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  • 1. Aronsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Persson, Josefine
    Blomstrand, Christian
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Levin, Lars-Ake
    Cost-effectiveness of endovascular thrombectomy in patients with acute ischemic stroke2016In: Neurology, ISSN 0028-3878, E-ISSN 1526-632X, Vol. 86, no 11, p. 1053-1059Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective:To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of adding endovascular thrombectomy to standard care in patients with acute ischemic stroke.Methods:The cost-effectiveness analysis of endovascular thrombectomy in patients with acute ischemic stroke was based on a decision-analytic Markov model. Primary outcomes from ESCAPE, Extending the Time for Thrombolysis in Emergency Neurological Deficits-Intra-Arterial (EXTEND-IA), Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial of Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke in the Netherlands (MR CLEAN), Endovascular Revascularization With Solitaire Device Versus Best Medical Therapy in Anterior Circulation Stroke Within 8 Hours (REVASCAT), and Solitaire with the Intention for Thrombectomy as Primary Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke (SWIFT PRIME) along with data from published studies and registries were used in this analysis. We used a health care payer perspective and a lifelong time horizon to estimate costs and effects.Results:The model showed that adding thrombectomy with stent retrievers to guideline-based care (including IV thrombolysis) resulted in a gain of 0.40 life-years and 0.99 quality-adjusted life-years along with a cost savings of approximately $221 per patient. The sensitivity analysis showed that the results were not sensitive to changes in uncertain parameters or assumptions.Conclusions:Adding endovascular treatment to standard care resulted in substantial clinical benefits at low costs. The results were consistent throughout irrespective of whether data from ESCAPE, EXTEND-IA, MR CLEAN, REVASCAT, or SWIFT PRIME were used in this model.

  • 2.
    Asplund, Kjell
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Hulter Åsberg, Kerstin
    Appelros, Peter
    Bjarne, Daniela
    Eriksson, Marie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Johansson, Åsa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Jonsson, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Norrving, Bo
    Stegmayr, Birgitta
    Terént, Andreas
    Wallin, Sari
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Wester, Per-Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    The Riks-Stroke story: building a sustainable national register for quality assessment of stroke care2011In: International Journal of Stroke, ISSN 1747-4930, E-ISSN 1747-4949, Vol. 6, no 2, p. 99-108Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Riks-Stroke, the Swedish Stroke Register, is the world's longest-running national stroke quality register (established in 1994) and includes all 76 hospitals in Sweden admitting acute stroke patients. The development and maintenance of this sustainable national register is described.

    Methods Riks-Stroke includes information on the quality of care during the acute phase, rehabilitation and secondary prevention of stroke, as well as data on community support. Riks-Stroke is unique among stroke quality registers in that patients are followed during the first year after stroke. The data collected describe processes, and medical and patient-reported outcome measurements. The register embraces most of the dimensions of health-care quality (evidence-based, safe, provided in time, distributed fairly and patient oriented).

    Result Annually, approximately 25 000 patients are included. In 2009, approximately 320 000 patients had been accumulated (mean age 76-years). The register is estimated to cover 82% of all stroke patients treated in Swedish hospitals. Among critical issues when building a national stroke quality register, the delicate balance between simplicity and comprehensiveness is emphasised. Future developments include direct transfer of data from digital medical records to Riks-Stroke and comprehensive strategies to use the information collected to rapidly implement new evidence-based techniques and to eliminate outdated methods in stroke care.

    Conclusions It is possible to establish a sustainable quality register for stroke at the national level covering all hospitals admitting acute stroke patients. Riks-Stroke is fulfilling its main goals to support continuous quality improvement of Swedish stroke services and serve as an instrument for following up national stroke guidelines.

  • 3.
    Asplund, Kjell
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Sukhova, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Stegmayr, Birgitta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Diagnostic procedures, treatments, and outcomes in stroke patients admitted to different types of hospitals2015In: Stroke, ISSN 0039-2499, E-ISSN 1524-4628, Vol. 46, no 3, p. 806-812Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background and Purpose: In many countries, including Sweden, initiatives have been taken to reduce between-hospital differences in the quality of stroke services. We have explored to what extent hospital type (university, specialized nonuniversity, or community hospital) influences hospital performance. Methods: Riksstroke collects clinical data during hospital stay (national coverage 94%). Follow-up data at 3 months were collected using administrative registers and a questionnaire completed by surviving patients (response rate 88%). Structural data were collected from a questionnaire completed by hospital staff (response rate 100%). Multivariate analyses with adjustment for clustering were used to test differences between types of hospitals. Results: The proportion of patients admitted directly to a stroke unit was highest in community hospitals and lowest in university hospitals. Magnetic resonance, carotid imaging, and thrombectomy were more frequently performed in university hospitals, and the door-to-needle time for thrombolysis was shorter. Secondary prevention with antihypertensive drugs was used less often, and outpatient follow-up was less frequent in university hospitals. Fewer patients in community hospitals were dissatisfied with their rehabilitation. After adjusting for possible confounders, poor outcome (dead or activities of daily living dependency 3 months after stroke) was not significantly different between the 3 types of hospital. Conclusions: In a setting with national stroke guidelines, stroke units in all hospitals, and measurement of hospital performance and benchmarking, outcome (after case-mix adjustment) is similar in university, specialized nonuniversity, and community hospitals. There seems to be fewer barriers to organizing well-functioning stroke services in community hospitals compared with university hospitals.

  • 4.
    Björck, Fredrik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Renlund, Henrik
    Lip, Gregory Y. H.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Svensson, Peter J.
    Själander, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Outcomes in a Warfarin-Treated Population With Atrial Fibrillation2016In: JAMA cardiology, ISSN 2380-6583, E-ISSN 2380-6591, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 172-180Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    IMPORTANCE: Vitamin K antagonist (eg, warfarin) use is nowadays challenged by the non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF). NOAC studies were based on comparisons with warfarin arms with times in therapeutic range (TTRs) of 55.2% to 64.9%, making the results less credible in health care systems with higher TTRs.

    OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of well-managed warfarin therapy in patients with nonvalvular AF, the risk of complications, especially intracranial bleeding, in patients with concomitant use of aspirin, and the impact of international normalized ratio (INR) control.

    DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective, multicenter cohort study based on Swedish registries, especially AuriculA, a quality register for AF and oral anticoagulation, was conducted. The register contains nationwide data, including that from specialized anticoagulation clinics and primary health care centers. A total of 40 449 patients starting warfarin therapy owing to nonvalvular AF during the study period were monitored until treatment cessation, death, or the end of the study. The study was conducted from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2011, and data were analyzed between February 1 and November 15, 2015. Associating complications with risk factors and individual INR control, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of warfarin treatment in patients with concomitant aspirin therapy and those with no additional antiplatelet medications.

    EXPOSURES: Use of warfarin with and without concomitant therapy with aspirin.

    MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Annual incidence of complications in association with individual TTR (iTTR), INR variability, and aspirin use and identification of factors indicating the probability of intracranial bleeding.

    RESULTS: Of the 40 449 patients included in the study, 16 201 (40.0%) were women; mean (SD) age of the cohort was 72.5 (10.1) years, and the mean CHA2DS2-VASc (cardiac failure or dysfunction, hypertension, age ≥75 years [doubled], diabetes mellitus, stroke [doubled]-vascular disease, age 65-74 years, and sex category [female]) score was 3.3 at baseline. The annual incidence, reported as percentage (95% CI) of all-cause mortality was 2.19% (2.07-2.31) and, for intracranial bleeding, 0.44% (0.39-0.49). Patients receiving concomitant aspirin had annual rates of any major bleeding of 3.07% (2.70-3.44) and thromboembolism of 4.90% (4.43-5.37), and those with renal failure were at higher risk of intracranial bleeding (hazard ratio, 2.25; 95% CI, 1.32-3.82). Annual rates of any major bleeding and any thromboembolism in iTTR less than 70% were 3.81% (3.51-4.11) and 4.41% (4.09-4.73), respectively, and, in high INR variability, were 3.04% (2.85-3.24) and 3.48% (3.27-3.69), respectively. For patients with iTTR 70% or greater, the level of INR variability did not alter event rates.

    CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Well-managed warfarin therapy is associated with a low risk of complications and is still a valid alternative for prophylaxis of AF-associated stroke. Therapy should be closely monitored for patients with renal failure, concomitant aspirin use, and poor INR control.

  • 5.
    Bråndal, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Eriksson, Marie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Statistics.
    Glader, Eva-Lotta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Department of Clinical Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Danderyd hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Effect of early supported discharge after stroke on patient reported outcome based on the Swedish Riksstroke registry2019In: BMC Neurology, ISSN 1471-2377, E-ISSN 1471-2377, Vol. 19, article id 40Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The efficacy of early supported discharge (ESD) has not been tested in current stroke care setting, which provide relatively short hospital stays, access to hyper-acute therapies and early carotid stenosis interventions. This study aimed to compare patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) among patients with stroke that received modern stroke unit care with or without ESD.

    Methods: Observational study of 30,232 patients with first-ever stroke registered in the Riksstroke registry in Sweden, between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2013. Patient characteristics were collected from the Riksstroke and Statistics Sweden databases. The primary outcome was satisfaction with the rehabilitation at 3 months after discharge. Secondary outcome were information about stroke provided, tiredness/fatigue, pain, dysthymia/ depression, general health status and dependence in activities of daily living (mobility, toileting and dressing) at 3 months after the stroke. We used separate multivariable logistic regression models for each PROM variable to analyze associations between PROMs and ESD/no ESD.

    Results: The ESD group comprised 1495 participants: the control group comprised 28,737 participants. Multivariable logistic regression models of PROMs showed that, compared to controls, the ESD group was more satisfied with rehabilitation after discharge (OR: 1.78, 95% CI: 1.17–2.49), experienced less dysthymia/depression (OR: 0.68, 95% 0.55–0.84) and showed more independence in mobility (OR: 1.50, 95% CI: 1.17–1.92), toileting (OR: 1.30, 95%CI: 1.05–1.61), and dressing (OR: 1.23, 95%CI: 1.02–1.48).

    Conclusion: In the setting of modern stroke unit care, ESD appeared to have positive effects on stroke rehabilitation, in the subacute phase.

  • 6.
    Bråndal, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Eriksson, Marie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Statistics.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Lundin-Olsson, Lillemor
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Reliability and validity of the Swedish Fatigue Assessment Scale when self-administrered by persons with mild to moderate stroke2016In: Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, ISSN 1074-9357, E-ISSN 1945-5119, Vol. 23, no 2, p. 90-97Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To examine internal consistency, test-retest reliability, floor/ceiling effects and construct validity of the Fatigue Assessment Scale (FAS), when self-administrated by persons with mild to moderate stroke.

    Method: The FAS was translated into Swedish and tested for psychometric properties when self-administrated by persons with mild to moderate stroke. Participants, consequently selected from the stroke unit admission register received a letter with three questionnaires: the FAS, Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) subscale for vitality and Geriatric Depression Scale, GDS-15. Within two weeks, a second letter with FAS was sent for re-test.

    Result: Seventy-tree persons with mild to moderate stroke participated in the study. Internal consistency was good (Cronbach’s alpha 0.82). The test and retest reliability of individual items showed that five items out of 10 items were good (weighted kappa > 0.60), four were moderate (0.40-0.60), and one was fair (0.22). The relative reliability between total scores was good (ICC 3.1 = 0.73) and the absolute reliability was nine points, meaning that a change of at least nine points in total score implies a real change of fatigue level. Correlation analysis showed that the Swedish FAS correlated with the SF-36 subscale for vitality (rs = - 0.73) and GDS-15 (rs = 0.62), suggesting convergent construct validity. There were no floor or ceiling effects.

    Conclusion: The Swedish translation of the FAS used as a self-administrated questionnaire is reliable and valid for measuring fatigue in persons with mild to moderate stroke.

  • 7.
    Bråndal, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Glader, Eva-Lotta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Lundin-Olsson, Lillemor
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Does a cardiorespiratory interval training program at home improve post-stroke fatigue? Study protocol of a randomized controlled trialManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Bråndal, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Stroke unit at home: A prospective observational implementation study for early supported discharge from the hospital2013In: International Journal of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation, E-ISSN 2329-9096, Vol. 1, no 170Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Randomized controlled trials on early supported discharge (ESD) service in stroke have demonstrated favorable results. However, there are difficulties in transferring research results regarding ESD to the clinic. The aim of this study is to describe the method, content, implementation and outcome of ESD in its natural habit for stroke patients.

