Publications by authors named "Karen L Furie"

232 Publications

Strategies for Promotion of a Healthy Lifestyle in Clinical Settings: Pillars of Ideal Cardiovascular Health: A Science Advisory From the American Heart Association.

Circulation 2021 Oct 25:CIR0000000000001018. Epub 2021 Oct 25.

Engagement in healthy lifestyle behaviors is suboptimal. The vast majority of the US population does not meet current recommendations. A healthy lifestyle is defined by consuming a healthy dietary pattern, engaging in regular physical activity, avoiding exposure to tobacco products, habitually attaining adequate amounts of sleep, and managing stress levels. For all these health behaviors there are well-established guidelines; however, promotion in clinical settings can be challenging. It is critical to overcome these challenges because greater promotion of heathy lifestyle practices in clinical settings effectively motivates and initiates patient behavior change. The 5A Model (assess, advise, agree, assist, and arrange) was developed to provide a framework for clinical counseling with requisite attention to the demands of clinical settings. In this science advisory, we present strategies, based on the 5A Model, that clinicians and other health care professionals can use for efficient lifestyle-related behavior change counseling in patients at all levels of cardiovascular disease risk at every visit. In addition, we discuss the underlying role of psychological health and well-being in lifestyle-related behavior change counseling, and how clinicians can leverage health technologies when providing brief patient-centered counseling. Greater attention to healthy lifestyle behaviors during routine clinician visits will contribute to promoting cardiovascular health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIR.0000000000001018DOI Listing
October 2021

Special Considerations for Healthy Lifestyle Promotion Across the Life Span in Clinical Settings: A Science Advisory From the American Heart Association.

Circulation 2021 Oct 25:CIR0000000000001014. Epub 2021 Oct 25.

At a population level, engagement in healthy lifestyle behaviors is suboptimal in the United States. Moreover, marked disparities exist in healthy lifestyle behaviors and cardiovascular risk factors as a result of social determinants of health. In addition, there are specific challenges to engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors related to age, developmental stage, or major life circumstances. Key components of a healthy lifestyle are consuming a healthy dietary pattern, engaging in regular physical activity, avoiding use of tobacco products, habitually attaining adequate sleep, and managing stress. For these health behaviors, there are guidelines and recommendations; however, promotion in clinical settings can be challenging, particularly in certain population groups. These challenges must be overcome to facilitate greater promotion of healthy lifestyle practices in clinical settings. The 5A Model (assess, advise, agree, assist, and arrange) was developed to provide a framework for clinical counseling with consideration for the demands of clinical settings. In this science advisory, we summarize specific considerations for lifestyle-related behavior change counseling using the 5A Model for patients across the life span. In all life stages, social determinants of health and unmet social-related health needs, as well as overweight and obesity, are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and there is the potential to modify this risk with lifestyle-related behavior changes. In addition, specific considerations for lifestyle-related behavior change counseling in life stages in which lifestyle behaviors significantly affect cardiovascular disease risk are outlined. Greater attention to healthy lifestyle behaviors during every clinician visit will contribute to improved cardiovascular health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIR.0000000000001014DOI Listing
October 2021

Antiplatelet Use and Ischemic Stroke Risk in Minor Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack: A Post Hoc Analysis of the POINT Trial.

Stroke 2021 Oct 12:STROKEAHA121035354. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Department of Neurology, Brown University, Providence, RI (K.L.F., S.Y.).

Background And Purpose: Dual antiplatelet therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of recurrent stroke in patients with minor stroke or transient ischemic attack. However, whether the effect of dual antiplatelet therapy is modified by pretreatment antiplatelet status is unclear.

Methods: This is a post hoc analysis of the POINT trial (Platelet-Oriented Inhibition in New TIA and Minor Ischemic Stroke). Patients were divided into 2 groups based on pretreatment antiplatelet use. The primary outcome was ischemic stroke within 90 days of randomization.

Results: We included 4881 patients of whom 41% belonged to the no pretreatment antiplatelet. Ischemic stroke occurred in 6% and 5% in the antiplatelet pretreatment and no antiplatelet pretreatment, respectively. Antiplatelet pretreatment was not associated with the risk of ischemic stroke (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.05 [95% CI, 0.81-137]) or risk of major hemorrhage (hazard ratio, 1.10 [95% CI, 0.55-2.21]; =0.794). The effect of dual antiplatelet therapy on recurrent ischemic stroke risk was not different in patients who were on antiplatelet before randomization (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.69 [95% CI, 0.50-0.94]) as opposed to those who were not (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.75 [95% CI, 0.50-1.12]), for interaction = 0.685.

Conclusions: In patients with minor stroke and high-risk transient ischemic attack, dual antiplatelet therapy reduces the risk of ischemic stroke regardless of premorbid antiplatelet use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.121.035354DOI Listing
October 2021

Impact of Delirium on Outcomes After Intracerebral Hemorrhage.

Stroke 2021 Oct 5:STROKEAHA120034023. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

Department of Neurology, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI. (M.E.R., A.M., L.C.W., B.B.T., C.S., L.A.D., R.N.J., K.L.F.).

