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Jukka Putaala - Top 30 Publications

Stroke doctors: Who are we? A World Stroke Organization survey.

Background Specialist training provides skilled workforce for service delivery. Stroke medicine has evolved rapidly in the past years. No prior information exists on background or training of stroke doctors globally. Aims To describe the specialties that represent stroke doctors, their training requirements, and the scientific organizations ensuring continuous medical education. Methods The World Stroke Organization conducted an expert survey between June and November 2014 using e-mailed questionnaires. All Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries with >1 million population and other countries with >50 million population were included ( n = 49, total 5.6 billion inhabitants, 85% of global strokes). Two stroke experts from each selected country were surveyed, discrepancies resolved, and further information on identified stroke-specific curricula sought. Results We received responses from 48 (98%) countries. Of ischemic stroke patients, 64% were reportedly treated by neurologists, ranging from 5% in Ireland to 95% in the Netherlands. Per thousand annual strokes there were average six neurologists, ranging from 0.3 in Ethiopia to 33 in Israel. Of intracerebral hemorrhage patients, 29% were reportedly treated by neurosurgeons, ranging from 5% in Sweden to 79% in Japan, with three neurosurgeons per thousand strokes, ranging from 0.1 in Ethiopia to 24 in South Korea. Most countries had a stroke society (86%) while only 10 (21%) had a degree or subspecialty for stroke medicine. Conclusions Stroke doctor numbers, background specialties, and opportunities to specialize in stroke vary across the globe. Most countries have a scientific society to pursue advancement of stroke medicine, but few have stroke curricula.

Natural History of Perihematomal Edema and Impact on Outcome After Intracerebral Hemorrhage.

Edema may worsen outcome after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). We assessed its natural history, factors influencing growth, and association with outcome.

Prestroke CHA2DS2-VASc Score and Severity of Acute Stroke in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation: Findings from RAF Study.

The aim of this study was to investigate for a possible association between both prestroke CHA2DS2-VASc score and the severity of stroke at presentation, as well as disability and mortality at 90 days, in patients with acute stroke and atrial fibrillation (AF).

Simultaneous Multiple Intracerebral Hemorrhages (SMICH).

Simultaneous multiple intracerebral hemorrhages (SMICHs) are uncommon. Few single-center studies have analyzed characteristics and outcome of SMICH. We analyzed clinical characteristics and outcome of SMICH patients from 2 comprehensive stroke centers.

Prediction of Early Recurrent Thromboembolic Event and Major Bleeding in Patients With Acute Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation by a Risk Stratification Schema: The ALESSA Score Study.

This study was designed to derive and validate a score to predict early ischemic events and major bleedings after an acute ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Ethnic and Geographical Differences in Ischaemic Stroke Among Young Adults.

Ischaemic stroke in young adults encompasses approximately 5 - 15% of all ischaemic strokes, depending on the selected upper age limit. The key features of the disease, including incidence, risk factors, underlying causes, mortality, outcomes, as well as long-term risks of recurrent events are different from those for elderly patients. There is also evidence indicating that these characteristics may differ ethnically and geographically. It is clinically important to recognize such differences not only for correct diagnosis and treatment, but also for introducing accurate preventive measures. Ethnic differences may stem from several factors, including genetic influence, and necessitate different approaches, such as personalized diagnostic work-up based on patient characteristics. In this review, we summarize and discuss the existing data on the geographic and ethnic differential characteristics of young adult ischaemic stroke.

Posterior versus Anterior Circulation Stroke in Young Adults: A Comparative Study of Stroke Aetiologies and Risk Factors in Stroke among Young Fabry Patients (sifap1).

Although 20-30% of all strokes occur in the posterior circulation, few studies have explored the characteristics of patients with strokes in the posterior compared to the anterior circulation so far. Especially data on young patients is missing.

Towards the genetic basis of cerebral venous thrombosis-the BEAST Consortium: a study protocol.

Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) is a rare cerebrovascular condition accounting for <1% of all stroke cases and mainly affects young adults. Its genetic aetiology is not clearly elucidated.

Are 12-lead ECG findings associated with the risk of cardiovascular events after ischemic stroke in young adults?

Ischemic stroke (IS) in a young patient is a disaster and recurrent cardiovascular events could add further impairment. Identifying patients with high risk of such events is therefore important. The prognostic relevance of ECG for this population is unknown.

Cerebral white matter lesions and post-thrombolytic remote parenchymal hemorrhage.