    Methods: A prospective observational implementation study of 153 consecutive stroke patients with mild to moderate severity with ESD and rehabilitation by a specially trained interdisciplinary team in the patient’s home, directly after discharge from the stroke unit. The interdisciplinary team in the ESD team is similar to the work at the stroke unit. Number of patients/year, clinical and functional health status, patient satisfaction, accidental falls/other injuries and resources were evaluated.

    Results: The number of patients/year in the ESD service has gradually increased from 2005 to 2009.The stroke patients subjected to Umea ESD service in January 2008 until May 2009 had a mean of 8.6 days of in-hospital care. The ESD service included 11 visits and 18 h per patient during 23 days (mean values). Compared with time of enrollment, patients exhibited reduced functional dependency (ADL- stairs 3 (1 - 5) vs. 1 (0–3), median, Q1–Q3, p <0.001, two-sided Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test) and increased mobility (Rivermead Mobility Index, (RMI) 11 (9–13) vs. 13 (12–15), p <0.001) at the time of discharge from the ESD service. Patient satisfaction regarding ESD was high. The long-term risk of accidental falls and other injuries appeared not to be increased.

    Conclusions: It is possible to locally develop and implement ESD care for stroke patients based on evidencebased principles. Our locally adapted ESD care, a stroke unit in the patients’ home, appears to be an appropriate alternative to conventional rehabilitation for patients with mild to moderate stroke.

  • 9. Ekbom, Tord
    et al.
    Linjer, Erland
    Hedner, Thomas
    Lanke, Jan
    De Faire, Ulf
    Wester, Per-Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Dahlöf, Björn
    Scherstén, Bengt
    Cardiovascular events in elderly patients with isolated systolic hypertension. A subgroup analysis of treatment strategies in STOP-hypertension-2.2004In: Blood Pressure, ISSN 0803-7051, E-ISSN 1651-1999, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 137-143Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: To perform a subgroup analysis on those patients in STOP-Hypertension-2 who had isolated systolic hypertension.

    DESIGN AND METHODS: The STOP-Hypertension-2 study evaluated cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in elderly hypertensives comparing treatment with conventional drugs (diuretics, beta-blockers) with that of newer ones [angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, calcium antagonists]. In all, 6614 elderly patients with hypertension (mean age 76.0 years, range 70-84 years at baseline) were included in STOP-Hypertension-2. In the present subgroup analysis of STOP-Hypertension-2, isolated systolic hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure at least 160 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure below 95 mmHg, in accordance with the Syst-Eur and Syst-China study criteria. In total, 2280 patients in STOP-Hypertension-2 met these criteria. In the study, patients were randomized to one of three treatment groups: "conventional" antihypertensive therapy with beta-blockers or diuretics (atenolol 50 mg, metoprolol 100 mg, pindolol 5 mg, or fixed-ratio hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg plus amiloride 2.5 mg daily); ACE inhibitors (enalapril 10 mg or lisinopril 10 mg daily); or calcium antagonists (felodipine 2.5 mg or isradipine 2.5 mg daily). Analysis was by intention to treat.

    RESULTS: The blood pressure lowering effect in patients with systolic hypertension was similar with all three therapeutic regimens: 35/13 mmHg in the conventional group (n=717), 34/12 mmHg in the ACE inhibitor group (n = 724), and 35/13 mmHg in the calcium antagonist group (n=708). Prevention of cardiovascular mortality, the primary endpoint of the study, did not differ between the three treatment groups. All stroke events, i.e. fatal and non-fatal stroke together, were significantly reduced by 25% in the newer-drugs group compared with the conventional group (95% CI 0.58-0.97; p=0.027). This difference was attributable to reduction of non-fatal stroke while fatal stroke events did not differ between groups. New cases of atrial fibrillation were significantly increased by 43% (95% CI 1.02-1.99; p=0.037) on "newer" drugs compared with "conventional" therapy, mainly attributable to the calcium antagonists. There were no significant differences between the three treatment groups with respect to the risks of myocardial infarction, sudden death or congestive heart failure.

    CONCLUSIONS: The analysis demonstrated that "newer" therapy (ACE inhibitors/calcium antagonists) was significantly better (25%) than "conventional" (diuretics/beta-blockers) in preventing all stroke in elderly patients with isolated systolic hypertension.

  • 10.
    Eriksson, Marie
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Medicin.
    Asplund, Kjell
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Medicin.
    Glader, Eva-Lotta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Medicin.
    Norrving, Bo
    Stegmayr, Birgitta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Medicin.
    Terent, Andreas
    Hulter Åsberg, Kerstin
    Wester, Per-Olov
    Self-reported depression and use of antidepressants after stroke: a national survey.2004In: Stroke, ISSN 1524-4628, Vol. 35, no 4, p. 936-941Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Garoff, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Ahlqvist, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Edin, Linda-Tereza
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Jensen, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience.
    Levring Jäghagen, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Petäjäniemi, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Johansson, Elias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Bilateral vessel-outlining carotid artery calcifications in panoramic radiographs: an independent risk marker for vascular events2019In: BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, ISSN 1471-2261, E-ISSN 1471-2261, Vol. 19, no 1, article id 225Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: In odontology, panoramic radiographs (PRs) are regularly performed. PRs depict the teeth and jaws as well as carotid artery calcifications (CACs). Patients with CACs on PRs have an increased risk of vascular events compared to healthy controls without CACs, but this association is often caused by more vascular events and risk factors at baseline. However, the risk of vascular events has only been analyzed based on the presence of CACs, and not their shape. Thus, this study determined if the shape of CACs in PRs affects the risk of future vascular events.

    METHODS: The study cohort included 117 consecutive patients with CACs in PRs and 121 age-matched controls without CACs. CAC shape in PRs was dichotomized into bilateral vessel-outlining CACs and other CAC shapes. Participants were followed prospectively for an endpoint of vascular events including myocardial infarction, stroke, and vascular death.

    RESULTS: Patients with bilateral vessel-outlining CACs had more previous vascular events than those with other CAC shapes and the healthy controls (p < 0.001, χ2). The mean follow-up duration was 9.5 years. The endpoint was reached in 83 people. Patients with bilateral vessel-outlining CACs had a higher annual risk of vascular events (7.0%) than those with other CAC shapes (4.4%) and the controls (2.6%) (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, bilateral vessel-outlining CACs (hazard ratio: 2.2, 95% confidence interval: 1.1-4.5) were independent risk markers for the endpoint.