Background And Purpose: Delirium portends worse outcomes after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), but it is unclear if symptom resolution or postacute care intensity may mitigate its impact. We aimed to explore differences in outcome associated with delirium resolution before hospital discharge, as well as the potential mediating role of postacute discharge site.

Methods: We performed a single-center cohort study on consecutive ICH patients over 2 years. Delirium was diagnosed according to DSM-5 criteria and further classified as persistent or resolved based on delirium status at hospital discharge. We determined the impact of delirium on unfavorable 3-month outcome (modified Rankin Scale score, 4-6) using logistic regression models adjusted for established ICH predictors, then used mediation analysis to examine the indirect effect of delirium via postacute discharge site.

Results: Of 590 patients (mean age 70.5±15.5 years, 52% male, 83% White), 59% (n=348) developed delirium during hospitalization. Older age and higher ICH severity were delirium risk factors, but only younger age predicted delirium resolution, which occurred in 75% (161/215) of ICH survivors who had delirium. Delirium was strongly associated with unfavorable outcome, but patients with persistent delirium fared worse (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 7.3 [95% CI, 3.3-16.3]) than those whose delirium resolved (adjusted OR, 3.1 [95% CI, 1.8-5.5]). Patients with delirium were less likely to be discharged to inpatient rehabilitation than skilled nursing facilities (adjusted OR, 0.31 [95% CI, 0.17-0.59]), and postacute care site partially mediated the relationship between delirium and functional outcome in ICH survivors, leading to a 25% reduction in the effect of delirium (without mediator: adjusted OR, 3.0 [95% CI, 1.7-5.6]; with mediator: adjusted OR, 2.3 [95% CI, 1.2-4.3]).

Conclusions: Acute delirium resolves in most patients with ICH by hospital discharge, which was associated with better outcomes than in patients with persistent delirium. The impact of delirium on outcomes may be further mitigated by postacute rehabilitation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.034023DOI Listing
October 2021

In Reply to the Letter to the Editor Regarding "Association of Early White Blood Cell Trend with Outcomes in Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage".

World Neurosurg 2021 Oct;154:205

Department of Neurology, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown, University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.07.136DOI Listing
October 2021

Gender Disparities in Stroke Code Activation in Patients with Intracerebral Hemorrhage.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2021 Sep 21;30(12):106119. Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Department of Neurology, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI, United States; Department of Neurosurgery, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI, United States. Electronic address:

Objectives: Routine implementation of protocol-driven stroke "codes" results in timelier and more effective acute stroke management. However, it is unclear if patient demographics contribute to disparities in stroke code activation. We aimed to explore these demographic factors in a retrospective cohort study of patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).

Materials And Methods: We identified consecutive patients with non-traumatic ICH who presented directly to our Comprehensive Stroke Center over 2 years and collected data on demographics, clinical features, and stroke code activation. We used multivariable logistic regression to examine differences in stroke code activation based on patient demographics while adjusting for initial clinical features (NIH Stroke Scale, FAST [facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulties] vs. non-FAST symptoms, time from last-known-well [LKW], and systolic blood pressure [SBP]).

Results: Among 265 patients, 68% (n=179) had a stroke code activation. Stroke codes occurred less frequently in women (62%) than men (72%) and in non-white (57%) vs. white patients (70%). Non-stroke code patients were less likely to have FAST symptoms (37% vs. 87%) and had lower initial SBP (mean±SD 159.3±34.2 vs. 176.0±31.9 mmHg) than stroke code patients. In our primary multivariable models, neither age nor race were associated with stroke code activation. However, women were significantly less likely to have stroke codes than men (OR 0.49 [95% CI 0.24-0.98]), as were non-FAST symptoms (OR 0.11 [95% CI 0.05-0.22]).

Conclusions: Our data suggest gender disparities in emergency stroke care that should prompt further investigations into potential systemic biases. Increased awareness of atypical stroke symptoms is also warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.106119DOI Listing
September 2021

Modeling the Clinical Implications of Andexanet Alfa in Factor Xa Inhibitor-Associated Intracerebral Hemorrhage.

Neurology 2021 Sep 23. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

Department of Neurology, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI

Background And Objectives: Andexanet alfa was recently approved as a reversal agent for the Factor Xa inhibitors (FXai) apixaban and rivaroxaban, but its impact on long-term outcomes in FXai-associated intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is unknown. We aimed to explore potential clinical implications of andexanet alfa in FXai-associated ICH in this simulation study.

Methods: We simulated potential downstream implications of andexanet alfa across a range of possible hemostatic effects using data from a single center that treats FXai-associated ICH with prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC). We determined baseline probabilities of inadequate hemostasis across FXai and non-FXai patients via multivariable regression models, then determined probabilities of unfavorable 3-month outcome (modified Rankin Scale 4-6) using models comprising established predictors and each patient's calculated probability of inadequate hemostasis. We applied bootstrapping with model parameters from this derivation cohort to simulate a range of hemostatic improvements and corresponding outcomes, then calculated absolute risk reduction (relative to PCC) and projected number needed to treat (NNT) to prevent one unfavorable outcome.

