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Christopher Traenka - Top 30 Publications

Cervical artery dissection in patients ≥60 years: Often painless, few mechanical triggers.

In a cohort of patients diagnosed with cervical artery dissection (CeAD), to determine the proportion of patients aged ≥60 years and compare the frequency of characteristics (presenting symptoms, risk factors, and outcome) in patients aged <60 vs ≥60 years.

Sex Differences and Functional Outcome After Intravenous Thrombolysis.

Women have a worse outcome after stroke compared with men, although in intravenous thrombolysis (IVT)-treated patients, women seem to benefit more. Besides sex differences, age has also a possible effect on functional outcome. The interaction of sex on the functional outcome in IVT-treated patients in relation to age remains complex. The purpose of this study was to compare outcome after IVT between women and men with regard to age in a large multicenter European cohort reflecting daily clinical practice of acute stroke care.

Early start of DOAC after ischemic stroke: Risk of intracranial hemorrhage and recurrent events.

In patients with recent acute ischemic stroke (AIS) and atrial fibrillation, we assessed the starting time of direct, non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (DOACs) for secondary prevention, the rate of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), and recurrent ischemic events during follow-up.

Frequency and Determinants of Adherence to Oral Anticoagulants in Stroke Patients with Atrial Fibrillation in Clinical Practice.

Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) and non-VKA oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are beneficial in patients with stroke and atrial fibrillation (AF). However, little is known about frequency and determinants of adherence to NOACs/VKAs in clinical practice.

Feasibility of rapid measurement of Rivaroxaban plasma levels in patients with acute stroke.

Plasma levels of Rivaroxaban (RivLev) might be useful to guide therapeutic decisions in patients with acute stroke under Rivaroxaban. A prerequisite for the potential clinical usefulness is their rapid availability in emergency situations. Single-center explorative analysis from the Novel-Oral-Anticoagulants-in-Stroke-Patients-registry (NOACISP, We included consecutive patients with acute ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke under Rivaroxaban (last intake <48 h) in which RivLev determined by an automated anti-factor Xa-based chromogenic assay (Hyphen-Biomed, France) are available. Primary endpoint was the turnaround time (TAT), defined as time from registration of the blood sample in the lab to first result published. Furthermore, we studied, whether TAT is influenced by (1) on- and off-hour-measurements and (2) early versus later patient arrival (cut-off: 270 min after symptom onset). Thirty-eight patients met the eligibility criteria (mean age 77 years, 44 % female). TAT was 34 min (IQR 29-65 min). TATs were similar for on- (n = 14; median 34 min; IQR 30-56 min) and off-hours-TATs (n = 24; median 35 min; IQR 29-75 min) as well as for early (n = 16; median 33 min; IQR 30-40 min) and late patient arrival (n = 22, median 34 min, IQR 28-58 min; all nonsignificant.). Taking into account RivLev in the decision process about the use of intravenous thrombolysis, three patients received intravenous thrombolysis on an individualized basis, none of them with bleeding complications. Emergency measurement of RivLev among patients with acute stroke is available within a median of 34 min and therefore feasible for ED use. Due to the rapid availability, further research to evaluate the role of RivLev in order to guide acute treatment decisions is warranted.

Repeated Intravenous Thrombolysis for Early Recurrent Stroke: Challenging the Exclusion Criterion.

Intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) within 4.5 hours from symptom onset improves functional outcome in patients with acute ischemic stroke. Its use in patients with previous stroke within the preceding 3 months is contraindicated because of the assumed higher risk of intracranial hemorrhage. In addition, tissue-type plasminogen activator may itself promote neurotoxicity and blood-brain barrier disruption. However, safety and effectiveness of repeated IVT is essentially unknown in patients with early (<3 months) recurrent stroke (ERS), because they were excluded from thrombolysis trials. This article reports the largest case series of repeated IVT in ERS.

Intravenous Thrombolysis in Patients Dependent on the Daily Help of Others Before Stroke.