    CONCLUSIONS: Findings of bilateral vessel-outlining CACs in PRs are independent risk markers for future vascular events.

  • 12.
    Garoff, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Ahlqvist, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Levring Jäghagen, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Johansson, Elias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Department of Clinical Sciences, Karolinska Insititutet, Danderyds hospital, Stockholm.
    Carotid calcification in panoramic radiographs: radiographic appearance and the degree of carotid stenosis2016In: Dento-Maxillo-Facial Radiology, ISSN 0250-832X, E-ISSN 1476-542X, Vol. 45, no 6, article id 20160147Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: Approximately 7% of patients examined with panoramic radiographs (PRs) for odontological reasons, and with incidental findings of carotid artery calcification (CAC), have significant (≥50%) carotid stenosis (SCS). The aim of this study was to determine if the radiographic appearance of CACs in PRs could be categorized such that we could improve the positive-predictive value (PPV) for SCS detection.

    Methods: This cross-sectional study included 278 patients with CACs identified by PRs, 127 with SCS and 151 without SCS. CACs were categorized based on the following appearances: (1) single, (2) scattered or (3) vessel-outlining. Correlates were derived for each category according to positivity or not for SCS in the corresponding neck sides. For a representative adult population (in dentistry) presenting with CACs in PRs, PPVs for SCS prediction were then calculated for three subgroups based on different combinations of appearances (2) and/or (3).

    Results: Vessel-outlining CACs corresponded to 65% of neck sides with SCS vs 47% without SCS (p < 0.001). Single CACs corresponded to 15% of neck sides with SCS vs 27% without SCS (p = 0.006). Scattered CACs corresponded to 20% of neck sides with SCS vs 26% without SCS (p  = 0.127). In the representative population, the PPVs for SCS detection were comparable (7.2–7.8%) for all three subgroups and when the presence of a CAC is the sole criterion (7.4%).

    Conclusions: Stratifying the radiographic appearance of CACs in PRs does not improve the PPV for SCS detection. Whether different radiographic appearances are associated with future risk of stroke, or other cardiovascular events, remains unknown.

  • 13.
    Garoff, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Johansson, Elias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Ahlqvist, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Arnerlöv, Conny
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Levring Jäghagen, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Calcium quantity in carotid plaques: detection in panoramic radiographs and association with degree of stenosis2015In: Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology and oral radiology, ISSN 2212-4403, E-ISSN 2212-4411, Vol. 120, no 2, p. 269-274Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: To determine calcium volume in extirpated carotid plaques, analyze correlations between calcium volume and degree of stenosis, and analyze whether calcium volume influences the possibility of detecting stenosis in panoramic radiographs.

    STUDY DESIGN: Ninety-seven consecutive patients with ultrasonography-verified carotid stenosis were examined with panoramic radiography before surgery. Extirpated carotid plaques (n = 103) were analyzed for calcium volume by cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). Panoramic radiographs were analyzed for carotid calcifications.

    RESULTS: The median calcium volume was 45 mm(3) (first quartile subtracted from the third quartile [IQR], 14-98 mm(3)). We observed no correlation between calcium volume and degree of stenosis. Seventy-eight stenoses were situated within the region included in the panoramic radiographs, and their volumes ranged from 0 to 509 mm(3). Of these, 99% revealed carotid calcifications on panoramic radiographs.

    CONCLUSIONS: We found no association between calcium volume and degree of carotid stenosis. Calcium volume did not influence the possibility of detecting carotid calcifications in panoramic radiographs.

  • 14.
    Garoff, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Johansson, Elias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Ahlqvist, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Levring Jäghagen, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Arnerlöv, Conny
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Detection of calcifications in panoramic radiographs in patients with carotid stenoses ≥50%2014In: Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, oral radiology, and endodontics, ISSN 1079-2104, E-ISSN 1528-395X, Vol. 117, no 3, p. 385-391Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: Carotid stenoses ≥50% are associated with increased risk for stroke that can be reduced by prophylactic carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Calcifications in arteries can be detected in panoramic radiographs (PRs). In a cross-sectional study, we analyzed (1) extirpated plaques for calcification, (2) how often PRs disclosed calcified plaques, (3) how often patients with stenoses ≥50% presented calcifications in PRs, and (4) the additional value of frontal radiographs (FRs).

    STUDY DESIGN: Patients (n = 100) with carotid stenosis ≥50% were examined with PRs and FRs before CEA. Extirpated carotid plaques were radiographically examined (n = 101).

    RESULTS: It was found that 100 of 101 (99%) extirpated plaques were calcified, of which 75 of 100 (75%) were detected in PRs; 84 of 100 (84%) patients presented carotid calcifications in the PRs, in 9.5% contralateral to the stenosis ≥50%.

    CONCLUSIONS: Carotid calcifications are seen in PRs in 84% of patients with carotid stenosis ≥50%, independent of gender. FRs do not contribute significantly to this identification.

  • 15.
    Gu, Thomas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Johansson, Elias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Sonotrombolys kan förstärka effekten av intravenös trombolys2015In: Läkartidningen, ISSN 0023-7205, E-ISSN 1652-7518, Vol. 112, article id C9LFArticle, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Intravenous thrombolysis has been a break-through for treatment of acute ischemic stroke. However, total recanalization is only achieved in 18%. Sonothrombolysis aims at enhancing the recanalization effect by adding continuous transcranial ultrasound. Sonothrombolysis may facilitate the recanalization rate without increased risk of intracerebral hemorrhage. This further results in decreased risk of disability compared with only intravenous thrombolysis. Intravenously applied micro-bubbles is an additive treatment to sonothrombolysis which might further increase the recanalization rate but perhaps at the expense of increased risk of intracerebral hemorrhage. In a case-series at Umeå Stroke Center, we report the results of the first 20 ischemic stroke patients treated with sonothrombolysis in Sweden. Our initial results look promising with recanalization rates similar to earlier published data. No intracerebral hemorrhage occurred among our sonothrombolysed patients.