Results: Training models using real-world patients (n=603 total; 55 FXai) had good accuracy in predicting inadequate hemostasis (AUC 0.78) and unfavorable outcome (AUC 0.78). Inadequate hemostasis was strongly associated with unfavorable outcome (OR 4.5, 95% CI 2.0-9.9) and occurred in 11.4% of FXai patients. Across simulated FXai patients comparable to those in the ANNEXA-4 study, predicted absolute risk reduction of unfavorable outcome was 4.9% (95% CI 1.3%-7.8%) when the probability of inadequate hemostasis was reduced by 33%, and 7.4% (95% CI 2.0%-11.9%) at 50% reduction, translating to projected NNTs of 21 (cumulative cost $519,750) and 14 ($346,500), respectively.

Discussion: Even optimistic simulated hemostatic effects suggest that the costs and potential benefits of andexanet alfa should be carefully considered. Placebo-controlled randomized trials are needed before its use can definitively be recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000012856DOI Listing
September 2021

Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1 Is Increased in Chagasic Cardiomyopathy.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2021 07 19;105(3):638-642. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

1Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil.

Chagas disease (CD) mainly conveys stroke risk through structural cardiac disease. However, stroke and cognitive impairment are seen in CD independently of cardiac disease severity. Chronic inflammation may be an explanation for this association, because inflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of acute ischemic stroke and dementia. In the present study, we selected five candidate biomarkers for Chagas disease: interleukin-6, membrane metalloproteinase-9, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP1), orosomucoid, and neprilysin. We sought to determine if mean levels of proinflammatory biomarkers are higher in patients with heart failure (HF) associated with Chagas disease when compared with other etiologies of HF. Patients were consecutively enrolled from subspecialty HF outpatient clinics at two university-based hospitals. Serum biomarker levels from blood samples were analyzed by ELISA. Severity of HF on echocardiography was worse in non-CD when compared with CD patients. No significant difference was observed in the levels of candidate biomarkers between the CD and non-CD groups. We found a significantly 2.2 ng/mL higher level of TIMP1 in CD when compared with non-CD patients with HF after adjustment for age and gender (95% confidence interval = 0.1 to 4.5, P = 0.037). In patients with heart failure, serum TIMP1 is increased in Chagas patients despite a lower myocardial disease severity on echocardiography when compared with non-Chagas patients. TIMP1 is probably one of multiple mediators of inflammatory injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.20-0401DOI Listing
July 2021

Short- and long-term opioid use in survivors of subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 08 22;207:106770. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Department of Neurology, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, United States.

Objectives: Opioids are frequently used for analgesia in patients with acute subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) due to a high prevalence of headache and neck pain. However, it is unclear if this practice may pose a risk for opioid dependence, as long-term opioid use in this population remains unknown. We sought to determine the prevalence of opioid use in SAH survivors, and to identify potential risk factors for opioid utilization.

Methods: We analyzed a cohort of consecutive patients admitted with non-traumatic and suspected aneurysmal SAH to an academic referral center. We included patients who survived hospitalization and excluded those who were not opioid-naïve. Potential risk factors for opioid prescription at discharge, 3 and 12 months post-discharge were assessed.

Results: Of 240 SAH patients who met our inclusion criteria (mean age 58.4 years [SD 14.8], 58% women), 233 (97%) received opioids during hospitalization and 152 (63%) received opioid prescription at discharge. Twenty-eight patients (12%) still continued to use opioids at 3 months post-discharge, and 13 patients (6%) at 12-month follow up. Although patients with poor Hunt and Hess grades (odds ratio 0.19, 95% CI 0.06-0.57) and those with intraventricular hemorrhage (odds ratio 0.38, 95% CI 0.18-0.87) were less likely to receive opioid prescriptions at discharge, we did not find significant differences between patients who had long-term opioid use and those who did not.

Conclusion: Opioids are regularly used in both the acute SAH setting and immediately after discharge. A considerable number of patients also continue to use opioids in the long-term. Opioid-sparing pain control strategies should be explored in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106770DOI Listing
August 2021

Early Neurological Changes and Interpretation of Clinical Grades in Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2021 Sep 23;30(9):105939. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Department of Neurology, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA. Electronic address:

Objectives: Hunt and Hess (HH) and World Federation of Neurological Surgeons (WFNS) grades are commonly used to report clinical severity of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). We sought to determine the impact of early neurological changes and the timing of clinical grade assignment on the prognostication accuracy.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed a cohort of consecutive patients with aSAH who were admitted to an academic center. Patients with confirmed aneurysmal cause were included. Relevant clinical data including daily clinical grades, imaging data and functional outcome were analyzed. Favorable outcome was defined as mRS 0 to 3. Early neurological improvement (ENI) and early neurological deterioration (END) were respectively defined as any improvement or deterioration of HH grades from hospital day 1 to the earliest time from hospital day 2 to 5.