We compared outcome and complications in patients with stroke treated with intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) who could not live alone without help of another person before stroke (dependent patients) versus independent ones.

Erratum to: Risk factors, aetiology and outcome of ischaemic stroke in young adults: the Swiss Young Stroke Study (SYSS).

Identification of Inflammatory, Metabolic, and Cell Survival Pathways Contributing to Cerebral Small Vessel Disease by Postmortem Gene Expression Microarray.

Cerebral small-vessel disease (SVD) is characterized by periventricular white matter (WM) changes and general brain atrophy. SVD is prevalent in elderly individuals and is frequently associated with the development of vascular dementia (VaD). Studies of the molecular basis of SVD are sparse. We have to gain further insight into the pathogenic mechanisms of SVD. Therefore, we compared gene expression patterns in the brains of SVD and control patients, in order to identify cellular pathways changed in diseased brains. We compared the expression of mRNA transcripts in postmortem, macroscopically normal-appearing human brain tissues isolated from frontal, temporal and occipital cortical and subcortical regions in 5 SVD and 5 non-SVD control patients. Significant expression changes were determined by fold change F>1.2 in either direction, and p<0.05. We identified 228 genes differentially expressed in cortex (89 up-, 139 down-regulated) and 555 genes in WM (223 up-, 332 down-regulated) in SVD patients. Pathway analyses revealed that upregulated genes were associated with inflammation and apoptosis in WM, suggesting active cell death. Downregulated genes were associated with coagulation and fatty and amino acids metabolisms. In the cortex, down-regulated genes were principally associated with neuronal functions. Our data revealed widespread changes in the transcriptome profiles in the cortex and WM of human SVD brains, with a predominance of changes in WM. We provide for the first time a comprehensive view of the molecular alterations in human SVD brains that seem to contribute to the neuropathogenesis of SVD.

Serum Neurofilament Light Chain Levels Are Associated with Clinical Characteristics and Outcome in Patients with Cervical Artery Dissection.

Serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) levels represent a promising marker of neuroaxonal injury. They are elevated in several neurological conditions, but their importance in cerebrovascular diseases remains unclear. In a proof of concept study, we compared sNfL levels with clinical characteristics and outcome in patients with cervical artery dissection (CeAD).

Recanalization therapies in acute ischemic stroke patients: impact of prior treatment with novel oral anticoagulants on bleeding complications and outcome.

We explored the safety of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) or intra-arterial treatment (IAT) in patients with ischemic stroke on non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs, last intake <48 hours) in comparison with patients (1) taking vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) or (2) without previous anticoagulation (no-OAC).

Risk factors, aetiology and outcome of ischaemic stroke in young adults: the Swiss Young Stroke Study (SYSS).

Ischaemic stroke (IS) in young adults has been increasingly recognized as a serious health condition. Stroke aetiology is different in young adults than in the older population. This study aimed to investigate aetiology and risk factors, and to search for predictors of outcome and recurrence in young IS patients. We conducted a prospective multicentre study of consecutive IS patients aged 16-55 years. Baseline demographic data, risk factors, stroke aetiology including systematic genetic screening for Fabry disease and severity were assessed and related to functional neurological outcome (modified Rankin Scale, mRS), case fatality, employment status, place of residence, and recurrent cerebrovascular events at 3 months. In 624 IS patients (60% men), median age was 46 (IQR 39-51) years and median NIHSS on admission 3 (IQR 1-8). Modifiable vascular risk factors were found in 73%. Stroke aetiology was mostly cardioembolism (32%) and of other defined origin (24%), including cervicocerebral artery dissection (17%). Fabry disease was diagnosed in 2 patients (0.3%). Aetiology remained unknown in 20%. Outcome at 3 months was favourable (mRS 0-1) in 61% and fatal in 2.9%. Stroke severity (p < 0.001) and diabetes mellitus (p = 0.023) predicted unfavourable outcome. Stroke recurrence rate at 3 months was 2.7%. Previous stroke or TIA predicted recurrent cerebrovascular events (p = 0.012). In conclusion, most young adults with IS had modifiable vascular risk factors, emphasizing the importance of prevention strategies. Outcome was unfavourable in more than a third of patients and was associated with initial stroke severity and diabetes mellitus. Previous cerebrovascular events predicted recurrent ones.

