both haemostatic agents and surgical interventions are investigational for intracerebral haemorrhage. Prevention of recurrent stroke requires an understanding of the mechanism of stroke to target interventions, such as carotid endarterectomy, anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation, and patent foramen ovale closure. However, interventions such as lowering blood pressure, smoking cessation, and lifestyle optimisation are common to all stroke subtypes.
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July 2020

Optimal Imaging at the Primary Stroke Center.

Stroke 2020 Jul 17;51(7):1932-1940. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Department of Medicine and Neurology, Melbourne Brain Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia.

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July 2020

Dabigatran Reversal Before Intravenous Tenecteplase in Acute Ischemic Stroke.

Stroke 2020 05 25;51(5):1616-1619. Epub 2020 Mar 25.

From the Department of Neurology, Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand (J.B., J.N.F., D.W., T.Y.W.).

Background and Purpose- Reversal of dabigatran before intravenous thrombolysis in patients with acute ischemic stroke has been well described using alteplase but experience with intravenous tenecteplase is limited. Tenecteplase seems at least noninferior to alteplase in patients with intracranial large vessel occlusion. We report on the experience of dabigatran reversal before tenecteplase thrombolysis for acute ischemic stroke. Methods- We included consecutive patients with ischemic stroke receiving dabigatran prestroke treated with intravenous tenecteplase after receiving idarucizumab. Patients were from 2 centers in New Zealand and Australia. We reported the clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and their functional outcome. Results- We identified 13 patients receiving intravenous tenecteplase after dabigatran reversal. Nine (69%) were male, median age was 79 (interquartile range, 69-85) and median baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 6 (interquartile range, 4-21). Atrial fibrillation was the indication for dabigatran therapy in all patients. All patients had a prolonged thrombin clotting time (median, 80 seconds [interquartile range, 57-113]). Seven patients with large vessel occlusion were referred for endovascular thrombectomy, 2 of these patients (29%) had early recanalization with tenecteplase abrogating thrombectomy. No patients had parenchymal hemorrhage or symptomatic hemorrhagic transformation. Favorable functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale score, 0-2) occurred in 8 (62%) patients. Two deaths occurred from large territory infarction. Conclusions- Our experience suggests intravenous thrombolysis with tenecteplase following dabigatran reversal using idarucizumab may be safe in selected patients with acute ischemic stroke. Further studies are required to more precisely estimate the efficacy and risk of clinically significant hemorrhage.
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May 2020

Efficacy and safety of nerinetide for the treatment of acute ischaemic stroke (ESCAPE-NA1): a multicentre, double-blind, randomised controlled trial.

Lancet 2020 03 20;395(10227):878-887. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.

Background: Nerinetide, an eicosapeptide that interferes with post-synaptic density protein 95, is a neuroprotectant that is effective in preclinical stroke models of ischaemia-reperfusion. In this trial, we assessed the efficacy and safety of nerinetide in human ischaemia-reperfusion that occurs with rapid endovascular thrombectomy in patients who had an acute ischaemic stroke.

Methods: For this multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study done in 48 acute care hospitals in eight countries, we enrolled patients with acute ischaemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion within a 12 h treatment window. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older with a disabling ischaemic stroke at the time of randomisation, had been functioning independently in the community before the stroke, had an Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) greater than 4, and vascular imaging showing moderate-to-good collateral filling, as determined by multiphase CT angiography. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive intravenous nerinetide in a single dose of 2·6 mg/kg, up to a maximum dose of 270 mg, on the basis of estimated or actual weight (if known) or saline placebo by use of a real-time, dynamic, internet-based, stratified randomised minimisation procedure. Patients were stratified by intravenous alteplase treatment and declared endovascular device choice. All trial personnel and patients were masked to sequence and treatment allocation. All patients underwent endovascular thrombectomy and received alteplase in usual care when indicated. The primary outcome was a favourable functional outcome 90 days after randomisation, defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of 0-2. Secondary outcomes were measures of neurological disability, functional independence in activities of daily living, excellent functional outcome (mRS 0-1), and mortality. The analysis was done in the intention-to-treat population and adjusted for age, sex, baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, ASPECTS, occlusion location, site, alteplase use, and declared first device. The safety population included all patients who received any amount of study drug. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02930018.