  • 16.
    Gu, Weigang
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Neurology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Brännström, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Rosqvist, Roland
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Cell division in the cerebral cortex of adult rats after photothrombotic ring stroke.2009In: Stem Cell Research, ISSN 1876-7753, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 68-77Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Neurogenesis has been shown to occur in the cerebral cortex in adult rats after ischemic stroke. The origin of the newborn neurons is largely unknown. This study aimed to explore cell division in the poststroke penumbral cortex. Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to photothrombotic ring stroke. After repeated delivery of the DNA duplication marker BrdU, the animals were sacrificed at various times poststroke. BrdU was detected by immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence labeling, as was the M-phase marker Phos H3 and the spindle components alpha-tubulin/gamma-tubulin. DNA damage was examined by TUNEL staining. Cell type was ascertained by double immunolabeling with the neuronal markers Map-2ab/beta-tubulin III and NeuN/Hu or the astrocyte marker GFAP. From 16h poststroke, BrdU-immunolabeled cells appeared in the penumbral cortex. From 24h, Phos H3 was colocalized with BrdU in the nuclei. Mitotic spindles immunolabeled by alpha-tubulin/gamma-tubulin appeared inside the cortical cells containing BrdU-immunopositive nuclei. Unexpectedly, the markers of neuronal differentiation, Map-2ab/beta-tubulin III/NeuN/Hu, were expressed in the Phos H3-immunolabeled cells, and NeuN was detected in some cells containing spindles. This study suggests that in response to a sublethal ischemic insult, endogenous cells with neuronal immunolabeling may duplicate their nuclear DNA and commit cell mitosis to generate daughter neurons in the penumbral cortex in adult rats.

  • 17.
    Gu, Weigang
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Neurology.
    Gu, Chao
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Jiang, Wei
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Neurotransmitter synthesis in poststroke cortical neurogenesis in adult rats.2010In: Stem cell research, ISSN 1876-7753, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 148-154Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Neurogenesis occurs in the cerebral cortex of adult rats after focal cerebral ischemia. Whether or not the newborn neurons could synthesize neurotransmitters is unknown. To elucidate such a possibility, a photothrombotic ring stroke model with spontaneous reperfusion was induced in adult male Wistar rats. The DNA duplication marker BrdU was repeatedly injected, and the rats were sacrificed at various times after stroke. To detect BrdU nuclear incorporation and various neurotransmitters, brain sections were processed for single/double immunocytochemistry and single/double/triple immunofluorescence. Stereological cell counting was performed to assess the final cell populations. At 48 h, 5 days, 7 days, 30 days, 60 days and 90 days after stroke, numerous cells were BrdU-immunolabeled in the penumbral cortex. Some of these were doubly immunopositive to the cholinergic neuron-specific marker ChAT or GABAergic neuron-specific marker GAD. As analyzed by 3-D confocal microscopy, the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and GABA were colocalized with BrdU in the same cortical cells. In addition, GABA was colocalized with the neuron-specific marker Neu N in the BrdU triple-immunolabeled cortical cells. This study suggests that the newborn neurons are capable of synthesizing the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and GABA in the penumbral cortex, which is one of the fundamental requisites for these neurons to function in the poststroke recovery.

  • 18.
    Gustafsson, Nils
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Ahlqvist, Jan B.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Näslund, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Medicine. Department of Clinical Sciences, Karolinska Institutet Danderyds Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden..
    Buhlin, Kare
    Gustafsson, Anders
    Levring Jäghagen, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Calcified carotid artery atheromas in panoramic radiographs are associated with a first myocardial infarction: a case-control study2018In: Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology and oral radiology, ISSN 2212-4403, E-ISSN 2212-4411, Vol. 125, no 2, p. 199-205Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective. The aim of this case-control study was to investigate whether patients with a first myocardial infarction (MI) had a higher prevalence of calcified carotid artery atheromas (CCAAs) on panoramic radiographs (PRs) than age-, gender-, and residential area-matched controls without MI. Study Design. Six hundred ninety-six cases with a first MI and 696 controls were included in this substudy of the Swedish multicentre PAROKRANK study. All participants underwent panoramic radiography, and the PRs were evaluated for CCAAs. Results. The prevalence of CCAAs detected by PR was 33.8% (235 of 696) in cases and 27.6% (192 of 696) in controls (odds ratio [OR] 1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.44; P = .012). Among males, 32.7% of cases (184 of 562) and 26.5% of controls (149 of 562) displayed CCAAs on PRs (OR 1.24; 95% CI 1.03-1.48; P = .022). Among both genders, bilateral CCAAs were significantly more common among cases than among controls (P = .002). Conclusions. Cases with recent MIs had a significantly higher prevalence of CCAAs on PRs compared with controls without MIs. This difference between groups was more pronounced for bilateral CCAAs. These findings supported the hypothesis that CCAA detection could serve as a risk indicator for future MIs.

  • 19.
    Hellström, Thomas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation. University Hospital of Northern Sweden, Umeå, Sweden.
    Lindahl, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation. University Hospital of Northern Sweden, Umeå, Sweden.
    Bäcklund, Tomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation. University Hospital of Northern Sweden, Umeå, Sweden.
    Karlsson, Marcus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation. University Hospital of Northern Sweden, Umeå, Sweden.
    Hohnloser, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation. University Hospital of Northern Sweden, Umeå, Sweden.
    Bråndal, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. University Hospital of Northern Sweden, Umeå, Sweden.
    Hu, Xiaolei
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation. University Hospital of Northern Sweden, Umeå, Sweden; Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. University Hospital of Northern Sweden, Umeå, Sweden.
    An intelligent rollator for mobility impaired persons, especially stroke patients2016In: Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology, ISSN 0309-1902, E-ISSN 1464-522X, Vol. 40, no 5, p. 270-279Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An intelligent rollator (IRO) was developed that aims at obstacle detection and guidance to avoid collisions and accidental falls. The IRO is a retrofit four-wheeled rollator with an embedded computer, two solenoid brakes, rotation sensors on the wheels and IR-distance sensors. The value reported by each distance sensor was compared in the computer to a nominal distance. Deviations indicated a present obstacle and caused activation of one of the brakes in order to influence the direction of motion to avoid the obstacle. The IRO was tested by seven healthy subjects with simulated restricted and blurred sight and five stroke subjects on a standardised indoor track with obstacles. All tested subjects walked faster with intelligence deactivated. Three out of five stroke patients experienced more detected obstacles with intelligence activated. This suggests enhanced safety during walking with IRO. Further studies are required to explore the full value of the IRO.

