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עמוד בית
Thu, 07.12.23

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September 2017
Shahar Shelly MD, Nicola Maggio MD PhD, Marina Boxer MD, Ilan Blatt MD, David Tanne MD and David Orion MD

Background: Computed tomography (CT) brain perfusion is a relatively new imaging method that can be used to differentiate patients following epileptic seizures in the setting of acute neurological deficits (e.g., hemiparesis, hemiplegia, hemianopsia, aphasia) who arrive at the emergency room with a suspected stroke.

Objectives: To evaluate brain perfusion changes in patients who had an epileptic seizure.

Methods: We retrospectively identified 721 patients who presented at our stroke center between 2012 and 2015 with a suspected acute stroke and underwent examination thorough a stroke protocol, including cerebral CT perfusion (CTP) and CT angiography (CTA) within 8 hours from the onset of symptoms. 

Results: Out of 721 patients, 25 presented with ictal electroencephalography (EEG) findings within 24–72 hours from symptom onset without evidence of vascular occlusion on CTA. While 15 patients had to be excluded from the study due to concomitant brain pathology, we found a specific reduction in cerebral blood volume and cerebral blood flow occurring at the ictal zone, which was identified by a post hoc EEG investigation. 

Conclusions: Our study shows that CTP is an easily accessible tool in emergency department setting for the detection of changes in blood flow dynamics among postictal patients. Thus, we propose the use of CTP in emergency settings to discriminate between postictal changes and acute vascular events. 


May 2013
J.Y. Streifler, G. Raphaeli, N.M. Bornstein, N. Molshatzki and D. Tanne

 Background: Patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) at a high risk of stroke can be identified and should be managed urgently.

Objectives: To investigate whether recognized recommendations are being implemented in Israel.

Methods: An Israeli nationwide registry on patients admitted with stroke and TIA was conducted in all acute care hospitals (NASIS registry) within 2 successive months during 2004, 2007 and 2010. A revised ABCD2 score was applied retrospectively. Patients with TIA were divided into a low risk group (LRG, 0–3 points) and a high risk group (HRG, 4–6 points) and were compared to patients with minor ischemic strokes (MIS, NIHSS score ≤ 5 points).

Results: A total of 3336 patients were included (1023 with TIA: LRG 484, HRG 539, and MIS 2313). LRG patients were younger and had lower rates of most traditional risk factors as compared with HRG and MIS patients. Brain imaging was performed in almost all the patients. Ancillary tests (vascular and cardiac) were overall underused, yet were performed more in LRG (53.2% and 26.9% respectively) than in HRG patients (41.6%, 18.9%). Between periods there was no change in usage of ancillary tests for the LRG and a modest increase in both HRG and MIS patients. For performance of vascular investigations overall, the odds ratio was 1.69 (95% confidence interval 1.42–2.00) comparing 2010 with 2004, but 0.7 (95% CI 0.5–0.9) comparing HRG with LRG. Between periods an increase in statin usage was observed in all groups (OR 2.69, 95% CI 2.25–3.21) but was more marked in MIS patients (OR 3.06, 95% CI 2.47–3.8). 

Conclusions: The approach to TIA risk stratification and management in Israeli hospitals does not follow standards set by current guidelines. Standardized protocols for TIA should be used to assure effective management.



November 2010
S.D Israeli-Korn, Y. Schwammenthal, T. Yonash-Kimchi, M. Bakon, R. Tsabari, D. Orion, B. Bruk, N. Molshatzki, O. Merzeliak, J. Chapman and D. Tanne

Background: Multiple case series, mostly highly selected, have demonstrated a very high mortality following acute basilar artery occlusion. The more widespread availability and use of non-invasive vascular imaging over recent years has increased the rate of ABAO[1] diagnosis.

Objectives: To estimate the proportion of diagnosed ABAO among all-cause ischemic stroke in an era of increasing use of non-invasive vascular imaging and to compare the characteristics and outcomes between these two groups.

Methods: We compared 27 consecutive cases of ABAO identified in a university hospital between 2003 and 2007 to 311 unselected cases of ischemic stroke from two 4 month surveys.

Results: ABAO diagnosis increased from 0.3% of all-cause ischemic stroke (2003–2004) to 1.1% (2007), reflecting the increased use of non-invasive vascular imaging. In comparison to all-cause ischemic stroke, ABAO patients were younger (mean age 60 vs. 71 years), were more likely to be male (89% vs. 60%), had less atrial fibrillation (7% vs. 26%), more severe strokes (baseline NIHSS over 20: 52% vs. 12%), higher admission white cell count (12,000 vs. 9000 cells/mm3) lower admission systolic blood pressure (140 ± 24 vs. 153 ± 27 mmHg), higher in-hospital mortality rates (30% vs. 8%) and worse functional outcome (modified Rankin scale ≤ 3, 22% vs. 56%) (P < 0.05 for all). Rates of reperfusion therapy for ABAO increased from 0 in 2003–2004 to 60% in 2007.

