March 27, 2018

Background: Over the last three years, we have seen the rise of neurointerventional therapies for patients with ischemic strokes due to large vessel occlusions (LVOs). This group of strokes typically includes patients with occlusion of the distal intracranial carotid artery, middle cerebral artery or anterior cerebral artery. Rapid identification of these patients both in the prehospital setting as well as in the emergency department (ED) may be beneficial as it can lead to mobilization of necessary resources and ordering of proper investigations (CT perfusion, MRI/MRA). While there are a number of clinical scoring systems in place to identify patients with LVO, none are ideal. The authors investigate the utility of the vision, aphasia, neglect (VAN) assessment for this purpose.

March 15, 2018

Background: Approximately 80% of strokes are ischemic in origin leading to significant morbidity and mortality worldwide.  In ischemic stroke, there is usually a core infarct and an ischemic penumbra.  The penumbra is the area that we try to salvage with reperfusion therapy. Currently, systematic intravenous alteplase administered within 4.5hrs after symptom onset is the mainstay of therapy, however many question its risk/benefit ratio in ischemic stroke. 4.5 hours is a narrow therapeutic time window and many contraindications such as recent surgery, coagulation abnormalities, and history of intracranial hemorrhage inhibit many patients from receiving systemic thrombolysis.  There have been many studies evaluating endovascular therapy in the management of ischemic stroke published in the past few years.  This post will serve as a review of those studies.