Results: Of 310 patients, 24% experienced early neurological changes from hospital day 1 to 3. For each point increase in HH grades from day 1 to day 3, the odds ratio for worse outcome was 2.57 (95% CI [1.74-3.79]) and for each point decrease in HH grades from day 1 to day 3, the odds ratio for worse outcome was 0.28 (95% CI [0.17-0.47]). Receiver Operating Characteristic curve analysis revealed that clinical grades on day 3 had higher accuracy in predicting worse outcome than clinical grades on day 1.

Conclusion: Early changes in neurological status can alter trajectory of hospital course and functional outcome. The prognostic accuracy of the clinical grades from hospital day 3 is significantly greater than those on admission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.105939DOI Listing
September 2021

Managing Atrial Fibrillation in Patients With Heart Failure and Reduced Ejection Fraction: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2021 Jun 15;14(6):HAE0000000000000078. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Atrial fibrillation and heart failure with reduced ejection fraction are increasing in prevalence worldwide. Atrial fibrillation can precipitate and can be a consequence of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and cardiomyopathy. Atrial fibrillation and heart failure, when present together, are associated with worse outcomes. Together, these 2 conditions increase the risk of stroke, requiring oral anticoagulation in many or left atrial appendage closure in some. Medical management for rate and rhythm control of atrial fibrillation in heart failure remain hampered by variable success, intolerance, and adverse effects. In multiple randomized clinical trials in recent years, catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction has shown superiority in improving survival, quality of life, and ventricular function and reducing heart failure hospitalizations compared with antiarrhythmic drugs and rate control therapies. This has resulted in a paradigm shift in management toward nonpharmacological rhythm control of atrial fibrillation in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. The primary objective of this American Heart Association scientific statement is to review the available evidence on the epidemiology and pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation in relation to heart failure and to provide guidance on the latest advances in pharmacological and nonpharmacological management of atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction. The writing committee's consensus on the implications for clinical practice, gaps in knowledge, and directions for future research are highlighted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HAE.0000000000000078DOI Listing
June 2021

Sex and Race Differences in the Risk of Ischemic Stroke Associated With Fasting Blood Glucose in REGARDS.

Neurology 2021 08 27;97(7):e684-e694. Epub 2021 May 27.

From the Departments of Emergency Medicine (T.E.M.), Neurology (K.L.F.), Epidemiology (S.L.), Medicine (S.L.), and Surgery (S.L.), and Center for Global Cardiometabolic Health, Brown University School of Public Health (S.L.), Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI; Departments of Biostatistics (D.L.L., G.H.) and Epidemiology (A.P.C., V.J.H.), School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Department of Neurology (D.O.K.), University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor; and Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive Medicine (J.E.M.), Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Objective: To investigate sex and race differences in the association between fasting blood glucose (FBG) and risk of ischemic stroke (IS).

Methods: This prospective longitudinal cohort study included adults age ≥45 years at baseline in the Reasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke Study, followed for a median of 11.4 years. The exposure was baseline FBG (mg/dL); suspected IS events were ascertained by phone every 6 months and were physician-adjudicated. Cox proportional hazards were used to assess the adjusted sex/race-specific associations between FBG (by category and as a restricted cubic spline) and incident IS.

Results: Of 20,338 participants, mean age was 64.5 (SD 9.3) years, 38.7% were Black, 55.4% were women, 16.2% were using diabetes medications, and 954 IS events occurred. Compared to FBG <100, FBG ≥150 was associated with 59% higher hazards of IS (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21-2.08) and 61% higher hazards of IS among those on diabetes medications (95% CI 1.12-2.31). The association between FBG and IS varied by race/sex (hazard ratio, FBG ≥150 vs FBG <100: White women 2.05 [95% CI 1.23-3.42], Black women 1.71 [95% CI 1.10-2.66], Black men 1.24 [95% CI 0.75-2.06], White men 1.46 [95% CI 0.93-2.28], = 0.004). Analyses using FBG splines suggest that sex was the major contributor to differences by race/sex subgroups.

Conclusions: Sex differences in the strength and shape of the association between FBG and IS are likely driving the significant differences in the association between FBG and IS across race/sex subgroups. These findings should be explored further and may inform tailored stroke prevention guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000012296DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8377876PMC
August 2021

Association of Early White Blood Cell Trend with Outcomes in Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage.

World Neurosurg 2021 07 5;151:e803-e809. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Neurology, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Background: An increasing white blood cell (WBC) count in early course of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) can indicate a systemic inflammatory state triggered by the initial insult. We sought to determine the significance of the early WBC trend as a potential predictor of outcomes.

Methods: We analyzed a cohort of consecutive patients with aneurysmal SAH. The WBC values in first 5 days of admission, plus relevant clinical and imaging data, and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at 3 months after hospital discharge were retrieved and analyzed. Favorable outcome was defined as mRS 0-3. The association between WBC counts and outcomes including mRS and delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) was determined using binary logistic regression models. We used receiver operating characteristic curve analysis to assess accuracy of WBC in predicting outcomes.

