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Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

[Covid-19 associated neurological disorders]

SZÔTS Mónika, PÉTERFI Anna, GERÖLY Júlia, NAGY Ferenc

[The clinical signs of SARS-CoV-2 infection has become more recognisable in recent times. In addition to common symptoms such as fever, cough, dyspnea, pneumonia and ageusia, less common complications can be identified, including many neurological manifestations. In this paper, we discuss three Covid-19 associated neurological disorders (Case 1: Covid-19 encephalitis, Case 2: Covid-19 organic headache, Case 3: SARS-CoV-2-infection and ischaemic stroke). We emphasize in our multiple case study that during the present pandemic, it is especially important for neurologists to be aware of the nervous system complications of the virus infection, thus saving unnecessary examinations and reducing the frequency of patients’ contact with health care personnel. ]

Hypertension and nephrology

OCTOBER 23, 2019

[Blood pressure management for stroke prevention and in the acute stroke. The new guideline of European Society of Hypertension (ESH, 2018), European Society of Cardiology and Hungarian Society of Hypertension (HSH, 2018)]

JENEI Zoltán

[Hypertension is the leading modifiable risk factor for stroke. Its prevalence amongst stroke patient is about 60-70% and the benefit of blood pressure (BP) lowering therapy on stroke risk reduction is well established. However the optimal BP targets for preventing stroke and reducing stroke consequences have been controversial. The new European (ESC/ESH) and Hungarian (HSH) hypertension guideline published in 2018 highlighted the primary and secondary prevention of stroke and the BP management in the acute stroke care as well. According results from ACCORD, SPRINT, HOPE-3, and other metaanalysis the systolic blood pressure (SBP) lowering < 120 mmHg has not favourable effect, thus in hypertensive patients < 65 years the SBP should be lowered to a BP range of 120-129 mmHg. In older patients ≥ 65 years the SBP should be targeted to a BP range of 130-139 mmHg (IA). In patients with acute intracerebral haemorrhage careful acute BP lowering with iv. therapy, to <180 mmHg should be considered only in case of SBP ≥ 220 mmHg (IIaB). In patients with acute ischaemic stroke who are eligible for iv. thrombolysis, BP should be carefully lowered and maintained to < 180/105 mmHg for at least the first 24 h after thrombolysis (IIaB). If the patient is not eli gible for lysis and BP ≤ 220/110 mmHg, routine BP lowering drug therapy is not recommended inside 48-72 h (IA). In patients with markedly elevated BP > 220/110 mmHg who do not receive fibrinolysis, drug therapy may be considered, based on clinical judgement, to reduce BP by 15% during the first 24 h after the stroke onset (IIbC). After 72 h of acute stroke in case of hypertensive patients < 65 years the SBP should be lowered to a BP range of 120-129 mmHg (IIaB). In older patients ≥ 65 years the SBP should be targeted to a BP range of 130-139 mmHg (IA). If BP < 140/90 mmHg after stroke, the BP lowering should be considered (IIbA). It is recommended to initiate an antihypertensive treatment with combination, preferably single pill combination of renin-angiotensin system blockers plus a calcium channel blocker and/or a thiazide like diuretics (IA). Lowering SBP < 120 mmHg is not recommended due to advers events regardless of age and type of stroke either in primary or secondary stroke prevention.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2019

Effects of CHADS2 score, echocardiographic and haematologic parameters on stroke severity and prognosis in patients with stroke due to nonvalvular atrial fibrillation