Conclusions: In this study, ABAO patients represented approximately 1% of all-cause ischemic stroke and were about a decade younger than patients with all-cause ischemic stroke. We report a lower ABAO mortality compared to previous more selected case series; however, most survivors had a poor functional outcome. Given the marked clinical heterogeneity of ABAO, a low threshold for non-invasive vascular imaging with a view to definitive reperfusion treatment is needed.

[1] ABAO = acute basilar artery occlusion

October 2009
N. Koren-Morag, D. Tanne and U. Goldbourt

Background: The incidence of stroke varies among ethnically and culturally diverse groups.

Objectives: To examine the ethnic-geographic patterns of stroke incidence in men and women with coronary heart disease in Israel, focusing on the extent to which this variability can be explained by known differences in risk factors for stroke.

Methods: Patients with documented coronary heart disease were followed for 6–8 years for incident cerebrovascular events. Baseline medical evaluation included assessment of vascular risk factors and measures of blood lipids. Among 15,052 patients, a total of 1110 were identified with any incident ischemic cerebrovascular event by ICD-9 codes, of whom 613 had confirmed ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack.

Results: A major excess of ischemic cerebrovascular events among Israeli Arab women as compared to males, and an inverse finding among Israeli born Jews, were noted. The high risk in the Arab population in Israel reflected an unfavorable risk profile, since predicted rates by multivariate analysis and observed rates were 69 and 68 per 1000, respectively. High ischemic cerebrovascular event rates were identified among patients born in the Balkan countries and North Africa (89 and 90 per 1000) but unfavorable risk factor levels of these individuals did not explain them. Most trends appeared similar in male and female patients. A comparison of observed and accepted-according-to-risk-profile rates of ischemic cerebrovascular events yielded significant differences (P = 0.04), consistent with an additional role of geographic/ethnic origin, resulting from factors that remain unrecognized,or with variables unassessed in this study.

Conclusions: We identified an ethnic diversity in stroke risk among Israeli born in different parts of the world beyond what could be expected on the basis of differences in known risk factors. These findings call for detailed research aimed at identifying additional differences in the risk profile of patients with atherothrombotic disease exposed to an increased risk of stroke.

February 2008
D. Tanne, R. Tsabari, O. Chechk, A. Toledano, D. Orion, Y. Schwammenthal, T. Philips, E. Schammenthal and Y. Adler

Background: Regular physical activity is known to have a beneficial impact on multiple cardiovascular risk factors, but there is no routine provision of exercise training programs to patients after ischemic stroke.

Objectives: To assess the tolerability, safety and effect of an outpatient supervised exercise training program in patients after a non-disabling ischemic stroke.

Methods: Patients discharged home following a minor ischemic stroke (modified Rankin scale; mRS ≤ 2) were referred to a 3 month outpatient supervised exercise training program, performed twice weekly as prescribed by a physiologist and supervised by physical therapy. Exercise capacity was evaluated by the 6 minute walk test, and by the modified Bruce exercise test.

Results: Of the 52 patients who met the selection criteria, 43 underwent supervised exercise training within 2 months of stroke onset and 9 did not (control group). The baseline characteristics were comparable between the two groups. Following the exercise training program, an improvement in exercise capacity was observed manifested by improvement in the 6 minute walk test (444 ± 90 to 557 ± 99 meters in the exercise group vs. 438 ± 101 to 418 ± 126 in the control group; P = 0.002 for the score changes) and in the exercise duration achieved in the modified Bruce test and the metabolic equivalents achieved [9.6 ± 3.7 to 12.4 ± 3.2 minutes and 6.2 ± 2.8 to 8.5 ± 3.4 respectively in the exercise group (n=41) vs. 9.2 ± 3.5 to 8.0 ± 3.4 min and 5.8 ± 1.8 to 5.8 ± 2.8 in the control group (n=7); P = 0.0009 and 0.01 for score changes, respectively].

Conclusions: An outpatient supervised exercise training program after a minor ischemic stroke is feasible, well tolerated and is associated with improvement in exercise capacity. We strongly recommend that an aerobic exercise program be offered to suitable patients after an ischemic stroke.

April 2007
A. Eisen, A. Tenenbaum, N. Koren-Morag, D. Tanne, J. Shemesh, A. Golan, E. Z. Fisman, M. Motro, E. Schwammenthal and Y. Adler

Background: Coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in adults, and cerebrovascular disease is associated with the presence of symptomatic and asymptomatic CHD[1]. Several studies noted an association between coronary calcification and thoracic aorta calcification by several imaging techniques, but this association has not yet been examined in stable angina pectoris patients with the use of spiral computed tomography.