Diagnosis and treatment of cervical artery dissection.

Cervical artery dissection (CAD) is a major cause of stroke in the young. A mural hematoma is detected in most CAD patients. The intramural blood accumulation should not be considered a reason to withhold intravenous thrombolysis in patients with CAD-related stroke. Because intravenous-thrombolyzed CAD patients might not recover as well as other stroke patients, acute endovascular treatment is an alternative. Regarding the choice of antithrombotic agents, this article discusses the findings of 4 meta-analyses across observational data, the current status of 3 randomized controlled trials, and arguments and counterarguments favoring anticoagulants over antiplatelets. Furthermore, the role of stenting and surgery is addressed.

ASTRAL-R score predicts non-recanalisation after intravenous thrombolysis in acute ischaemic stroke.

Intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) as treatment in acute ischaemic strokes may be insufficient to achieve recanalisation in certain patients. Predicting probability of non-recanalisation after IVT may have the potential to influence patient selection to more aggressive management strategies. We aimed at deriving and internally validating a predictive score for post-thrombolytic non-recanalisation, using clinical and radiological variables. In thrombolysis registries from four Swiss academic stroke centres (Lausanne, Bern, Basel and Geneva), patients were selected with large arterial occlusion on acute imaging and with repeated arterial assessment at 24 hours. Based on a logistic regression analysis, an integer-based score for each covariate of the fitted multivariate model was generated. Performance of integer-based predictive model was assessed by bootstrapping available data and cross validation (delete-d method). In 599 thrombolysed strokes, five variables were identified as independent predictors of absence of recanalisation: Acute glucose > 7 mmol/l (A), significant extracranial vessel STenosis (ST), decreased Range of visual fields (R), large Arterial occlusion (A) and decreased Level of consciousness (L). All variables were weighted 1, except for (L) which obtained 2 points based on β-coefficients on the logistic scale. ASTRAL-R scores 0, 3 and 6 corresponded to non-recanalisation probabilities of 18, 44 and 74 % respectively. Predictive ability showed AUC of 0.66 (95 %CI, 0.61-0.70) when using bootstrap and 0.66 (0.63-0.68) when using delete-d cross validation. In conclusion, the 5-item ASTRAL-R score moderately predicts non-recanalisation at 24 hours in thrombolysed ischaemic strokes. If its performance can be confirmed by external validation and its clinical usefulness can be proven, the score may influence patient selection for more aggressive revascularisation strategies in routine clinical practice.

Internal carotid artery dissection and asymmetrical facial flushing: the Harlequin sign.

Role of LIM and SH3 protein 1 (LASP1) in the metastatic dissemination of medulloblastoma.

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor and is one of the leading causes of cancer-related mortality in children. Treatment failure mainly occurs in children harboring metastatic tumors, which typically carry an isochromosome 17 or gain of 17q, a common hallmark of intermediate and high-risk medulloblastoma. Through mRNA expression profiling, we identified LIM and SH3 protein 1 (LASP1) as one of the most upregulated genes on chromosome 17q in tumors with 17q gain. In an independent validation cohort of 101 medulloblastoma samples, the abundance of LASP1 mRNA was significantly associated with 17q gain, metastatic dissemination, and unfavorable outcome. LASP1 protein expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in a large cohort of patients (n = 207), and high protein expression levels were found to be strongly correlated with 17q gain, metastatic dissemination, and inferior overall and progression-free survival. In vitro experiments in medulloblastoma cell lines showed a strong reduction of cell migration, increased adhesion, and decreased proliferation upon LASP1 knockdown by small interfering RNA-mediated silencing, further indicating a functional role for LASP1 in the progression and metastatic dissemination of medulloblastoma.