Results: We included 167 patients in final analysis. Mean age was 56.4 (standard deviation [SD] 14.8) years, and 65% (109) of patients were female. Peak WBC was greater in patients with poor functional outcome (mean 17 × 10 cells/L, SD 6.4 vs. 13.5 × 10 cells/L SD 4.7). Combining peak WBC with modified Fisher scale slightly increased accuracy in predicting DCI (area under the curve 0.670, 95% confidence interval 0.586-0.755) compared with each component alone.

Conclusions: WBC count in the early course of SAH may have prognostic values in predicting DCI and functional outcome. WBC count monitoring may be used in conjunction with other clinical and radiographic tools to stratify patients with SAH into high- and low-risk groups to tailor neuromonitoring and treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.04.124DOI Listing
July 2021

Carotid Stenosis and Recurrent Ischemic Stroke: A Post-Hoc Analysis of the POINT Trial.

Stroke 2021 Jul 4;52(7):2414-2417. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Neurology and Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester (N.H.).

Background And Purpose: 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 ≥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 ≥50% carotid stenosis.

Results: Among 4881 patients enrolled POINT, 3941 patients met the inclusion criteria. In adjusted models, ≥50% carotid stenosis was associated with ischemic stroke risk (hazard ratio, 2.45 [95% CI, 1.68-3.57], <0.001). The effect of clopidogrel (versus placebo) on ischemic stroke risk was not significantly different in patients with <50% carotid stenosis (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.68 [95% CI, 0.50-0.93], =0.014) versus those with ≥50% carotid stenosis (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.45-1.72], =0.703), 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: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03354429.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.121.034089DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8268075PMC
July 2021

Diagnosis and Management of Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis With Vaccine-Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia.

Stroke 2021 Jul 29;52(7):2478-2482. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, ON, Canada (G.S.).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.121.035564DOI Listing
July 2021

Ischaemic stroke on anticoagulation therapy and early recurrence in acute cardioembolic stroke: the IAC study.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2021 Oct 26;92(10):1062-1067. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Neuroscience Institute, Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

Background And Purpose: A subset of ischaemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) have ischaemic stroke despite anticoagulation. We sought to determine the association between prestroke anticoagulant therapy and recurrent ischaemic events and symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage (sICH).

Methods: We included consecutive patients with acute ischaemic stroke and AF from the Initiation of Anticoagulation after Cardioembolic stroke (IAC) study from eight comprehensive stroke centres in the USA. We compared recurrent ischaemic events and delayed sICH risk using adjusted Cox regression analyses between patients who were prescribed anticoagulation (ACp) versus patients who were naïve to anticoagulation therapy prior to the ischaemic stroke (anticoagulation naïve).

Results: Among 2084 patients in IAC, 1518 had prior anticoagulation status recorded and were followed for 90 days. In adjusted Cox hazard models, ACp was associated with some evidence of a higher risk higher risk of 90-day recurrent ischaemic events only in the fully adjusted model (adjusted HR 1.50, 95% CI 0.99 to 2.28, p=0.058) but not increased risk of 90-day sICH (adjusted HR 1.08, 95% CI 0.46 to 2.51, p=0.862). In addition, switching anticoagulation class was not associated with reduced risk of recurrent ischaemic events (adjusted HR 0.41, 95% CI 0.12 to 1.33, p=0.136) nor sICH (adjusted HR 1.47, 95% CI 0.29 to 7.50, p=0.641).

Conclusion: AF patients with ischaemic stroke despite anticoagulation may have higher recurrent ischaemic event risk compared with anticoagulation-naïve patients. This suggests differing underlying pathomechanisms requiring different stroke prevention measures and identifying these mechanisms may improve secondary prevention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2021-326166DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8448925PMC
October 2021

Common biomarkers of physiologic stress and associations with delirium in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage.

J Crit Care 2021 08 23;64:62-67. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Neurology, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI, USA.

Purpose: To examine associations between physiologic stress and delirium in the setting of a direct neurologic injury.

Materials And Methods: We obtained initial neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), glucose, and troponin in consecutive non-comatose patients with non-traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) over 1 year, then used multivariable regression models to determine associations between each biomarker and incident delirium. Delirium diagnoses were established using DSM-5-based methods, with exploratory analyses further categorizing delirium as first occurring <24 h ("early-onset") or > 24 h after presentation ("later-onset").

Results: Of 284 patients, delirium occurred in 55% (early-onset: 39% [n = 111]; later-onset: 16% [n = 46]). Patients with delirium had higher NLR (mean 9.0 ± 10.4 vs. 6.4 ± 5.5; p = 0.01), glucose (mean 146.5 ± 59.6 vs. 129.9 ± 41.4 mg/dL; p = 0.008), and a higher frequency of elevated troponin (>0.05 ng/mL; 21% vs. 10%, p = 0.02). In adjusted models, elevated NLR (highest quartile: OR 3.4 [95% CI 1.5-7.8]), glucose (>180 mg/dL: OR 3.1 [95% CI 1.1-8.2]), and troponin (OR 3.0 [95% CI 1.2-7.2]) were each associated with delirium, but only initial NLR was specifically associated with later-onset delirium and with delirium in non-mechanically ventilated patients.