Objectives: To examine by spiral CT the association between the presence and severity of CC[2] and thoracic aorta calcification in patients with stable angina pectoris.

Methods: The patients were enrolled in ACTION (A Coronary Disease Trial Investigating Outcome with Nifedipine GITS) in Israel. The 432 patients (371 men and 61 women aged 40–89 years) underwent chest CT and were evaluated for CC and aortic calcification.

Results: CC was documented in 90% of the patients (n=392) and aortic calcification in 70% (n=303). A significant association (P < 0.05) was found between severity of CC and severity of aortic calcification (as measured by area, volume and slices of calcification). We also found an association between the number of coronary vessels calcified and the presence of aortic calcification: 90% of patients with triple-vessel disease (n=157) were also positive for aortic calcification (P < 0.05). Age also had an effect: 87% of patients ≥ 65 years (n=219) were positive for both coronary and aortic calcification (P = 0.005) while only 57% ≤ 65 (n=209) were positive for both (P = 0.081).

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates a strong association between the presence and severity of CC and the presence and severity of calcification of thoracic aorta in patients with stable angina pectoris as detected by spiral CT.


[1] CHD = coronary heart disease

[2] CC = coronary calcification

November 2006
Y. Schwammenthal, R. Tsabari, M. Bakon, D. Orion, O. Merzeliak and D. Tanne
 Background: Rapid restoration of cerebral blood flow is the principle goal of acute ischemic stroke therapy. Intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator is an effective therapy for acute ischemic stroke, has been available in the United States for over a decade and was approved for use in Israel at the end of 2004.

Objectives: To assess the implementation of intravenous rt-PA[1] in routine clinical care at our center after its formal approval in Israel, and the therapeutic and logistic implications for reperfusion therapy for acute ischemic stroke in Israel.

Methods: Patients with acute ischemic stroke, admitted between January 2005 and June 2006, who were treated with intravenous rt-PA or endovascular-based reperfusion were reviewed. Implementation, timing, safety and clinical outcomes were assessed.

Results: Forty-six patients received reperfusion therapy (37 with intravenous rt-PA and 9 with endovascular-based therapy), corresponding to 4.0% of ischemic stroke patients in 2005 and a projection of 6.2% in 2006. Mean age of intravenously treated patients was 67 years (range 22–85 years), median baseline NIHSS score was 14 (range 10–18, 25–75%) and the median ‘onset to drug time’ was 150 minutes (range 120–178, 25–75%). Symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage and orolingual angioedema each occurred in one patient (2.7%). Significant clinical improvement occurred in 54% of treated patients and 38% of patients were independent at hospital discharge.

Conclusions: Use of reperfusion therapy for acute ischemic stroke has increased in our center after the formal approval of rt-PA therapy to over 5%, with ‘onset to drug time’, safety and outcome after intravenous rt-PA treatment comparing favorably with worldwide experience. A prerequisite for the implementation of effective reperfusion therapy and expansion of the proportion of patients treated nationwide is the establishment of a comprehensive infrastructure.


[1] rt-PA = recombinant tissue plasminogen activator

January 2006
D. Tanne, U. Goldbourt, S. Koton, E. Grossman, N. Koren-Morag, M. S. Green and N. M. Bornstein

Background: There are no national data on the burden and management of acute cerebrovascular disease in Israel.

Objectives: To delineate the burden, characteristics, management and outcomes of hospitalized patients with acute cerebrovascular disease in Israel, and to examine adherence to current guidelines.

Methods: We prospectively performed a national survey in all 28 hospitals in Israel admitting patients with acute cerebrovascular events (stroke or transient ischemic attacks) during February and March 2004.

Results: During the survey period 2,174 patients were admitted with acute cerebrovascular disease (mean age 71 ± 13 years, 47% women; 89% ischemic stroke or TIA[1], 7% intracerebral hemorrhage and 4% undetermined stroke). Sixty-two percent of patients were admitted to departments of Medicine and a third to Neurology, of which only 7% were admitted to departments with a designated stroke unit. Head computed tomography was performed during hospitalization in 93% of patients. The overall rate of urgent thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke was 0.5%. Among patients with ischemic stroke or TIA, 94% were prescribed an antithrombotic medication at hospital discharge, and among those with atrial fibrillation about half were prescribed warfarin. Carotid duplex was performed in 30% and any vascular imaging study in 36% of patients with ischemic events. The mean length of hospital stay was 12 ± 27 days for ICH[2] and 8 ± 11 days for ischemic stroke. Among patients with ICH, 28% died and 66% died or had severe disability at hospital discharge, and for ischemic stroke the corresponding rates were 7% and 41% respectively. Mortality rates within 3 months were 34% for ICH and 14% for ischemic stroke.

