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Concept: Subarachnoid hemorrhage


Amyloid-β (Aβ) is a peptide deposited in the brain parenchyma in Alzheimer’s disease and in cerebral blood vessels, causing cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). Aβ pathology is transmissible experimentally in animals and through medical procedures in humans, such as contaminated growth hormone or dura mater transplantation in the context of iatrogenic prion disease. Here, we present four patients who underwent neurosurgical procedures during childhood or teenage years and presented with intracerebral haemorrhage approximately three decades later, caused by severe CAA. None of these patients carried pathogenic mutations associated with early Aβ pathology development. In addition, we identified in the literature four patients with a history of neurosurgical intervention and subsequent development of CAA. These findings raise the possibility that Aβ pathology may be transmissible, as prion disease is, through neurosurgical procedures.

Concepts: Immune system, Brain, Stroke, Prion, Amyloid, Subarachnoid hemorrhage, Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, Cerebral amyloid angiopathy


Background Stroke is common during the first few weeks after a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or minor ischemic stroke. Combination therapy with clopidogrel and aspirin may provide greater protection against subsequent stroke than aspirin alone. Methods In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted at 114 centers in China, we randomly assigned 5170 patients within 24 hours after the onset of minor ischemic stroke or high-risk TIA to combination therapy with clopidogrel and aspirin (clopidogrel at an initial dose of 300 mg, followed by 75 mg per day for 90 days, plus aspirin at a dose of 75 mg per day for the first 21 days) or to placebo plus aspirin (75 mg per day for 90 days). All participants received open-label aspirin at a clinician-determined dose of 75 to 300 mg on day 1. The primary outcome was stroke (ischemic or hemorrhagic) during 90 days of follow-up in an intention-to-treat analysis. Treatment differences were assessed with the use of a Cox proportional-hazards model, with study center as a random effect. Results Stroke occurred in 8.2% of patients in the clopidogrel-aspirin group, as compared with 11.7% of those in the aspirin group (hazard ratio, 0.68; 95% confidence interval, 0.57 to 0.81; P<0.001). Moderate or severe hemorrhage occurred in seven patients (0.3%) in the clopidogrel-aspirin group and in eight (0.3%) in the aspirin group (P=0.73); the rate of hemorrhagic stroke was 0.3% in each group. Conclusions Among patients with TIA or minor stroke who can be treated within 24 hours after the onset of symptoms, the combination of clopidogrel and aspirin is superior to aspirin alone for reducing the risk of stroke in the first 90 days and does not increase the risk of hemorrhage. (Funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China; CHANCE number, NCT00979589 .).

Concepts: Blood, Stroke, Transient ischemic attack, People's Republic of China, Subarachnoid hemorrhage, Aspirin, Randomness, People's Republic


The mortality after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is 50%, and most survivors suffer severe functional and cognitive deficits. Half of SAH patients deteriorate 5 to 14 days after the initial bleeding, so-called delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI). Although often attributed to vasospasms, DCI may develop in the absence of angiographic vasospasms, and therapeutic reversal of angiographic vasospasms fails to improve patient outcome. The etiology of chronic neurodegenerative changes after SAH remains poorly understood. Brain oxygenation depends on both cerebral blood flow (CBF) and its microscopic distribution, the so-called capillary transit time heterogeneity (CTH). In theory, increased CTH can therefore lead to tissue hypoxia in the absence of severe CBF reductions, whereas reductions in CBF, paradoxically, improve brain oxygenation if CTH is critically elevated. We review potential sources of elevated CTH after SAH. Pericyte constrictions in relation to the initial ischemic episode and subsequent oxidative stress, nitric oxide depletion during the pericapillary clearance of oxyhemoglobin, vasogenic edema, leukocytosis, and astrocytic endfeet swelling are identified as potential sources of elevated CTH, and hence of metabolic derangement, after SAH. Irreversible changes in capillary morphology and function are predicted to contribute to long-term relative tissue hypoxia, inflammation, and neurodegeneration. We discuss diagnostic and therapeutic implications of these predictions.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 25 September 2013; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2013.173.

Concepts: Blood, Blood vessel, Stroke, Traumatic brain injury, Ischemia, Reperfusion injury, Subarachnoid hemorrhage, Hypoxia


Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) carries high early patient mortality. More women than men suffer from SAH and the average age of female SAH survivors is greater than that of male survivors; however, the overall mortality and neurological outcomes are not better in males despite their younger age. This pattern suggests the possibility of gender differences in the severity of initial impact and/or in subsequent pathophysiology. We explored gender differences in survival and pathophysiology following subarachnoid hemorrhage induced in age-matched male and female rats by endovascular puncture. Intracranial pressure (ICP), cerebral blood flow (CBF), blood pressure (BP) and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) were recorded at and after induction of SAH. Animals were sacrificed 3 hours after lesion and studied for subarachnoid hematoma size, vascular pathology (collagen and endothelium immunostaining), inflammation (platelet and neutrophil immunostaining), and cell death (TUNEL assay). In a second cohort, 24-hour survival was determined. Subarachnoid hematoma, post-hemorrhage ICP peak, BP elevation, reduction in CPP, intraluminal platelet aggregation and neutrophil accumulation, loss of vascular collagen, and neuronal and non-neuronal cell death were greater in male than in female rats. Hematoma size did not correlate with the number of apoptotic cells, platelet aggregates or neutrophil. The ICP peak correlated with hematoma size and with number of apoptotic cells but not with platelet aggregates and neutrophil number. This suggests that the intensity of ICP rise at SAH influences the severity of apoptosis but not of inflammation. Mortality was markedly greater in males than females. Our data demonstrate that in rats gender influences the initial impact of SAH causing greater bleed and early injury in males as compared to females.

