Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Imaging identifies asymptomatic people at risk for stroke

16.09.2014

Imaging can be a cost-effective way to identify people at risk for stroke who might benefit from aggressive intervention, according to a new modeling study published online in the journal Radiology.

The study looked at people with asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis, a narrowing of the major blood vessels supplying blood to the head due to atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup. Carotid artery stenosis is the primary cause of up to 20 percent of ischemic strokes, which result from an obstruction within a blood vessel and make up 85 percent of all strokes.


This is a graph of two-way sensitivity analysis shows optimal strategy for different combinations of baseline stroke risk and probability of complications during revascularization. CVR strategy is optimal in the blue region, which includes base-case result (marked by an x); other strategies could be optimal given other combinations of stroke risk and revascularization complication risks.

Credit: Radiological Society of North America

Stroke victims often undergo revascularization procedures like carotid endarterectomy, or surgical removal of the plaque, to restore blood flow, but use of the procedures in asymptomatic patients is more controversial, according to Ankur Pandya, Ph.D., assistant professor of healthcare policy and research and public health in radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

"There are complications and costs associated with these revascularization procedures, and they are often done without knowing if the risks and costs are worth the benefits," Dr. Pandya said.

Dr. Pandya and colleagues recently assessed the impact of cerebrovascular reserve (CVR) testing, a measure of blood flow reserve to the brain, on asymptomatic people with significant carotid artery stenosis. While different imaging modalities can be used in CVR testing, the researchers used transcranial Doppler (TCD) sonography, an inexpensive, widely available option that does not expose patients to ionizing radiation.

They constructed a mathematical model that allowed them to make hypothetical comparisons among three different approaches: CVR testing, immediate revascularization with carotid endarterectomy, and medical therapy-based management with subsequent revascularization only for patients whose stenosis got worse.

The CVR-based approach, which led to about half of the patients receiving revascularization, appeared to have the most favorable balance of benefits and costs. The medical therapy-based strategy was associated with the lowest lifetime costs and the fewest revascularizations; however, it also resulted in the lowest life expectancy and lifetime quality-adjusted years, which account for both the length and quality of life experienced by patients. The immediate revascularization strategy had the highest costs, by a wide margin, and only incremental health benefits compared with the CVR-based approach.

"The study results show that imaging can be a cost-effective tool to stratify patients by risk of stroke and help sort patients into invasive, expensive interventions and less invasive options," Dr. Pandya said.

Dr. Pandya said that CVR testing also has the potential to help characterize whether carotid artery plaque is causing abnormal brain blood flow patterns which may, therefore, identify the patients who are at greatest risk of stroke.

"CVR testing with ultrasound could be used to stratify patients by risk based on abnormal blood flow patterns to the brain, and then other imaging tests like MRI could be employed to look at the composition and stability of plaque, which may give greater insight into those plaques most likely to rupture and cause symptoms" Dr. Pandya said.

Cost-effectiveness models like the one used in the study have gained prominence is recent years and are already used by healthcare payers in Europe, Canada and Australia. Dr. Pandya expects these models to become more prominent in the United States as healthcare reform evolves.

"Our model takes all these pieces of information on risks, costs and benefits and does the math in a systematic way to help clinicians make decisions," he said.

An estimated 400,000 patients over the age of 70 years in the United States have asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis, putting them at a higher risk of stroke.

###

"Carotid Artery Stenosis: Cost-effectiveness of Assessment of Cerebrovascular Reserve to Guide Treatment of Asymptomatic Patients." Collaborating with Dr. Pandya at Weill Cornell Medical College were Ajay Gupta, M.D., Hooman Kamel, M.D., Babak B. Navi, M.D., Pina C. Sanelli, M.D., M.P.H., and Bruce R. Schackman, Ph.D.

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc.

RSNA is an association of more than 53,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)

For patient-friendly information on stroke, visit RadiologyInfo.org.

Linda Brooks | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: RSNA Radiological abnormal carotid invasive patterns risk stenosis stroke strokes

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht A 15-minute scan could help diagnose brain damage in newborns
15.11.2018 | Imperial College London

nachricht NIH scientists combine technologies to view the retina in unprecedented detail
14.11.2018 | NIH/National Eye Institute

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

How Humans and Machines Navigate Complex Situations

19.11.2018 | Science Education

Finding plastic litter from afar

19.11.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Channels for the Supply of Energy

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>