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עמוד בית
Tue, 28.05.24

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May 2003
N. Bentur and S. Resnizky

Background: An important question on the health agenda concerns the most appropriate place to hospitalize stroke patients and its effect on acute stroke care.

Objectives: To examine how the existing hospital system treats these patients, specifically: a) the departments to which stroke patients are admitted; b) differences in the admission, diagnosis and rehabilitative care of stroke patients, by department; c) patient characteristics, by department; and d) mortality rates during hospitalization.

Methods: We surveyed 616 people with acute stroke (ICD-CM9 430-433, 436) admitted consecutively to one of seven large general hospitals in Israel between October 1998 and January 1999. Data were collected from medical records at admission and at discharge.

Results: Forty-two percent of the patients were admitted to an internal medicine department, 56% to a neurology department, and only 2% to a geriatric department. The majority (95%) underwent a computed tomography scan of the brain, but other imaging tests were performed on fewer patients, with significant differences among hospitals and between internal medicine and neurology departments. Patients admitted to neurology departments were younger and had milder stroke symptoms than did patients admitted to internal medicine departments. Fifty-three percent of patients received at least one type of rehabilitative care during their hospital stay – usually physiotherapy, and least often occupational therapy. Seventeen percent of stroke patients died during hospitalization. Mortality was not found to be related to the admitting department.

Conclusions: Uniform realistic policies and work procedures should be formulated for all hospitals in Israel regarding the admitting department and processes as well as the performance of diagnostic imaging. Standards of medical and rehabilitative care and discharge destination should be developed to promote quality of care while containing utilization and costs.
 

November 2002
Arnon Blum, MD, Julia Sheiman, MD and Yonathan Hasin, MD
March 2002
Amir Halkin, MD and Gad Keren, MD
Dov Gefel, MD, Maria Doncheva, MD, Eli Ben-Valid, MD, Abed El Wahab-Daraushe, MD, Gil Lugassy, MD and Ben-Ami Sela, PhD
January 2000
Alexander Tenenbaum MD PhD, Alexander Garniek MD, Joseph Shemesh MD, Chaim I. Stroh MD, Yacov Itzchak MD PhD, Zvi Vered MD, Michael Motro MD and Enrique Z. Fisman MD

Background: Protruding aortic atheromas are a potential source of stroke and systemic emboli. The single modality currently available for their detection has been transesophageal echocardiography. However, TEE does not allow full visualization of the upper part of the ascending aorta and proximal aortic arch.

Objectives: To investigate whether double helical computerized tomography- both with and without contrast injection - may represent a useful technique for noninvasive detection of PAA in stroke patients.

Methods: Forty consecutive patients ≥50 years of age who sustained a recent ischemic stroke and/or systemic emboli (within 15 days after the onset of the event) were enrolled in the study and underwent TEE and DHCT without contrast injection using thin slice acquisition (3.2 mm thickness and 1.5 mm reconstruction increment). In addition, the last eight consecutive patients, after obtaining an unenhanced scan, underwent a contrast-enhanced DHCT following peripheral intravenous injection of a small amount of contrast material (15 ml of diatrizoate).

Results: PAAs were demonstrated by TEE in 18 patients (45%); in 16 of them (89%) the atheromas were recognized by DHCT. Of the 22 patients without PAA on TEE, DHCT confirmed their absence in 18 (82%). DHCT yielded a sensitivity of 89%, a specificity of 82%, and an overall accuracy of 85%. The total number of protruding plaques detected by TEE was 43, of which 41 (95%) were correctly identified by DHCT. The mean thickness of the plaques was 5.6±2.4 mm on TEE, and 5.4±2.3 on DHCT (P=NS), with a good correlation between the modalities (γ=0.84). Contrast-enhanced DHCT scans demonstrated absolute equivalence to TEE in aortic areas defined as "clearly visualized by TEE." DHCT detected PAA between the distal ascending aorta and the proximal arch in seven patients; these atheromas were not included in the comparative analysis. In these "occult" areas, DHCT may be superior to TEE.

Conclusions: DHCT without contrast injection using thin slice acquisition may become a useful modality for rapid noninvasive detection of PAA. Contrast-enhanced DHCT scans significantly improve imaging quality and may be superior to TEE in the upper ascending aorta and the proximal arch (areas not well visualized by TEE).

 

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TEE= transesophgeal echocardiography

PAA= protruding aortic atheroma

DHCT= dual helical computerized tomography
 

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