Confusional state in stroke: relation to preexisting dementia, patient characteristics, and outcome.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Acute confusional state (ACS) is frequent in hospitalized stroke patients. We previously showed that 16% of patients admitted for a stroke have preexisting dementia. The extent to which preexisting cognitive decline is associated with a risk of ACS at the acute stage of stroke remains to be systematically examined. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of ACS in acute stroke patients, to study the influence of preexisting cognitive decline and other patient characteristics, and to evaluate the influence of ACS on outcome. METHODS: We diagnosed ACS using DSM-IV criteria and the Delirium Rating Scale with a cutoff of 10 in 202 consecutive stroke patients aged 40 years or older (median age, 75 years; range, 42 to 101 years). Cognitive functioning before stroke was assessed with the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly. RESULTS: Forty-nine stroke patients (24.3%; 95% CI, 18.3% to 30.2%) had an ACS during hospitalization. Using logistic regression analysis, we found preexisting cognitive decline (P=0.006) and metabolic or infectious disorders (P=0.008) to be independent predictors of ACS. Functional, but not vital, prognosis was worse in patients with ACS at discharge and 6 months after stroke. CONCLUSIONS: ACS occurs in one fourth of stroke patients older than 40 years. Its occurrence requires inquiry for a preexisting cognitive decline, which usually remains unrecognized in the absence of a systematic evaluation. (+info)
MR line scan diffusion imaging of the brain in children.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: MR imaging of the self-diffusion of water has become increasingly popular for the early detection of cerebral infarction in adults. The purpose of this study was to evaluate MR line scan diffusion imaging (LSDI) of the brain in children. METHODS: LSDI was performed in four volunteers and 12 patients by using an effective TR/TE of 2736/89.4 and a maximum b value of 450 to 600 s/mm2 applied in the x, y, and z directions. In the volunteers, single-shot echo planar imaging of diffusion (EPID) was also performed. The patients (10 boys and two girls) ranged in age from 2 days to 16 years (average age, 6.6 years). Diagnoses included acute cerebral infarction, seizure disorder, posttraumatic confusion syndrome, complicated migraine, residual astrocytoma, encephalitis, hypoxia without cerebral infarction, cerebral contusion, and conversion disorder. In all patients, routine spin-echo images were also acquired. Trace images and apparent diffusion coefficient maps were produced for each location scanned with LSDI. RESULTS: In the volunteers, LSDI showed less chemical-shift and magnetic-susceptibility artifact and less geometric distortion than did EPID. LSDI was of diagnostic quality in all studies. Diffusion abnormalities were present in five patients. Restricted diffusion was present in the lesions of the three patients with acute cerebral infarction. Mildly increased diffusion was present in the lesions of encephalitis and residual cerebellar astrocytoma. No diffusion abnormalities were seen in the remaining seven children. CONCLUSION: LSDI is feasible in children, provides high-quality diffusion images with less chemical-shift and magnetic-susceptibility artifact and less geometric distortion than does EPID, and complements the routine MR examination. (+info)
Postictal symptoms help distinguish patients with epileptic seizures from those with non-epileptic seizures.
The aim of the study was to assess whether post-ictal symptoms can help distinguish patients who have epileptic seizures from those with non-epileptic seizures (NES). We reviewed the spontaneous responses to the question 'What symptoms do you have after a seizure?' in 16 patients with epileptic seizures (predominantly focal with secondary generalization or generalized tonic-clonic) and 23 NES patients. Six of the 16 patients (38%) vs. only one of 23 NES patients (4.3%) noted post-ictal headache (P = 0.008). Nine epilepsy patients (56%) vs. three NES patients (13%) reported post-ictal fatigue (P = 0.004). Confusion or other symptoms did not distinguish epilepsy patients from those with NES. All epilepsy patients had at least one post-ictal symptom while 12 NES patients (52%) had none (P = 0.001). Therefore, patients evaluated for epileptic vs. non-epileptic seizures who have post-ictal fatigue or headache, are more likely to have epileptic seizures. Patients with a diagnosis of NES who note post-ictal fatigue or headache should be investigated further. (+info)
Topographical disorientation: a synthesis and taxonomy.