  • 20.
    Hendrikx, Tijn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Mårten, Rosenqvist
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Hörnsten, Rolf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Clinical Physiology.
    Sandström, Herbert
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Screening for atrial fibrillation in patients with left atrial enlargementIn: Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 21.
    Hendrikx, Tijn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Rosenqvist, Mårten
    Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyds Sjukhus, Karolinska Institutet, SE-182 88 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Sandström, Herbert
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Hörnsten, Rolf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Clinical Physiology.
    Intermittent short ECG recording is more effective than 24-hour Holter ECG in detection of arrhythmias2014In: BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, ISSN 1471-2261, E-ISSN 1471-2261, Vol. 14, p. 41-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Many patients report symptoms of palpitations or dizziness/presyncope. These patients are often referred for 24-hour Holter ECG, although the sensitivity for detecting relevant arrhythmias is comparatively low. Intermittent short ECG recording over a longer time period might be a convenient and more sensitive alternative. The objective of this study is to compare the efficacy of 24-hour Holter ECG with intermittent short ECG recording over four weeks to detect relevant arrhythmias in patients with palpitations or dizziness/presyncope.

    Methods:

    Design: prospective, observational, cross-sectional study. Setting: Clinical Physiology, University Hospital. Patients: 108 consecutive patients referred for ambiguous palpitations or dizziness/presyncope.

    Interventions: All individuals underwent a 24-hour Holter ECG and additionally registered 30-second handheld ECG (Zenicor EKG ((R)) thumb) recordings at home, twice daily and when having cardiac symptoms, during 28 days.

    Main outcome measures: Significant arrhythmias: atrial fibrillation (AF), paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), atrioventricular (AV) block II-III, sinus arrest (SA), wide complex tachycardia (WCT).

    Results: 95 patients, 42 men and 53 women with a mean age of 54.1 years, completed registrations. Analysis of Holter registrations showed atrial fibrillation (AF) in two patients and atrioventricular (AV) block II in one patient (= 3.2% relevant arrhythmias [95% CI 1.1-8.9]). Intermittent handheld ECG detected nine patients with AF, three with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) and one with AV-block-II (= 13.7% relevant arrhythmias [95% CI 8.2-22.0]). There was a significant difference between the two methods in favour of intermittent ECG with regard to the ability to detect relevant arrhythmias (P = 0.0094). With Holter ECG, no symptoms were registered during any of the detected arrhythmias. With intermittent ECG, symptoms were registered during half of the arrhythmia episodes.

    Conclusions: Intermittent short ECG recording during four weeks is more effective in detecting AF and PSVT in patients with ambiguous symptoms arousing suspicions of arrhythmia than 24-hour Holter ECG.

  • 22.
    Hendrikx, Tijn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Sundqvist, Martin
    Hörnsten, Rolf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Clinical Physiology.
    Sandström, Herbert
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Sahlin, Carin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine.
    Rohani, Morteza
    Al-Khalili, Faris
    Blomberg, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Rosenqvist, Mårten
    Franklin, Karl A
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Atrial fibrillation in patients with sleep apneaManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 23.
    Hendrikx, Tijn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Sundqvist, Martin
    Sandström, Herbert
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Sahlin, Carin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine.
    Rohani, Morteza
    Al-Khalili, Faris
    Hörnsten, Rolf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Clinical Physiology.
    Blomberg, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Rosenqvist, Mårten
    Franklin, Karl A
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Atrial fibrillation among patients under investigation for suspected obstructive sleep apnea2017In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 2, article id e0171575Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    STUDY OBJECTIVES: Obstructive sleep apnea is common among patients with atrial fibrillation, but the prevalence and risk factors for atrial fibrillation among patients who are being investigated on suspicion of sleep apnea are not well known. The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of atrial fibrillation among patients investigated for suspected obstructive sleep apnea and to identify risk factors for atrial fibrillation among them.

    METHODS: The prevalence of atrial fibrillation was investigated among 201 patients referred for suspected obstructive sleep apnea. Patients without known atrial fibrillation were investigated with a standard 12-lead ECG at hospital and short intermittent handheld ECG recordings at home, during 14 days.

    RESULTS: Atrial fibrillation occurred in 13 of 201 subjects (6.5%), and in 12 of 61 men aged 60 years and older (20%). The prevalence of atrial fibrillation increased with sleep apnea severity (p = 0.038). All patients with atrial fibrillation were men and all had sleep apnea. Age 60 or older, the occurrence of central sleep apnea and diabetes mellitus were independent risk factors for atrial fibrillation after adjustments for body mass index, gender, sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease.

    CONCLUSIONS: Atrial fibrillation is common among subjects referred for sleep apnea investigation and the prevalence of atrial fibrillation increases with sleep apnea severity. Independent risk factors for atrial fibrillation among patients investigated for suspected obstructive sleep apnea include the occurrence of coexisting central sleep apnea, age 60 years or older and diabetes mellitus.

  • 24. Hilger, Thomas
    et al.
    Blunk, James A
    Hoehn, Mathias
    Mies, Günter
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Characterization of a novel chronic photothrombotic ring stroke model in rats by magnetic resonance imaging, biochemical imaging, and histology.2004In: J Cereb Blood Flow Metab, ISSN 0271-678X, Vol. 24, no 7, p. 789-97Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 25.
    Holmgren, Eva
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Gosman-Hedström, Gunilla
    3Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
    Lindström, Britta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    What is the benefit of a high intensive exercise program?: A randomized controlled trial2010In: Advances in Physiotherapy, ISSN 1403-8196, E-ISSN 1651-1948, Vol. 12, no 3, p. 115-124Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the study was to evaluate a high intensive exercise program in stroke subjects with risk of falls regarding balance, activities of daily life, falls efficacy, number of falls and lifestyle activities. The intervention program contained high intensity functional exercises (HIFE) implemented to real-life situations together with education on falls and security aspects. This was a single-center, single-blinded, randomized controlled trial. Consecutive >55-year-old patients with risk of falls were enrolled and randomized 3–6 months after first or recurrent stroke to the intervention group (IG, n=15) or to the control group (CG, n=19) who received group discussions about hidden dysfunctions after stroke. Outcomes were Berg Balance Scale (BBS) primarily, Barthel Index (BI), Falls Efficacy Scale – International (FES-I) and number of falls secondarily and Frenchay Activities Index last 3 months (FAI-3) tertially. Assessments were done at baseline, post-intervention, 3- and 6-month follow-up by two physiotherapists and one nurse blinded to group allocation. Generalized Estimating Equations with Repeated-measure statistics were used to analyze the data. There were no significant differences between the IG and the CG regarding balance (BBS). BI at 6 months and FES-I post-intervention and 3 months follow-up showed significant improvement in the IG compared with the CG (p<0.05). Number of falls and FAI-3 were without significant change. This study suggests that our program consisting of HIFE implemented in real-life situations together with educational discussions may improve performance of everyday life activities and improve falls efficacy in stroke subjects with risk of falls.

