Background and purpose: For the STroke Imaging Research (STIR) and VISTA-Imaging Investigators The purpose of this study was to collect precise information on the typical imaging decisions given specific clinical acute stroke scenarios. Stroke centers worldwide were surveyed regarding typical imaging used to work up representative acute stroke patients, make treatment decisions, and willingness to enroll in clinical trials.
Methods: STroke Imaging Research and Virtual International Stroke Trials Archive-Imaging circulated an online survey of clinical case vignettes through its website, the websites of national professional societies from multiple countries as well as through email distribution lists from STroke Imaging Research and participating societies. Survey responders were asked to select the typical imaging work-up for each clinical vignette presented. Actual images were not presented to the survey responders. Instead, the survey then displayed several types of imaging findings offered by the imaging strategy, and the responders selected the appropriate therapy and whether to enroll into a clinical trial considering time from onset, clinical presentation, and imaging findings. A follow-up survey focusing on 6 h from onset was conducted after the release of the positive endovascular trials.
Results: We received 548 responses from 35 countries including 282 individual centers; 78% of the centers originating from Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. The specific onset windows presented influenced the type of imaging work-up selected more than the clinical scenario. Magnetic Resonance Imaging usage (27-28%) was substantial, in particular for wake-up stroke. Following the release of the positive trials, selection of perfusion imaging significantly increased for imaging strategy.
Conclusions: Usage of vascular or perfusion imaging by Computed Tomography or Magnetic Resonance Imaging beyond just parenchymal imaging was the primary work-up (62-87%) across all clinical vignettes and time windows. Perfusion imaging with Computed Tomography or Magnetic Resonance Imaging was associated with increased probability of enrollment into clinical trials for 0-3 h. Following the release of the positive endovascular trials, selection of endovascular only treatment for 6 h increased across all clinical vignettes.
Keywords: Computed Tomography scan; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; clinical trial; ischemic stroke; stroke; thrombolysis.
© 2016 World Stroke Organization.