Over the last century, several dozen case reports have presented 'topographically disoriented' patients who, in some cases, appear to have selectively lost their ability to find their way within large-scale, locomotor environments. A review is offered here that has as its aim the creation of a taxonomy that accurately reflects the behavioural impairments and neuroanatomical findings of this literature. This effort is guided by an appreciation of the models of normative way-finding offered by environmental psychology and recent neuroscience research. It is proposed that several varieties of topographical disorientation exist, resulting from damage to distinct neuroanatomical areas. The particular pattern of impairments that patients evidence is argued to be consonant with the known functions of these cortical regions and with recent neuroimaging results. The conflicting claims of previous reviews of this area are also considered and addressed. (+info)
Medical complications associated with carotid endarterectomy. North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET)
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Carotid endarterectomy (CE) has been shown to be beneficial in patients with symptomatic high-grade (70% to 99%) internal carotid artery stenosis. To achieve this benefit, complications must be kept to a minimum. Complications not associated with the procedure itself, but related to medical conditions, have received little attention. METHODS: Medical complications that occurred within 30 days after CE were recorded in 1415 patients with symptomatic stenosis (30% to 99%) of the internal carotid artery. They were compared with 1433 patients who received medical care alone. All patients were in the North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET). RESULTS: One hundred fifteen patients (8.1%) had 142 medical complications: 14 (1%) myocardial infarctions, 101 (7.1%) other cardiovascular disorders, 11 (0.8%) respiratory complications, 6 (0.4%) transient confusions, and 10 (0.7%) other complications. Of the 142 complications, 69.7% were of short duration, and only 26.8% prolonged hospitalization. Five patients died: 3 from myocardial infarction and 2 suddenly. Medically treated patients experienced similar complications with one third the frequency. Endarterectomy was approximately 1.5 times more likely to trigger medical complications in patients with a history of myocardial infarction, angina, or hypertension (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Perioperative medical complications were observed in slightly fewer than 1 of every 10 patients who underwent CE. The majority of these complications completely resolved. Most complications were cardiovascular and occurred in patients with 1 or more cardiovascular risk factors. In this selected population, the occurrence of perioperative myocardial infarction was uncommon. (+info)
A Phase I and pharmacokinetic study of TNP-470 administered weekly to patients with advanced cancer.
A Phase I study of angiogenesis inhibitor TNP-470 was conducted in patients with advanced cancer. TNP-470 (25-235 mg/m2) was administered i.v. over 4 h once a week to patients who had solid tumors refractory to the best available treatment or with a high risk of recurrence and who had normal renal, hepatic, and hematological function and no evidence of coagulopathy. The aims of the study were to determine the maximum tolerated dose, dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs), and the pharmacokinetics of TNP-470 given on a once-weekly schedule. Thirty-six patients, ages 23-75 (median, 54 years), with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2 were treated. The number of patients at each dose level (mg/m2) were 6 (25), 3 (50), 3 (75), 3 (100), 3 (133), 12 (177), and 6 (235). The principal toxicities of TNP-470 were dizziness, lightheadedness, vertigo, ataxia, decrease in concentration and short-term memory, confusion, anxiety, and depression, which occurred at doses of 133, 177, and 235 mg/m2. Two patients treated at 235 mg/m2 experienced DLT in the form of grade III cerebellar neurotoxicity after 6 weeks of treatment. Overall, these neurological symptoms were dose-related, had an insidious onset, progressively worsened with treatment, and resolved completely within 2 weeks of stopping the drug. One patient with malignant melanoma had stabilization of the previously growing disease for 27 weeks while on the treatment. Two patients, one with adenocarcinoma of the colon and the other with a soft tissue sarcoma, had no clinically detectable disease but were at high risk for recurrence at the initiation of treatment and received 13 months and > 3 years of treatment, respectively, with no evidence of disease recurrence. The remaining patients had progression of