Conclusions: Stress-related biomarkers corresponding to multiple organ systems are associated with ICH-related delirium. Early NLR elevation may also predict delayed-onset delirium, potentially implicating systemic inflammation as a contributory delirium mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrc.2021.03.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8222110PMC
August 2021

Management of Central Retinal Artery Occlusion: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

Stroke 2021 Jun 8;52(6):e282-e294. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Purpose: Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a form of acute ischemic stroke that causes severe visual loss and is a harbinger of further cerebrovascular and cardiovascular events. There is a paucity of scientific information on the appropriate management of CRAO, with most strategies based on observational literature and expert opinion. In this scientific statement, we critically appraise the literature on CRAO and provide a framework within which to consider acute treatment and secondary prevention.

Methods: We performed a literature review of randomized controlled clinical trials, prospective and retrospective cohort studies, case-control studies, case reports, clinical guidelines, review articles, basic science articles, and editorials concerning the management of CRAO. We assembled a panel comprising experts in the fields of vascular neurology, neuro-ophthalmology, vitreo-retinal surgery, immunology, endovascular neurosurgery, and cardiology, and document sections were divided among the writing group members. Each member received an assignment to perform a literature review, synthesize the data, and offer considerations for practice. Multiple drafts were circulated among the group until consensus was achieved.

Results: Acute CRAO is a medical emergency. Systems of care should evolve to prioritize early recognition and triage of CRAO to emergency medical attention. There is considerable variability in management patterns among practitioners, institutions, and subspecialty groups. The current literature suggests that treatment with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator may be effective. Patients should undergo urgent screening and treatment of vascular risk factors. There is a need for high-quality, randomized clinical trials in this field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STR.0000000000000366DOI Listing
June 2021

Timing of initiation of oral anticoagulants in patients with acute ischemic stroke and atrial fibrillation comparing posterior and anterior circulation strokes.

Eur Stroke J 2020 Dec 22;5(4):374-383. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Internal Medicine, San Giuseppe Hospital, Empoli, Italy.

Introduction: The aim of this study in patients with acute posterior ischaemic stroke (PS) and atrial fibrillation (AF) was to evaluate (1) the risks of recurrent ischaemic event and severe bleeding and (2) these risks in relation with oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT) and its timing.

Materials And Methods: Patients with PS were prospectively included; the outcome events of these patients were compared with those of patients with anterior stroke (AS) which were taken from previous registries. The primary outcome was the composite of stroke recurrence, transient ischaemic attack, symptomatic systemic embolism, symptomatic cerebral bleeding and major extracranial bleeding occurring within 90 days from acute stroke.

Results: A total of 2470 patients were available for the analysis: 473 (19.1%) with PS and 1997 (80.9%) with AS. Over 90 days, 213 (8.6%) primary outcome events were recorded: 175 (8.7%) in patients with AS and 38 (8.0%) in those with PS. In patients who initiated OAT within 2 days, the primary outcome occurred in 5 out of 95 patients (5.3%) with PS compared to 21 out of 373 patients (4.3%) with AS (OR 1.07; 95% CI 0.39-2.94). In patients who initiated OAT between days 3 and 7, the primary outcome occurred in 3 out of 103 patients (2.9%) with PS compared to 26 out of 490 patients (5.3%) with AS (OR 0.54; 95% CI 0.16-1.80).

Discussion: our findings suggest that, when deciding the time to initiate oral anticoagulation, the location of stroke, either anterior or posterior, does not predict the risk of outcome events.

Conclusions: Patients with PS or AS and AF appear to have similar risks of ischaemic or haemorrhagic events at 90 days with no difference concerning the timing of initiation of OAT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2396987320937116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7856592PMC
December 2020

The impact of delirium on withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment after intracerebral hemorrhage.

Neurology 2020 11 10;95(20):e2727-e2735. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

From the Department of Neurology (M.E.R., S.M., K.M., S.C., B.M.G., A.M., L.C.W., B.B.T., S.S.R., C.S., L.A.D., R.N.J., K.L.F.), Department of Neurosurgery (M.E.R., A.M., L.C.W., B.B.T., S.S.R., W.F.A.), Department of Emergency Medicine (T.E.M.), Section of Medical Education (L.C.W.), and Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (R.N.J.), Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI; Department of Neurology (K.N.S., D.Y.H.), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Department of Neurology and Stroke Program (D.B.Z.), Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor; and Department of Neurology (M.S.), Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN.

Objective: To determine the impact of delirium on withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment (WLST) after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in the context of established predictors of poor outcome, using data from an institutional ICH registry.