Concepts: Male, Blood, Female, Traumatic brain injury, Intracranial pressure, Gender, Sex, Subarachnoid hemorrhage


To develop and validate a set of practical prediction tools that reliably estimate the outcome of subarachnoid haemorrhage from ruptured intracranial aneurysms (SAH).

Concepts: Subarachnoid hemorrhage


Achieving and maintaining normothermia (NT) after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) or intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) often require temperature modulating devices (TMD). Shivering is a common adverse effect of TMDs that can lead to further costs and complications. We evaluated an esophageal TMD, the EnsoETM (Attune Medical, Chicago, IL), to compare NT performance, shiver burden, and cost of shivering interventions with existing TMDs. Patients with SAH or ICH and refractory fever were treated with the EnsoETM. Patient demographics, temperature data, shiver severity, and amounts and costs of medications used for shiver management were prospectively collected. Controls who received other TMDs were matched for age, gender, and body surface area to EnsoETM recipients, and similar retrospective data were collected. All patients were mechanically ventilated. Fever burden was calculated as areas of curves of time spent above 37.5°C or 38°C. Demographics, temperature data, and costs of EnsoETM recipients were compared with recipients of other TMDs. Eight EnsoETM recipients and 24 controls between October 2015 and November 2016 were analyzed. There were no differences between the two groups in demographics or patient characteristics. No difference was found in temperature at initiation (38.7°C vs. 38.5°C, p = 0.4) and fever burden above 38°C (-0.44°C × hours vs. -0.53°C × hours, p = 0.47). EnsoETM recipients showed a nonsignificant trend in taking longer to achieve NT than other TMDs (5.4 hours vs. 2.9 hours, p = 0.07). EnsoETM recipients required fewer shiver interventions than controls (14 vs. 30, p = 0.02). EnsoETM recipients incurred fewer daily costs than controls ($124.27 vs. $232.76, p = 0.001). The EnsoETM achieved and maintained NT in SAH and ICH patients and was associated with less shivering and lower pharmaceutical costs than other TMDs. Further studies in larger populations are needed to determine the EnsoETM’s efficacy in comparison to other TMDs.

Concepts: Stroke, Subarachnoid hemorrhage, Cerebral hemorrhage, Fever, Intracranial hemorrhage, Shivering, 2016, 2015


BACKGROUND:Hospital mortality has decreased over time for critically ill patients with various forms of brain injury. We hypothesized that the proportion of patients who progress to neurologic death may have also decreased. METHODS:We performed a prospective cohort study involving consecutive adult patients with traumatic brain injury, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage or anoxic brain injury admitted to regional intensive care units in southern Alberta over a 10.5-year period. We used multivariable logistic regression to adjust for patient age and score on the Glasgow Coma Scale at admission, and to assess whether the proportion of patients who progress to neurologic death has changed over time. RESULTS:WeThe cohort consisted of 2788 patients. The proportion of patients who progressed to neurologic death was 8.1% at the start of the study period, and the adjusted odds of progressing to neurologic death decreased over the study period (odds ratio [OR] per yr 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.87-0.98, p = 0.006). This change was most pronounced among patients with traumatic brain injury (OR per yr 0.87, 95% CI 0.78-0.96, p = 0.005); there was no change among patients with anoxic injury (OR per yr 0.96, 95% CI 0.85-1.09, p = 0.6). A review of the medical records suggests that missed cases of neurologic death were rare (≤ 0.5% of deaths). INTERPRETATION:The proportion of patients with brain injury who progress to neurologic death has decreased over time, especially among those with head trauma. This finding may reflect positive developments in the prevention and care of brain injury. However, organ donation after neurologic death represents the major source of organs for transplantation. Thus, these findings may help explain the relatively stagnant rates of deceased organ donation in some regions of Canada, which in turn has important implications for the care of patients with end-stage organ failure.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Death, Stroke, Traumatic brain injury, Intensive care medicine, Subarachnoid hemorrhage, Glasgow Coma Scale, Coma



To determine the nationwide incidence of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and report nationwide changes in smoking rates between 1998 and 2012 in Finland.

Concepts: Subarachnoid hemorrhage, Nationwide Building Society, Building society, Cheshire Building Society, Nationwide


We previously derived the Ottawa Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Rule to identify subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) in patients with acute headache. Our objective was to validate the rule in a new cohort of consecutive patients who visited an emergency department.

Concepts: Hospital, Validation, Subarachnoid hemorrhage, Verification and validation