AYNACI Ozer, TEKATAS Aslan, AYNACI Gülden, KEHAYA Sezgin, UTKU Ufuk

Introduction - The aim of this study is to evaluate utility of CHADS2 score to estimate stroke severity and prognosis in patients with ischemic stroke due to non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) in addition to evaluate effects of hematologic and echocardiographic findings on stroke severity and prognosis. Methods - This prospective study included 156 ischemic stroke cases due to non-valvular AF in neurology ward of Trakya University Medical School between March 2013-March 2015. National Institute of Health Stroke (NIHS) score was used to evaluate severity of stroke at admission. Carotid and vertebral Doppler ultrasonography findings, brain computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the cases were evaluated. Left atrial diameter and ejection fraction (EF) values were measured. CHADS2 score was calculated. Modified Rankin Scale was used to rate the degree of dependence. Effects of age and sex of the patients, presence of diabetes mellitus (DM), Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Cerebrovascular Disease (CVD) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels on CHADS2, NIHS, and mRS were evaluated. Results - In patients with age ≥75, mean NIHS score was 3.3 points and mean mRS score was 1.02 points higher, than in patient below 75 years of age. Compared with the mild risk group, cases in the high risk group had older age, higher serum D-dimer, fibrinogen and CRP levels and lower EF. A positive relation was detected between stroke severity and Hemorrhagic Transformation (HT), previous CVD history, and presence of CHF. A significant association was found between increased stroke severity and Early Neurological Deterioration (END) development. Older age, higher serum fibrinogen, D-dimer, CRP and lower EF values were associated with poor prognosis. History of CVD and presence of CHF were associated with poor prognosis. END development was found to be associated with poor prognosis. In the high-risk group, 30.3% (n = 33) had END. Among those in the high-risk group according to the CHADS2 score, END development rate was found to be significantly higher than in the moderate risk group (p <0.05). There was a strong positive correlation between CHADS2 and NIHS scores. mRS score increased with increasing CHADS2 score and there was a strong correlation between them. Effect of stroke severity on prognosis was assessed and a positive correlation was found between NIHS score and mRS value. Discussion - Our study demonstrated the importance of CHADS2 score, haemostatic activation and echocardiographic findings to assess stroke severity and prognosis. Knowing factors which affect stroke severity and prognosis in patients with ischemic stroke may be directive to decide primary prevention and stroke management.

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2021

Capability of stroke scales to detect large vessel occlusion in acute ischemic stroke – a pilot study

TÁRKÁNYI Gábor, KARÁDI Nozomi Zsófia, CSÉCSEI Péter, BOSNYÁK Edit, FEHÉR Gergely, MOLNÁR Tihamér, SZAPÁRY László

Rapid changes of stroke management in recent years facilitate the need for accurate and easy-to-use screening methods for early detection of large vessel occlusion (LVO) in acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Our aim was to evaluate the ability of various stroke scales to discriminate an LVO in AIS. We have performed a cross-sectional, observational study based on a registry of consecutive patients with first ever AIS admitted up to 4.5 hours after symptom onset to a comprehensive stroke centre. The diagnostic capability of 14 stroke scales were investigated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Area under the curve (AUC) values of NIHSS, modified NIHSS, shortened NIHSS-EMS, sNIHSS-8, sNIHSS-5 and Rapid Arterial Occlusion Evaluation (RACE) scales were among the highest (>0.800 respectively). A total of 6 scales had cut-off values providing at least 80% specificity and 50% sensitivity, and 5 scales had cut-off values with at least 70% specificity and 75% sensitivity. Certain stroke scales may be suitable for discriminating an LVO in AIS. The NIHSS and modified NIHSS are primarily suitable for use in hospital settings. However, sNIHSS-EMS, sNIHSS-8, sNIHSS-5, RACE and 3-Item Stroke Scale (3I-SS) are easier to perform and interpret, hence their use may be more advantageous in the prehospital setting. Prospective (prehospital) validation of these scales could be the scope of future studies.