  • 26.
    Holmgren, Eva
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Gosman-Hedström, Gunilla
    Göteborgs Universitet, 3Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy.
    Lindström, Britta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    What is the benefit of a high intensive exercise program on health-related quality of life and depression after stroke?: A randomized controlled trial2010In: Advances in Physiotherapy, ISSN 1403-8196, E-ISSN 1651-1948, Vol. 12, no 3, p. 125-133Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of a high-intensive exercise program containing high-intensive functional exercises implemented to real-life situations together with group discussions on falls and security aspects in stroke subjects with risk of falls. This was a pre-specified secondary outcome for this study. For evaluation, Short Form-36 (SF-36) health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and the Geriatric Depression Scale-15 (GDS-15) were used. This was a single-center, single-blinded, randomized, controlled trial. Consecutive ≥55 years old stroke patients with risk of falls at 3–6 months after first or recurrent stroke were randomized to the intervention group (IG, n=15) or to the control group (CG, n=19) who received group discussion with focus on hidden dysfunctions but no physical fitness training. The 5-week high-intensive exercise program was related to an improvement in the CG in the SF-36 Mental Component Scale and the Mental Health subscale at 3 months follow-up compared with baseline values while no improvement was seen in the IG at this time. For the SF-36 Physical Component Scale, there was an improvement in the whole study group at 3 and 6 months follow-up compared with baseline values without any significant changes between the IG and CG. The GDS-15 was unchanged throughout the follow-up period for both groups. Based on these data, it is concluded that high-intensive functional exercises implemented in real-life situations should also include education on hidden dysfunctions after stroke instead of solely focus on falls and safety aspects to have a favorable impact on HRQoL.

  • 27.
    Holmgren, Eva
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Nordin, Ellinor
    Lindström, Britta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    The impact of an high intensive exercise program on gait after stroke: a randomized controlled trialManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Stroke often results in asymmetric gait with disturbed balance, which may increase the risk of accidental falls.

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a high intensive exercise program after stroke on gait. 34 post-stroke individuals with risk of falls were included in the five week randomized controlled trial. The participants were assessed, included and randomized to the intervention group (IG) or control group (CG) at 3 to 6 months after stroke onset. The IG received a high intensive strength and balance exercise program along with a weekly educational group discussion on fall risk and security aspects, whereas the CG received weekly group discussions on hidden dysfunctions after stroke. Assessments were made before, post-intervention and at 3-months follow-up. Statistically significant (p<0.05) improvements were seen in the IG vs. the CG at post intervention compared with baseline in double support time for the non-paretic leg (DSTnp), variability (measured as coefficient of variation, CV) in Step Time for the paretic leg (STCVp) and the non-paretic leg (STCVnp), and in variability in Cycle Time for the paretic (CTCVp) and non-paretic leg (CTCVnp); at 3-months follow-up compared with baseline in DSTnp, STCVp, CTCVp and CTCVnp, and DSTCVp. At 3-months follow-up, the decrease in the STCVnp and the variability in Step Length of the non-paretic leg (SLCVnp) were more pronounced in the CG than in the IG.

    The findings suggest that high intensive exercise programs have a positive effect on gait, and can be useful in diminishing gait asymmetry as a fall-risk factor in people after stroke.

  • 28.
    Hu, XiaoLei
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Brännström, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Gu, Weigang
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    A photothrombotic ring stroke model in rats with or without late spontaneous reperfusion in the region at risk1999In: Brain Research, ISSN 0006-8993, E-ISSN 1872-6240, Vol. 849, no 1-2, p. 175-186Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study aimed at developing a dual setup of the photothrombotic ring stroke model with or without late spontaneous reperfusion in the region at risk and to explore the morphological consequences. The exposed crania of adult male Wistar rats were subjected to a ring-shaped laser-irradiation beam (o.d. 5.0 mm, 0.35 mm thick) for 2 min simultaneously with intravenous erythrosin B (17 mg/kg) infusion. Transcardial carbon-black perfusion revealed that a laser intensity of 0.90 W/cm(2) resulted in late, that is, starting at 72 h, spontaneous reperfusion, whereas the lowest laser intensity that produced lack of reperfusion at 7 days post-irradiation was 1.84 W/cm(2). Laser-Doppler flowmetry showed prompt cortical cerebral blood flow (cCBF) reduction both in the ring lesion and region at risk (12% and 25% of control values) after high-intensity irradiation; these reduced flow values were more rapid and pronounced than in the low-intensity irradiation setup as previously shown. The high- compared with low-intensity irradiation setup produced more frequent occurrence of thrombi in the ring-lesion region and a larger ischemic cortical lesion with a more rapid pace of ischemic cellular changes in the ring-lesion region and the region at risk. The region at risk transformed into pannecrosis in the high-intensity, but recovered morphologically in the low-intensity irradiation setup. This dual photothrombotic setup with or without spontaneous reperfusion enables the study of events related to ischemic cell survival or death in an anatomically predefined region at risk.

  • 29.
    Hu, XiaoLei
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Johansson, Inga-Maj
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology.
    Brännström, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Olsson, Tommy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Long-lasting neuronal apoptotic cell death in regions with severe ischemia after photothrombotic ring stroke in rats2002In: Acta Neuropathologica, ISSN 0001-6322, E-ISSN 1432-0533, Vol. 104, no 5, p. 462-70Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Apoptotic and necrotic cell death may act in concert in focal cerebral ischemia. This study explored the temporal and spatial pattern of apoptosis and necrosis in a novel photothrombotic ring stroke model with or without spontaneous reperfusion. Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to a ring-shaped laser irradiation beam simultaneously with intravenous erythrosin B infusion. The presence and attributes of apoptosis and necrosis in the anatomically well-defined cortical region at risk and ring-lesion region were verified under light microscopy with TUNEL, Hoechst 33342, and hematoxylin and eosin staining. Cells exhibiting apoptotic morphology with chromatin condensation and apoptotic bodies and necrotic ghost appearance were observed. The occurrence of apoptosis and necrosis in the ischemic regions was confirmed by electron microscopy and gel electrophoresis, in which DNA isolated from the lesion area revealed both a ladder and a smear. Double staining with TUNEL and the cell markers NeuN, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and ED-1 revealed that the majority of apoptotic cells were of neuronal origin. Cells exhibiting pyknosis/eosinophilia, apoptosis, or ghost appearance were quantified by stereological means. In subregions with severe ischemia, the peak appearance of apoptotic cells started earlier, i.e., at 24 h, than the peak of necrotic cells, and the high concentration of the apoptotic cells remained as long as that of necrotic cells, i.e., until 72 h post-ischemia. The ratio of apoptotic to necrotic cells was approximately 1:2. Therefore, apoptosis may be an important contributor to neuronal cell death in brain regions with severely reduced blood flow after thrombo-embolic stroke.

