Recent Submissions

  • Simultaneous multifocal intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) and subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) in the setting of long-term cocaine usage

    Basi, Saajan; Punekar, Shuja (2021-06)
    A 45-year-old Caucasian man was admitted to hospital following a collapse at home. On admission, this patient was noted to have a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) Score of 9 out of 15, fever and tachypnoea. The patient was identified to have bilateral limb weakness, predominately on the left side, with associated dysphagia. Radiological imaging demonstrated bilateral multifocal intracranial haemorrhage and subarachnoid haemorrhage. Neurosurgical input was sought; the outcome of this was a decision to manage the patient conservatively, without surgical intervention. Of note, his urine drug testing revealed a positive result for a cocktail of drugs including cocaine, benzoylecgonine (cocaine metabolite), methadone, heroin, norbuprenorphine and benzodiazepine. Throughout the admission, the patient was monitored in an intensive care setting. The patient received support with feeding, speech and mobilisation. The patients' GCS improved throughout the admission. Following a 30-day admission, the patient walked home.
  • Clinical course of a 66-year-old man with an acute ischaemic stroke in the setting of a COVID-19 infection.

    Basi, Saajan; Hamdan, Mohammad; Punekar, Shuja (2020-08)
    A 66-year-old man was admitted to hospital with a right frontal cerebral infarct producing left-sided weakness and a deterioration in his speech pattern. The cerebral infarct was confirmed with CT imaging. The only evidence of respiratory symptoms on admission was a 2 L oxygen requirement, maintaining oxygen saturations between 88% and 92%. In a matter of hours this patient developed a greater oxygen requirement, alongside reduced levels of consciousness. A positive COVID-19 throat swab, in addition to bilateral pneumonia on chest X-ray and lymphopaenia in his blood tests, confirmed a diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia. A proactive decision was made involving the patients’ family, ward and intensive care healthcare staff, to not escalate care above a ward-based ceiling of care. The patient died 5 days following admission under the palliative care provided by the medical team.
  • Efficacy of nitric oxide, with or without continuing antihypertensive treatment, for management of high blood pressure in acute stroke (ENOS): a partial-factorial randomised controlled trial.

    ENOS Trial Investigators. (2015-02-14)
    Background: High blood pressure is associated with poor outcome after stroke. Whether blood pressure should be lowered early after stroke, and whether to continue or temporarily withdraw existing antihypertensive drugs, is not known. We assessed outcomes after stroke in patients given drugs to lower their blood pressure.; Methods: In our multicentre, partial-factorial trial, we randomly assigned patients admitted to hospital with an acute ischaemic or haemorrhagic stroke and raised systolic blood pressure (systolic 140-220 mm Hg) to 7 days of transdermal glyceryl trinitrate (5 mg per day), started within 48 h of stroke onset, or to no glyceryl trinitrate (control group). A subset of patients who were taking antihypertensive drugs before their stroke were also randomly assigned to continue or stop taking these drugs. The primary outcome was function, assessed with the modified Rankin Scale at 90 days by observers masked to treatment assignment. This study is registered, number ISRCTN99414122.; Findings: Between July 20, 2001, and Oct 14, 2013, we enrolled 4011 patients. Mean blood pressure was 167 (SD 19) mm Hg/90 (13) mm Hg at baseline (median 26 h [16-37] after stroke onset), and was significantly reduced on day 1 in 2000 patients allocated to glyceryl trinitrate compared with 2011 controls (difference -7·0 [95% CI -8·5 to -5·6] mm Hg/-3·5 [-4·4 to -2·6] mm Hg; both p<0·0001), and on day 7 in 1053 patients allocated to continue antihypertensive drugs compared with 1044 patients randomised to stop them (difference -9·5 [95% CI -11·8 to -7·2] mm Hg/-5·0 [-6·4 to -3·7] mm Hg; both p<0·0001). Functional outcome at day 90 did not differ in either treatment comparison-the adjusted common odds ratio (OR) for worse outcome with glyceryl trinitrate versus no glyceryl trinitrate was 1·01 (95% CI 0·91-1·13; p=0·83), and with continue versus stop antihypertensive drugs OR was 1·05 (0·90-1·22; p=0·55).; Interpretation: In patients with acute stroke and high blood pressure, transdermal glyceryl trinitrate lowered blood pressure and had acceptable safety but did not improve functional outcome. We show no evidence to support continuing prestroke antihypertensive drugs in patients in the first few days after acute stroke.; Funding: UK Medical Research Council.; Copyright © 2015 Bath et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • The Clots in Legs Or sTockings after Stroke (CLOTS) 3 trial: a randomised controlled trial to determine whether or not intermittent pneumatic compression reduces the risk of post-stroke deep vein thrombosis and to estimate its cost-effectiveness.