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2016

Internet and stroke awareness in the young hungarian population

BARI Ferenc, TÓTH Anna, PRIBOJSZKI Magda, NYÁRI Tibor, FORCZEK Erzsébet

Background – Although stroke mortality rate in Hungary has tapered off over the last years, it is still twice the European average. This statistic is alarming and a coordinated response is needed to deal with this situation when considering new ways of communication. There are currently more than 300 websites in Hungarian related to stroke prevention, acute stroke treatment, recovery and rehabilitation. Aims and/or hypothesis – We sought to identify base level of stroke knowledge of the Hungarian students and the efficiency with which the knowledge disseminated by internet is actually utilized. Methods – We surveyed 321 high-school and university students to determine their ability to extract specific information regarding stroke from Hungarian websites. The base level of knowledge was established by asking 15 structured, close-ended questions. After completing the questionnaire, students were asked to search individually on stroke in the internet where all the correct answers were available. After a 25-min search session they answered the same questionnaire. We recorded and analyzed all their internet activity during the search period. Results – The students displayed a fair knowledge on the basics of stroke but their results did not change significantly after the 25-min search (53±13% vs. 63±14%). Only correct information given on demographic facts improved significantly. Most of the students used very simple search strategies and engines and only the first 5-10 web-pages were visited. Conclusion – Analysis of the most often visited web-pages revealed that although stroke-related Hungarian web-based resources contain almost all the important and required information the unsuitable structure, lack of simplicity and verbosity hinder their effective public utilization.

Hypertension and nephrology

APRIL 24, 2020

[Arterial hypertension and atrial fibrillation - the most important risk factors for stroke in clinical practice ]

LUDOVIT Gaspar, VESTENICKA Veronika, CAPRNDA Martin

[Vascular stroke is a very frequent cause of morbidity and mortality, and in patients who suffered stroke subsequent long-term neurological deficit of greater or lesser extent is an important factor. Numerous clinical and epidemiological studies confirmed that elevated systemic blood pressure is among the main risk factors of both ischemic and hemorrhagic vascular stroke, the effects of arterial hypertension being very complex including morphological and functional changes in vessels and vascular circulation. In our retrospective analysis of 218 patients hospitalized for stroke we found arterial hypertension in 91.2% of subjects and atrial fibrillation in 32.1% of subjects. 182 patients (83.5%) have been diagnosed with ischemic stroke and 36 patients (16.5%) with hemorrhagic stroke. In the group of patients with atrial fibrillation, only 33 patients (47.1%) were treated by anticoagulants, what points out an inadequate indication of anticoagulant treatment when considering the stroke risk calculation for atrial fibrillation (CHA2DS2- VASc Score) and bleeding risk (HAS-BLED Calculator for Atrial Fibrillation). It is also noteworthy that in the group of patients with anticoagulant therapy who have developed ischemic stroke in spite of this treatment, we found that in 48.5% the treatment was underdosed and therefore ineffective. Our work points to the need to improve the effective management of arterial hypertension and atrial fibrillation, the most common modifiable factors of vascular strokes.]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2019

Risk factors for ischemic stroke and stroke subtypes in patients with chronic kidney disease

GÜLER Siber, NAKUS Engin, UTKU Ufuk

Background - The aim of this study was to compare ischemic stroke subtypes with the effects of risk factors, the relationship between grades of kidney disease and the severity of stroke subtypes. Methods - The current study was designed retrospectively and performed with data of patients who were hospitalised due to ischemic stroke. We included 198 subjects who were diagnosed with ischemic stroke of Grade 3 and above with chronic kidney disease. Results - In our study were reported advanced age, coronary artery disease, moderate kidney disease as the most frequent risk factors for cardioembolic etiology. Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, smoking and alcohol consumption were the most frequent risk factors for large-artery disease. Female sex and anaemia were the most frequent risk factors for small-vessel disease. Dialysis and severe kidney disease were the most frequent risk factors in unknown etiologies, while male sex, diabetes mellitus, prior stroke and mild kidney disease were the most frequent risk factors for other etiologies. National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores were lower for small-vessel disease compared with other etiologies. This relation was statistically significant (p=0.002). Conclusion - In order to improve the prognosis in ischemic stroke with chronic kidney disease, the risk factors have to be recognised and the treatment options must be modified according to those risk factors.