Findings: Between March 1, 2017, and Aug 12, 2019, 1105 patients were randomly assigned to receive nerinetide (n=549) or placebo (n=556). 337 (61·4%) of 549 patients with nerinetide and 329 (59·2%) of 556 with placebo achieved an mRS score of 0-2 at 90 days (adjusted risk ratio 1·04, 95% CI 0·96-1·14; p=0·35). Secondary outcomes were similar between groups. We observed evidence of treatment effect modification resulting in inhibition of treatment effect in patients receiving alteplase. Serious adverse events occurred equally between groups.

Interpretation: Nerinetide did not improve the proportion of patients achieving good clinical outcomes after endovascular thrombectomy compared with patients receiving placebo.

Funding: Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Alberta Innovates, and NoNO.
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March 2020

Effect of Intravenous Tenecteplase Dose on Cerebral Reperfusion Before Thrombectomy in Patients With Large Vessel Occlusion Ischemic Stroke: The EXTEND-IA TNK Part 2 Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA 2020 04;323(13):1257-1265

Department of Medicine, Ballarat Base Hospital, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

Importance: Intravenous thrombolysis with tenecteplase improves reperfusion prior to endovascular thrombectomy for ischemic stroke compared with alteplase.

Objective: To determine whether 0.40 mg/kg of tenecteplase safely improves reperfusion before endovascular thrombectomy vs 0.25 mg/kg of tenecteplase in patients with large vessel occlusion ischemic stroke.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Randomized clinical trial at 27 hospitals in Australia and 1 in New Zealand using open-label treatment and blinded assessment of radiological and clinical outcomes. Patients were enrolled from December 2017 to July 2019 with follow-up until October 2019. Adult patients (N = 300) with ischemic stroke due to occlusion of the intracranial internal carotid, \basilar, or middle cerebral artery were included less than 4.5 hours after symptom onset using standard intravenous thrombolysis eligibility criteria.

Interventions: Open-label tenecteplase at 0.40 mg/kg (maximum, 40 mg; n = 150) or 0.25 mg/kg (maximum, 25 mg; n = 150) given as a bolus before endovascular thrombectomy.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was reperfusion of greater than 50% of the involved ischemic territory prior to thrombectomy, assessed by consensus of 2 blinded neuroradiologists. Prespecified secondary outcomes were level of disability at day 90 (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score; range, 0-6); mRS score of 0 to 1 (freedom from disability) or no change from baseline at 90 days; mRS score of 0 to 2 (functional independence) or no change from baseline at 90 days; substantial neurological improvement at 3 days; symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage within 36 hours; and all-cause death.

Results: All 300 patients who were randomized (mean age, 72.7 years; 141 [47%] women) completed the trial. The number of participants with greater than 50% reperfusion of the previously occluded vascular territory was 29 of 150 (19.3%) in the 0.40 mg/kg group vs 29 of 150 (19.3%) in the 0.25 mg/kg group (unadjusted risk difference, 0.0% [95% CI, -8.9% to -8.9%]; adjusted risk ratio, 1.03 [95% CI, 0.66-1.61]; P = .89). Among the 6 secondary outcomes, there were no significant differences in any of the 4 functional outcomes between the 0.40 mg/kg and 0.25 mg/kg groups nor in all-cause deaths (26 [17%] vs 22 [15%]; unadjusted risk difference, 2.7% [95% CI, -5.6% to 11.0%]) or symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (7 [4.7%] vs 2 [1.3%]; unadjusted risk difference, 3.3% [95% CI, -0.5% to 7.2%]).

Conclusions And Relevance: Among patients with large vessel occlusion ischemic stroke, a dose of 0.40 mg/kg, compared with 0.25 mg/kg, of tenecteplase did not significantly improve cerebral reperfusion prior to endovascular thrombectomy. The findings suggest that the 0.40-mg/kg dose of tenecteplase does not confer an advantage over the 0.25-mg/kg dose in patients with large vessel occlusion ischemic stroke in whom endovascular thrombectomy is planned.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03340493.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.1511DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7139271PMC
April 2020

Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit and Reperfusion Therapy: Greater Clinical Impact of Thrombectomy Than Thrombolysis.