    CLOTS (Clots in Legs Or sTockings after Stroke) Trials Collaboration (2015-09)
    Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common cause of death and morbidity in stroke patients. There are few data concerning the effectiveness of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) in treating patients with stroke. Objectives: To establish whether or not the application of IPC to the legs of immobile stroke patients reduced their risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Design: Clots in Legs Or sTockings after Stroke (CLOTS) 3 was a multicentre, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial which allocated patients via a central randomisation system to IPC or no IPC. A technician blinded to treatment allocation performed compression duplex ultrasound (CDU) of both legs at 7-10 days and 25-30 days after enrolment. We followed up patients for 6 months to determine survival and later symptomatic VTE. Patients were analysed according to their treatment allocation. Setting: We enrolled 2876 patients in 94 UK hospitals between 8 December 2008 and 6 September 2012. Inclusion Criteria: patients admitted to hospital within 3 days of acute stroke and who were immobile on the day of admission (day 0) to day 3. Exclusion Criteria: age < 16 years; subarachnoid haemorrhage; and contra-indications to IPC including dermatitis, leg ulcers, severe oedema, severe peripheral vascular disease and congestive cardiac failure. Interventions: Participants were allocated to routine care or routine care plus IPC for 30 days, or until earlier discharge or walking independently. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was DVT in popliteal or femoral veins, detected on a screening CDU, or any symptomatic DVT in the proximal veins, confirmed by imaging, within 30 days of randomisation. The secondary outcomes included death, any DVTs, symptomatic DVTs, pulmonary emboli, skin breaks on the legs, falls with injury or fractures and duration of IPC use occurring within 30 days of randomisation and survival, symptomatic VTE, disability (as measured by the Oxford Handicap Scale), quality of life (as measured by the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions 3 Level questionnaire) and length of initial hospital stay measured 6 months after randomisation. Results: We allocated 1438 patients to IPC and 1438 to no IPC. The primary outcome occurred in 122 (8.5%) of 1438 patients allocated to IPC and 174 (12.1%) of 1438 patients allocated to no IPC, giving an absolute reduction in risk of 3.6% [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4% to 5.8%] and a relative risk reduction of 0.69 (95% CI 0.55 to 0.86). After excluding 323 patients who died prior to any primary outcome and 41 who had no screening CDU, the primary outcome occurred in 122 of 1267 IPC participants compared with 174 of 1245 no-IPC participants, giving an adjusted odds ratio of 0.65 (95% CI 0.51 to 0.84; p = 0.001). Secondary outcomes in IPC compared with no-IPC participants were death in the treatment period in 156 (10.8%) versus 189 (13.1%) (p = 0.058); skin breaks in 44 (3.1%) versus 20 (1.4%) (p = 0.002); and falls with injury in 33 (2.3%) versus 24 (1.7%) (p = 0.221). Among patients treated with IPC, there was a statistically significant improvement in survival to 6 months (hazard ratio 0.86, 95% CI 0.73 to 0.99; p = 0.042), but no improvement in disability. The direct cost of preventing a DVT was £1282 per event (95% CI £785 to £3077). Conclusions: IPC is an effective and inexpensive method of reducing the risk of DVT and improving survival in immobile stroke patients. Future Research: Further research should test whether or not IPC improves survival in other groups of high-risk hospitalised medical patients. In addition, research into methods to improve adherence to IPC might increase the benefits of IPC in stroke patients.