Parenchymal hematoma (PH) following intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) in ischemic stroke can occur either within the ischemic area (iPH) or as a remote PH (rPH). The latter could be, at least partly, related to cerebral amyloid angiopathy, which belongs to the continuum of cerebral small vessel disease. We hypothesized that cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs)-an imaging surrogate of small vessel disease-are associated with a higher rate of rPH.

Risk Stratification for Recurrence and Mortality in Embolic Stroke of Undetermined Source.

The risk of stroke recurrence in patients with Embolic Stroke of Undetermined Source (ESUS) is high, and the optimal antithrombotic strategy for secondary prevention is unclear. We investigated whether congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥75 years, diabetes mellitus, and stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA; CHADS2) and CHA2DS2-VASc scores can stratify the long-term risk of ischemic stroke/TIA recurrence and death in ESUS.

Cerebral Venous Thrombosis: Epidemiology in Change.

Acute-Phase Blood Pressure Levels Correlate With a High Risk of Recurrent Strokes in Young-Onset Ischemic Stroke.

High blood pressure (BP) in acute stroke has been associated with a poor outcome; however, this has not been evaluated in young adults.

Cardiovascular events after ischemic stroke in young adults: A prospective follow-up study.

To study the long-term risk of recurrent cardiac, arterial, and venous events in young stroke patients, and whether these risks differed between etiologic subgroups.

Details on methods and further thoughts on P-wave indices in stroke: Response to the letter "Importance of P-wave indices in stroke", by Chhabra L, regarding "Resting 12-lead electrocardiogram reveals high-risk sources of cardioembolism in young adult ischemic stroke".

Reliability of intracerebral hemorrhage classification systems: A systematic review.

Accurately distinguishing non-traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) subtypes is important since they may have different risk factors, causal pathways, management, and prognosis. We systematically assessed the inter- and intra-rater reliability of ICH classification systems.

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.

Long-term outcome after cerebral venous thrombosis: analysis of functional and vocational outcome, residual symptoms, and adverse events in 161 patients.

Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) affects mainly working-aged individuals. Functional recovery after CVT is generally considered good with about 3/4 of patients achieving short-term independence. However, vascular events, long-term functional outcome, and employment after CVT remain poorly investigated. We identified consecutive adult CVT patients treated at the Helsinki University Hospital (1987-2013) and invited them to a follow-up visit. Each clinical examination was combined with interview. We also recorded recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) and hemorrhagic events during follow-up and antithrombotic medication use. A modified Rankin Scale (mRS) served to assess functional outcome. Logistic regression served to identify independent factors associated with unemployment and functional recovery. Of the 195 patients identified, 21 died, 9 declined to participate, and 4 were excluded from the study. Thus, 161 patients (106 women) underwent an examination after a median of 39 months (interquartile range 14-95). VTE (one of which was CVT) occurred in 9 (6%) patients, and severe hemorrhagic events in 10 (6%). Functional outcome was good, with 84% scoring 0-1 on the mRS; 42% reported residual symptoms. Altogether, 91 (57%) patients were employed. After adjusting for age and sex, a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score>2 at admission and low education level, associated with both unfavorable functional outcome and unemployment. Long-term functional outcome after CVT may appear good if measured with mRS, but patients often have residual symptoms and are frequently unable to return to their previous work.

Admission Hyperglycemia and Clinical Outcome in Cerebral Venous Thrombosis.

Admission hyperglycemia is associated with poor clinical outcome in ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Admission hyperglycemia has not been investigated in patients with cerebral venous thrombosis.

Frequency of MELAS main mutation in a phenotype-targeted young ischemic stroke patient population.

Mitochondrial diseases, predominantly mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS), may occasionally underlie or coincide with ischemic stroke (IS) in young and middle-aged individuals. We searched for undiagnosed patients with MELAS in a target subpopulation of unselected young IS patients enrolled in the Stroke in Young Fabry Patients study (sifap1). Among the 3291 IS patients aged 18-55 years recruited to the sifap1 study at 47 centers across 14 European countries, we identified potential MELAS patients with the following phenotypic features: (a) diagnosed cardiomyopathy or (b) presence of two of the three following findings: migraine, short stature (≤165 cm for males; ≤155 cm for females), and diabetes. Identified patients' blood samples underwent analysis of the common MELAS mutation, m.3243A>G in the MTTL1 gene of mitochondrial DNA. Clinical and cerebral MRI features of the mutation carriers were reviewed. We analyzed blood samples of 238 patients (177 with cardiomyopathy) leading to identification of four previously unrecognized MELAS main mutation carrier-patients. Their clinical and MRI characteristics were within the expectation for common IS patients except for severe hearing loss in one patient and hyperintensity of the pulvinar thalami on T1-weighted MRI in another one. Genetic testing for the m.3243A>G MELAS mutation in young patients with IS based on phenotypes suggestive of mitochondrial disease identifies previously unrecognized carriers of MELAS main mutation, but does not prove MELAS as the putative cause.