Methods: We performed a single-center cohort study on consecutive patients with ICH admitted over 12 months. ICH features were prospectively adjudicated, and WLST and corresponding hospital day were recorded retrospectively. Patients were categorized using DSM-5 criteria as never delirious, ever delirious (either on admission or later during hospitalization), or persistently comatose. We determined the impact of delirium on WLST using Cox regression models adjusted for demographics and ICH predictors (including Glasgow Coma Scale score), then used logistic regression with receiver operating characteristic curve analysis to compare the accuracy of ICH score-based models with and without delirium category in predicting WLST.

Results: Of 311 patients (mean age 70.6 ± 15.6, median ICH score 1 [interquartile range 1-2]), 50% had delirium. WLST occurred in 26%, and median time to WLST was 1 day (0-6). WLST was more frequent in patients who developed delirium (adjusted hazard ratio 8.9 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.1-37.6]), with high rates of WLST in both early (occurring ≤24 hours from admission) and later delirium groups. An ICH score-based model was strongly predictive of WLST (area under the curve [AUC] 0.902 [95% CI 0.863-0.941]), and the addition of delirium category further improved the model's accuracy (AUC 0.936 [95% CI 0.909-0.962], = 0.004).

Conclusion: Delirium is associated with WLST after ICH regardless of when it occurs. Further study on the impact of delirium on clinician and surrogate decision-making is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010738DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7734724PMC
November 2020

Adherence to study drug in a stroke prevention trial"?>.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2020 Oct 16;29(10):105048. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States. Electronic address:

Objective: Standards for reporting and analyzing adherence to medical therapy have recently improved due to international consensus efforts. If applied to clinical trial research in patients with stroke, these improvements have the potential to identify when in the sequence of trial operations participants are at risk for non-adherence and opportunities to safeguard adherence.

Methods: We analyzed three phases of adherence according to the European Society for Patient Adherence, COMpliance, and Persistence (ESPACOMP) Medication Adherence Reporting Guideline (EMERGE) taxonomy in the Insulin Resistance Intervention after Stroke (IRIS) trial: initiation (did patient start drug), implementation (did patient take a drug holiday, defined as temporary cessation lasting ≥14 days), and persistence (did patient prematurely and permanently discontinue drug). IRIS was a randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind trial testing pioglitazone to prevent stroke or myocardial infarction in patients with a recent ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack. Adherence was classified by self-report. Researchers used coaching algorithms to seek adherence recovery if participants went off drug.

Results: During 2005-2013, 3876 participants were enrolled from 179 sites in seven countries and followed for a mean of 4.8 years. Less than 1% of participants in each group did not initiate study drug. 20% of patients assigned to pioglitazone and 17% assigned to placebo took at least one drug holiday. 36% and 30%, respectively, discontinued the study drug prematurely with or without a prior holiday. The risk for stopping the study drug (temporarily or permanently) in the first year after randomization was twice the risk in each of the subsequent four years. This was true both for patients assigned to active therapy and placebo. More participants assigned to pioglitazone, compared to placebo, took a drug holiday or permanently stopped study drug, but the difference in rates of discontinuation was only evident in year one. In years two through five, rates of discontinuation were similar in the two treatment groups. The difference in rates during year one was the result of adverse effects related to the active study drug, pioglitazone. During the remainder of the trial, the attribution of discontinuations to adverse effects potentially related to pioglitazone was reduced but still higher in those assigned to active drug. Other reasons for discontinuation were similar between treatment groups and were largely unrelated to pharmacodynamic effects of the study drug. Rates of discontinuation varied widely among research sites.

Conclusion: Patients in a drug trial for stroke prevention are at greatest risk for premature drug discontinuation early after randomization. Reasons for discontinuation change over time. Variable discontinuation rates among sites suggests that adherence can be improved by using best practices from high-performing sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.105048DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7487071PMC
October 2020

Genome-Wide Association Study Meta-Analysis of Stroke in 22 000 Individuals of African Descent Identifies Novel Associations With Stroke.

Stroke 2020 08 22;51(8):2454-2463. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC (C.D.L., C.L.).

Background And Purpose: Stroke is a complex disease with multiple genetic and environmental risk factors. Blacks endure a nearly 2-fold greater risk of stroke and are 2× to 3× more likely to die from stroke than European Americans.

Methods: The COMPASS (Consortium of Minority Population Genome-Wide Association Studies of Stroke) has conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of stroke in >22 000 individuals of African ancestry (3734 cases, 18 317 controls) from 13 cohorts.

Results: In meta-analyses, we identified one single nucleotide polymorphism (rs55931441) near the gene that reached genome-wide significance (=4.62×10) and an additional 29 variants with suggestive evidence of association (<1×10), representing 24 unique loci. For validation, a look-up analysis for a 100 kb region flanking the COMPASS single nucleotide polymorphism was performed in SiGN (Stroke Genetics Network) Europeans, SiGN Hispanics, and METASTROKE (Europeans). Using a stringent Bonferroni correction value of 2.08×10 (0.05/24 unique loci), we were able to validate associations at the locus in both SiGN (=8.18×10) and METASTROKE (=1.72×10) European populations. Overall, 16 of 24 loci showed evidence for validation across multiple populations. Previous studies have reported associations between variants in the gene and lipids, C-reactive protein, and risk of coronary artery disease and stroke. Suggestive associations with variants in the and genes represent potential novel ischemic stroke loci.