Stroke 2020 03 12;51(3):922-930. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

From the Department of Neurology, Melbourne Brain Centre (H.Z., S.C., D.E., L.C., N.Y., B.Y., B.C.V.C., M.W.P., G.A.D., S.M.D.), Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.

Background and Purpose- Mobile stroke units (MSUs) are increasingly used worldwide to provide prehospital triage and treatment. The benefits of MSUs in giving earlier thrombolysis have been well established, but the impacts of MSUs on endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) and effect on disability avoidance are largely unknown. We aimed to determine the clinical impact and disability reduction for reperfusion therapies in the first operational year of the Melbourne MSU. Methods- Treatment time metrics for MSU patients receiving reperfusion therapy were compared with control patients presenting to metropolitan Melbourne stroke units via standard ambulance within MSU operating hours. The primary outcome was median time difference in first ambulance dispatch to treatment modeled using quantile regression analysis. Time savings were subsequently converted to disability-adjusted life years avoided using published estimates. Results- In the first 365-day operation of the Melbourne MSU, prehospital thrombolysis was administered to 100 patients (mean age, 73.8 years; 62% men). The median time savings per MSU patient, compared with the control cohort, was 26 minutes (<0.001) for dispatch to hospital arrival and 15 minutes (<0.001) for hospital arrival to thrombolysis. The calculated overall time saving from dispatch to thrombolysis was 42.5 minutes (95% CI, 36.0-49.0). In the same period, 41 MSU patients received EVT (mean age, 76 years; 61% men) with median dispatch-to-treatment time saving of 51 minutes ([95% CI, 30.1-71.9], <0.001). This included a median time saving of 17 minutes ([95% CI, 7.6-26.4], =0.001) for EVT hospital arrival to arterial puncture for MSU patients. Estimated median disability-adjusted life years saved through earlier provision of reperfusion therapies were 20.9 for thrombolysis and 24.6 for EVT. Conclusions- The Melbourne MSU substantially reduced time to reperfusion therapies, with the greatest estimated disability avoidance driven by the more powerful impact of earlier EVT. These findings highlight the benefits of prehospital notification and direct triage to EVT centers with facilitated workflow on arrival by the MSU.
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March 2020

Public Health and Cost Benefits of Successful Reperfusion After Thrombectomy for Stroke.

Stroke 2020 03 22;51(3):899-907. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

From the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada (W.G.K., M.A.A., B.K.M., A.M.D., M.D.H., M.G.).

Background and Purpose- The benefit that endovascular thrombectomy offers to patients with stroke with large vessel occlusions depends strongly on reperfusion grade as defined by the expanded Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (eTICI) scale. Our aim was to determine the lifetime health and cost consequences of the quality of reperfusion for patients, healthcare systems, and society. Methods- A Markov model estimated lifetime quality-adjusted life years (QALY) and lifetime costs of endovascular thrombectomy-treated patients with stroke based on eTICI grades. The analysis was performed over a lifetime horizon in a United States setting, adopting healthcare and societal perspectives. The reference case analysis was conducted for stroke at 65 years of age. National health and cost consequences of improved eTICI 2c/3 reperfusion rates were estimated. Input parameters were based on best available evidence. Results- Lifetime QALYs increased for every grade of improved reperfusion (median QALYs for eTICI 0/1: 2.62; eTICI 2a: 3.46; eTICI 2b: 5.42; eTICI 2c: 5.99; eTICI 3: 6.73). Achieving eTICI 3 over eTICI 2b reperfusion resulted on average in 1.31 incremental QALYs as well as healthcare and societal cost savings of $10 327 and $20 224 per patient. A 10% increase in the eTICI 2c/3 reperfusion rate of all annually endovascular thrombectomy-treated patients with stroke in the United States is estimated to yield additional 3656 QALYs and save $21.0 million and $36.8 million for the healthcare system and society, respectively. Conclusions- Improved reperfusion grants patients with stroke additional QALYs and leads to long-term cost savings. Procedural strategies to achieve complete reperfusion should be assessed for safety and feasibility, even when initial reperfusion seems to be adequate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.027874DOI Listing
March 2020