Prognostic value of trans-thoracic echocardiography in patients with acute stroke and atrial fibrillation: findings from the RAF study.

Anticoagulant therapy is recommended for the secondary prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). T he identification of patients at high risk for early recurrence, which are potential candidates to prompt anticoagulation, is crucial to justify the risk of bleeding associated with early anticoagulant treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate in patients with acute ischemic stroke and AF the association between findings at trans-thoracic echocardiography (TTE) and 90 days recurrence. In consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke and AF, TTE was performed within 7 days from hospital admission. Study outcomes were recurrent ischemic cerebrovascular events (stroke or TIA) and systemic embolism. 854 patients (mean age 76.3 ± 9.5 years) underwent a TTE evaluation; 63 patients (7.4%) had at least a study outcome event. Left atrial thrombosis was present in 11 patients (1.3%) among whom 1 had recurrent ischemic event. Left atrial enlargement was present in 548 patients (64.2%) among whom 51 (9.3%) had recurrent ischemic events. The recurrence rate in the 197 patients with severe left atrial enlargement was 11.7%. On multivariate analysis, the presence of atrial enlargement (OR 2.13; 95% CI 1.06-4.29, p = 0.033) and CHA2DS2-VASc score (OR 1.22; 95% CI 1.04-1.45, p = 0.018, for each point increase) were correlated with ischemic recurrences. In patients with AF-associated acute stroke, left atrial enlargement is an independent marker of recurrent stroke and systemic embolism. The risk of recurrence is accounted for by severe atrial enlargement. TTE-detected left atrial thrombosis is relatively uncommon.

Helsinki experience on nonvitamin K oral anticoagulants for treating cervical artery dissection.

Cervical artery dissection (CeAD) patients with or without stroke are frequently treated with either antiplatelet agents or vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), but few data are reported on the use of nonvitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs).

Undetermined stroke with an embolic pattern--a common phenotype with high early recurrence risk.

Undetermined strokes with an embolic pattern (USEP) represent a common phenotype. We assessed their frequency and compared USEP with cardioembolic stroke with a known source and non-cardioembolic stroke etiology.

Response to Letter Regarding Article, "Cryptic Loss of Consciousness in a 36-Year-Old Woman".

Resting 12-lead electrocardiogram reveals high-risk sources of cardioembolism in young adult ischemic stroke.

The diagnostic work-up to reveal etiology in a young ischemic stroke (IS) patient includes evaluation for high-risk source of cardioembolism (HRCE), since this subtype associates with high early recurrence rate and mortality. We investigated the association of ECG findings with a final etiologic subgroup of HRCE in a cohort of young patients with first-ever IS.

Early Recurrence and Cerebral Bleeding in Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation: Effect of Anticoagulation and Its Timing: The RAF Study.

The best time for administering anticoagulation therapy in acute cardioembolic stroke remains unclear. This prospective cohort study of patients with acute stroke and atrial fibrillation, evaluated (1) the risk of recurrent ischemic event and severe bleeding; (2) the risk factors for recurrence and bleeding; and (3) the risks of recurrence and bleeding associated with anticoagulant therapy and its starting time after the acute stroke.

White Matter Lesions Double the Risk of Post-Thrombolytic Intracerebral Hemorrhage.

Cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs), a surrogate for small-vessel disease, are common in patients with stroke and may be related to an increased intracranial bleeding risk after intravenous thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke. We aimed to investigate the risk of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) in the presence of WMLs in a large cohort of ischemic stroke patients treated with intravenous thrombolysis.

Cryptic Loss of Consciousness in a 36-Year-Old Woman.

Cancer in young adults with ischemic stroke.

Cancer is a risk factor for ischemic stroke. Little is known about cancer among young adults with ischemic stroke. We studied the frequency of cancer and its association with long-term risk of death among young patients with first-ever ischemic stroke.

Cerebral computed tomography-graded white matter lesions are associated with worse outcome after thrombolysis in patients with stroke.

Compared with other stroke causes, small-vessel disease is associated with better 3-month outcomes in patients with acute ischemic stroke treated with intravenous thrombolysis. Another question is the impact of coexisting cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs; a surrogate marker of small-vessel disease) on outcome, which was addressed in the current study.