Conclusions: These findings represent the most thorough investigation of genetic determinants of stroke in individuals of African descent, to date.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.029123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7387190PMC
August 2020

Safety of Anticoagulation in Patients Treated With Urgent Reperfusion for Ischemic Stroke Related to Atrial Fibrillation.

Stroke 2020 08 10;51(8):2347-2354. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

Internal Medicine, Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, Firenze, Italy (V. Vannucchi, L.M.).

Background And Purpose: The optimal timing for starting oral anticoagulant after an ischemic stroke related to atrial fibrillation remains a challenge, mainly in patients treated with systemic thrombolysis or mechanical thrombectomy. We aimed at assessing the incidence of early recurrence and major bleeding in patients with acute ischemic stroke and atrial fibrillation treated with thrombolytic therapy and/or thrombectomy, who then received oral anticoagulants for secondary prevention.

Methods: We combined the dataset of the RAF and the RAF-NOACs (Early Recurrence and Major Bleeding in Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation Treated With Non-Vitamin K Oral Anticoagulants) studies, which were prospective observational studies carried out from January 2012 to March 2014 and April 2014 to June 2016, respectively. We included consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke and atrial fibrillation treated with either vitamin K antagonists or nonvitamin K oral anticoagulants. Primary outcome was the composite of stroke, transient ischemic attack, symptomatic systemic embolism, symptomatic cerebral bleeding, and major extracerebral bleeding within 90 days from the inclusion. Treated-patients were propensity matched to untreated-patients in a 1:1 ratio after stratification by baseline clinical features.

Results: A total of 2159 patients were included, 564 (26%) patients received acute reperfusion therapies. After the index event, 505 (90%) patients treated with acute reperfusion therapies and 1287 of 1595 (81%) patients untreated started oral anticoagulation. Timing of starting oral anticoagulant was similar in reperfusion-treated and untreated patients (median 7.5 versus 7.0 days, respectively). At 90 days, the primary study outcome occurred in 37 (7%) patients treated with reperfusion and in 146 (9%) untreated patients (odds ratio, 0.74 [95% CI, 0.50-1.07]). After propensity score matching, risk of primary outcome was comparable between the 2 groups (odds ratio, 1.06 [95% CI, 0.53-2.02]).

Conclusions: Acute reperfusion treatment did not influence the risk of early recurrence and major bleeding in patients with atrial fibrillation-related acute ischemic stroke, who started on oral anticoagulant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.030143DOI Listing
August 2020

Arrival blood pressure in hypertensive and non-hypertensive spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage.

J Neurol Sci 2020 Sep 19;416:117000. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Department of Neurology, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA; Department of Neurology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA. Electronic address:

Background And Purpose: Hypertension is a known risk factor for intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), but it is unclear whether blood pressure (BP) at hospital arrival can be used to distinguish hypertensive ICH from non-hypertensive etiologies.

Patients And Methods: We performed a single-center cohort study using data from consecutive ICH patients over 12 months. ICH characteristics including etiology were prospectively adjudicated by two attending neurologists. Using adjusted linear regression models, we compared first recorded systolic BPs (SBP) and mean arterial pressures (MAP) in patients with hypertensive vs. other ICH etiologies. We then used area under the ROC curve (AUC) analysis to determine the accuracy of admission BP in differentiating between hypertensive and non-hypertensive ICH.

Results: Of 311 patients in our cohort (mean age 70.6 ± 15.6, 50% male, 83% white), the most frequent ICH etiologies were hypertension (50%) and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA; 22%). Mean SBP and MAP for patients with hypertensive ICH was 175.1 ± 32.9 mmHg and 120.4 ± 22.9 mmHg, respectively, compared to 156.4 ± 28.0 mmHg and 109.6 ± 20.3 mmHg in non-hypertensive ICH (p < .001). Adjusted models showed that hypertensive ICH patients had higher BPs than those with CAA (mean SBP difference 10.7 mmHg [95% CI 0.8-20.5]; mean MAP difference 8.1 mmHg [1.1-15.0]) and especially patients with other non-CAA causes (mean SBP difference 23.9 mmHg [15.3-32.4]; mean MAP difference 14.5 mmHg [8.5-20.6]). However, on a patient-level, arrival BP did not reliably discriminate between hypertensive and non-hypertensive etiologies (AUC 0.660 [0.599-0.720]).

Conclusions: Arrival BP differs between hypertensive and non-hypertensive ICH but should not be used as a primary determinant of etiology, as hypertension may be implicated in various subtypes of ICH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2020.117000DOI Listing
September 2020

The authors reply.

Crit Care Med 2020 07;48(7):e636-e637

Department of Neurology, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI, and Department of Neurosurgery, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI Department of Neurology, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI Department of Neurology, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI, and Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI Department of Neurology, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI, and Department of Neurosurgery, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI Department of Neurology, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI Department of Neurology, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI, and Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0000000000004402DOI Listing
July 2020
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