their disease after 1-6 months of treatment. The mean plasma half-life (t(1/2)) of TNP-470 and its principal metabolite, AGM-1883, were extremely short (harmonic mean, t(1/2) of 2 and 6 min, respectively) with practically no drug detectable in the plasma by 60 min after the end of the infusion. MII, an inactive metabolite, had a considerably longer t(1/2) of approximately 2.6 h. Mean peak TNP-470 concentrations were > or = 400 ng/ml at doses > or = 177 mg/m2. On the basis of this study, the maximum tolerated dose of TNP-470 administered on a weekly schedule was 177 mg/m2 given i.v over 4 h. The principal DLT was neurotoxicity, which appeared to be dose-related and was completely reversible. On the basis of the short plasma t(1/2) of TNP-470, exploration of a prolonged i.v. infusion schedule is warranted. (+info)
Safety of air medical transportation after tissue plasminogen activator administration in acute ischemic stroke.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We sought to determine the safety of air medical transport (AMT) of patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) immediately after or during administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Patients with AIS treated with tPA in nonuniversity hospitals frequently need transfer to tertiary care centers that can provide specialized care. AMT is a widely available mode of transport that is crucial in providing expedient and quality health care to critically ill patients while assuring high level of care during transportation. The safety of AMT of patients with AIS after or during administration of tPA has not been examined. METHODS: We performed retrospective chart review of 24 patients with AIS who were treated with intravenous tPA and transferred by helicopter to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania or the University of Cincinnati Hospital. The charts were reviewed for neurological complications, systemic complications, and adherence to the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) protocol for AIS management. RESULTS: No major neurological or systemic complications occurred. Four patients had hypertension warranting treatment, 3 patients experienced motion sickness, 1 patient developed a transient confusional state, and 1 patient experienced minor systemic bleeding. Four NINDS protocol violations occurred, all related to blood pressure management. CONCLUSIONS: In this small series, AMT of AIS patients after thrombolysis was not associated with any major neurological or systemic complications. Flight crew education on the NINDS AIS protocol is essential in limiting the number of protocol violations. AMT of patients with AIS provides fast and safe access to tertiary centers that can provide state of the art stroke therapy. (+info)
Resolution of disorientation and amnesia during post-traumatic amnesia.
OBJECTIVES: Despite the growing number of instruments for the prospective measurement of post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) after traumatic brain injury, fundamental issues about the natural history of its resolution and methods of examination remain unresolved. The aims of the present study were to: (1) examine the sequence of resolution of disorientation and amnesia, and (2) determine if the method of measuring the memory component affected the duration of PTA. METHODS: The sample comprised 31 severely injured patients admitted to a brain injury rehabilitation unit who were examined daily until they emerged from PTA. They were administered a composite PTA scale, covering orientation and memory items from standard PTA scales. Patients were consecutively allocated to one of two groups according to the method of measuring the memory component. Each group was administered identical materials with a different procedure. RESULTS: The most common sequence for resolution of disorientation in both groups was person, followed by place, then time. Overall, amnesia resolved before disorientation in 94% of cases. Correlation coefficients between return of components of orientation and memory were all highly significant, ranging from r=0. 81 to 0.93. Significant variability occurred in the number of days to emerge from PTA according to the scale used. There was evidence that the method of measuring memory influenced the patient's capacity to consistently sustain criterion scores on the scale. CONCLUSIONS: These results are contrary to findings in mildly injured patients, in whom orientation usually returns before memory. They also demonstrate that the duration of PTA will be dictated by the method used. These findings raise validity issues with respect to the prospective measurement of PTA, and in particular determining when an individual patient has emerged from PTA, which require further investigation. (+info)