Conclusions: This national survey demonstrates the high burden of acute stroke in Israel and reveals discordance between existing guidelines and current practice. The findings highlight important areas for which reorganization is imperative for patients afflicted with acute stroke.

[1] TIA = transient ischemic attack

[2] ICH = intracerebral hemorrhage

November 2005
S. Koton, Y. Schwammenthal, O. Merzeliak, T. Philips, R. Tsabari, B. Bruk, D. Orion, Z. Rotstein, J. Chapman and D. Tanne
 Background: Clinical trials have demonstrated the superiority of managing acute stroke in a dedicated stroke unit over conventional treatment in general medical wards. Based on these findings, nationwide stroke unit care programs have been implemented in several countries.

Objective: To assess the effect of establishing a new dedicated acute stroke unit within a department of neurology on indicators of process of care and outcome of acute stroke in a routine clinical setting in Israel.

Methods: Stroke patients admitted to the Sheba Medical Center during the period March 2001 to June 2002 were included in a prospective study according to selection criteria. Data on demographics, risk factors, co-morbidities and stroke severity were collected. Indicators of process of care and outcome were assessed at hospital discharge and 30 days follow-up. Comparison between outcome variables by hospitalization ward was conducted using logistic regression analysis adjusting for confounders.

Results: Of 616 acute stroke patients (mean age 70 years, 61% men, 84% ischemic stroke), 353 (57%) were admitted to general wards and 263 (43%) to the stroke unit. Diagnostic procedures were performed more often, and infection rate was lower in the setting of the stroke unit. Poor outcome (modified Rankin scale ≥3 or death) was present less often in patients managed in the stroke unit both at hospital discharge (adjusted odds ratio 0.5, 95% confidence interval 0.3–0.8) and at 30 day follow-up (adjusted OR[1] 0.6, 95%CI[2] 0.3–0.9). A Functional Independence Measure score ≤90 or death at 30 day follow-up was less frequent among patients managed in the stroke unit than in general wards (adjusted OR 0.5, 95%CI 0.2–0.8).

Conclusions: Improved outcomes and higher adherence to guidelines were observed in patients treated in a stroke unit within a department of neurology. The results suggest that patients with acute stroke should have access to treatment in a dedicated stroke unit.


[1] OR = odds ratio

[2] CI = confidence interval

April 2004
D. Weisman, M. Motro, E. Schwammenthal, E.Z. Fisman, A. Tenenbaum, D. Tanne and Y. Adler
February 2004
Y. Schwammenthal, M.J. Drescher, O. Merzeliak, R. Tsabari, B. Bruk, M. Feibel, C. Hoffman, M. Bakon, Z. Rotstein, J. Chapman and D. Tanne

Background: Intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator therapy within 3 hours of stroke onset is a proven effective treatment for acute ischemic stroke.

Objectives: To assess the feasibility and safety of rt-PA[1] therapy for reperfusion in routine clinical practice in Israel, in a setting of a dedicated stroke unit.

Methods: Consecutive patients presenting within less than 3 hours of stroke onset were evaluated by an emergency physician and the neurology stroke team. After brain computerized tomography eligible patients were treated with intravenous rt-PA (0.9 mg/kg; maximum dose 90 mg) according to an in-hospital protocol corresponding to recommended criteria. Patients were admitted to the acute stroke unit. Safety and clinical outcome were routinely assessed. Re-canalization was assessed by serial transcranial Doppler.

Results: The study group comprised 16 patients, mean age 61 years (range 47–80 years), male to female ratio 10:6, whose median baseline National Institutes of Health stroke scale was 13 (range 6–24). They were treated within a mean door-to-CT time of 39 minutes (range 17–62 min), door-to-drug time 101 minutes (range 72–150), and stroke onset-to-drug time 151 minutes (range 90–180). There was an early improvement within 24 hours (of ≥ 4 points in the NIHSS[2] score) in 7 patients (44%) and no early deteriorations. There were no protocol deviations, no symptomatic intracranial hemorrhages, and no major systemic hemorrhage within 36 hours of rt-PA treatment. Three asymptomatic hemorrhagic transformations of the infarct were noted on routine follow-up brain CT associated with neurologic improvement. Outcome data were comparable to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke rt-PA Stroke Study.

Conclusion: Intravenous rt-PA treatment within 3 hours of stroke onset in routine clinical practice in Israel is feasible and appears safe in the setting of a neurology stroke unit and team. Careful implementation of rt-PA therapy for selected patients in Israel is encouraged.

[1] rt-PA = recombinant tissue plasminogen activator

[2] NIHSS = National Institutes of Health stroke scale

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