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

[The connection between the socioeconomic status and stroke in Budapest]

VASTAGH Ildikó, SZŐCS Ildikó, OBERFRANK Ferenc, AJTAY András, BERECZKI Dániel

[The well-known gap bet­ween stroke mortality of Eastern and Western Euro­pean countries may reflect the effect of socioeconomic diffe­rences. Such a gap may be present between neighborhoods of different wealth within one city. We set forth to compare age distribution, incidence, case fatality, mortality, and risk factor profile of stroke patients of the poorest (District 8) and wealthiest (District 12) districts of Budapest. We synthesize the results of our former comparative epidemiological investigations focusing on the association of socioeconomic background and features of stroke in two districts of the capital city of Hungary. The “Budapest District 8–12 project” pointed out the younger age of stroke patients of the poorer district, and established that the prevalence of smoking, alcohol-consumption, and untreated hypertension is also higher in District 8. The “Six Years in Two Districts” project involving 4779 patients with a 10-year follow-up revealed higher incidence, case fatality and mortality of stroke in the less wealthy district. The younger patients of the poorer region show higher risk-factor prevalence, die younger and their fatality grows faster during long-term follow-up. The higher prevalence of risk factors and the higher fatality of the younger age groups in the socioeconomically deprived district reflect the higher vulnerability of the population in District 8. The missing link between poverty and stroke outcome seems to be lifestyle risk-factors and lack of adherence to primary preventive efforts. Public health campaigns on stroke prevention should focus on the young generation of socioeconomi­cally deprived neighborhoods. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2019

Is isolated hand weakness associated with subtypes of stroke?

YILDIRIM Ahmet, GÜNGEN Dogan Belma

Background and aim - Isolated hand weakness is an uncommon condition in stroke patients. It is frequently confused with peripheral nerve system (PNS) pathologies; misdiagnosis may delay identification of the etiology and treatment of stroke. Herein, we aimed to underline the necessity of keeping the diagnosis of stroke in mind in case of patients with isolated hand weakness and to assess the etiology of stroke. Materials and methods - A total of eight patients (four females and four males), who are presented with isolated hand weakness and had acute cortical infarction documented via cranial MRI, were enrolled in the study. Demographic characteristics, physical and radiological findings of the patients, as well as the lateralization and etiology of infarction were evaluated. Results - The mean age of the patients was 61.8 ± 12 years. Isolated hand weakness was in the dominant hand in four patients. According to the etiology and clinical signs, the stroke was cardioembolic in three patients and they had predominant radial-side (thumb and index) finger weakness. Large vessel atherosclerosis was present in three patients; two patients with predominant ulnar-side (little and ring) finger weakness and one patient with uniform finger weakness; there were two patients with stroke of undetermined etiology and they had uniform finger weakness. Conclusion - Keeping stroke in mind together with PNS pathologies in case of isolated hand weakness is critical for early diagnosis and treatment of the patients. In addition, cardioembolic focus should be considered in case of predominant radial-side finger weakness, whereas particular attention should be paid to carotid artery diseases in case of predominant ulnar-side finger weakness.

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2016

Comparison of hospitalized acute stroke patients’ characteristics using two large central-eastern european databases

ORBÁN-KIS Károly, SZŐCS Ildikó, FEKETE Klára, MIHÁLKA László, CSIBA László, BERECZKI Dániel, SZATMÁRI Szabolcs

Objectives – Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the European region. In spite of a decreasing trend, stroke related mortality remains higher in Hungary and Romania when compared to the EU average. This might be due to higher incidence, increased severity or even less effective care. Methods – In this study we used two large, hospital based databases from Targu Mures (Romania) and Debrecen (Hungary) to compare not only the demographic characteristics of stroke patients from these countries but also the risk factors, as well as stroke severity and short term outcome. Results – The gender related distribution of patients was similar to those found in the European Survey, whereas the mean age of patients at stroke onset was similar in the two countries but lower by four years. Although the length of hospital stay was significantly different in the two countries it was still much shorter (about half) than in most reports from western European countries. The overall fatality rate in both databases, regardless of gender was comparable to averages from Europe and other countries. In both countries we found a high number of risk factors, frequently overlapping. The prevalence of risk factors (hypertension, smoking, hyperlipidaemia) was higher than those reported in other countries, which can explain the high ratio of recurring stroke. Discussion – In summary, the comparatively analyzed data from the two large databases showed several similarities, especially regarding the high number of modifiable risk factors, and as such further effort is needed regarding primary prevention.