  • 30.
    Hu, Xiao-Lei
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Olsson, Tommy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Johansson, Inga-Maj
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Brännström, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology. Umeå Stroke Centre, Umeå University Hospita.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Dynamic changes of the anti- and pro-apoptotic proteins Bcl-w, Bcl-2, and Bax with Smac/Diablo mitochondrial release after photothrombotic ring stroke in rats2004In: European Journal of Neuroscience, ISSN 0953-816X, E-ISSN 1460-9568, Vol. 20, no 5, p. 1177-1188Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The anti‐apoptotic proteins Bcl‐w and Bcl‐2 and the pro‐apoptotic protein Bax may mediate cell death or survival via regulation of the mitochondria including second mitochondria‐derived activator of caspase (Smac)/direct inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP)‐binding protein with low pI (DIABLO) release. This study aimed to explore alterations in Bcl‐w, Bcl‐2, and Bax and the relationship between these proteins and Smac/DIABLO by means of in situ hybridization, immunohistochemical (IHC) staining, and Western blots after low‐ and high‐intensity photothrombotic ring stroke. At 4 h after low‐intensity irradiation, we found widespread bcl‐w overexpression on both the mRNA and protein levels in the bilateral cortex except the ring lesion region and in subcortical regions. A prolonged elevation of Bcl‐2 with relatively unchanged Bax in the mitochondrial fraction was demonstrated from 4 to 72 h. These upregulated anti‐apoptotic proteins combined with little Smac/DIABLO release might be associated with increased cell survival and thereby remarkable morphological recovery after low‐intensity irradiation. After high‐intensity irradiation, we observed decreased bcl‐w and bcl‐2 mRNA with increased Bcl‐2 protein in the cytosolic fraction, whereas the Bax protein remained in scattered ischaemic cells in the ring lesion and the region at risk that corresponded with release of Smac/DIABLO from mitochondria to the cytosol at 1–24 h. These changes might be related to the massive cell death observed after high‐intensity irradiation. Taken together, the balance and the location of anti‐apoptotic proteins vs. pro‐apoptotic proteins could be associated with the translocation of Smac/DIABLO from the mitochondria to the cytosol and therefore closely related to cell death or survival after focal cerebral ischaemia.

  • 31.
    Hu, Xiaolei
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Brännström, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Watson, Brant D.
    Cerebrovascular Disease Research Center, Departments of Neurology and Biomedical Engineering, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33101, USA.
    Gu, WeiGang
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Progressive and reproducible focal cortical ischemia with or without late spontaneous reperfusion generated by a ring-shaped, laser-driven photothrombotic lesion in rats2001In: Brain Research Protocols, ISSN 1385-299X, E-ISSN 1872-809X, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 76-85Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Clinical stroke is mostly of thromboembolic origin, in which the magnitude of brain damage resulting from arterial occlusions depends on the degree and duration of the concomitant ischemia. To facilitate more controllable and reproducible study of stroke-related pathophysiological mechanisms, a photothrombotic ring stroke model was initially developed in adult rats. The ring interior zone comprises an anatomically well confined cortical region-at-risk which is gradually encroached by progressive hypoperfusion, thus mimicking the situation (albeit in inverse fashion) of an ischemic penumbra or stroke-in-evolution. Modification of this model using a thinner ring irradiation beam resulted in late spontaneous reperfusion in the cortical region-at-risk and a remarkable morphological tissue recovery in this ostensibly critically injured region. On the other hand, doubling the thin irradiating beam intensity facilitates a complementary situation in which lack of reperfusion in the region-at-risk after stroke induction leads to tissue pannecrosis. The dual photothrombotic ring stroke model, effectuated either with or without reperfusion and thereby tissue recovery or pannecrosis, may be well suited for the study of events related to postischemic survival or cell death in the penumbra region. To popularize the photothrombotic ring stroke model, we present a detailed protocol of how this model is induced in either version as well as protocols for transcardial carbon black perfusion and laser-Doppler flowmetry experiments.

  • 32.
    Hägglund, Patricia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Fält, Anna
    Hägg, Mary
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Department of Clinical Sciences, Karolinska Institutet Danderyds Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Levring Jäghagen, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Swallowing dysfunction as risk factor for undernutrition in older people admitted to Swedish short-term care: a cross-sectional study2019In: Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, ISSN 1594-0667, E-ISSN 1720-8319, Vol. 31, no 1, p. 85-94Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Swallowing dysfunction and risk of undernutrition increase the risk of pneumonia, morbidity, and mortality. Short-term care is an unexplored care context, where many older people stay yearly.

    AIM: This cross-sectional study aimed to describe and analyze the relationship between swallowing dysfunction and risk of undernutrition among older people in short-term care, including potential gender-related differences.

    METHODS: In total, 391 people (209 women), aged ≥ 65 years (median age 84 years) and admitted to short-term care in five Swedish counties participated. They went through a timed water swallow test to assess swallowing dysfunction, including abnormal swallowing capacity and signs of aspiration (i.e., cough and voice change). Risk for undernutrition was assessed using the Minimal Eating Observation and Nutrition Form-version II.

    RESULTS: Swallowing dysfunction was observed in 248 of 385 (63%) participants, including abnormal swallowing capacity in 213 of 385 (55%) and aspiration signs in 127 of 377 (34%). Abnormal swallowing capacity was more frequent among women (p = 0.030), whereas men with normal swallowing capacity exhibited signs of aspiration more frequently (cough p = 0.038, voice change p = 0.004). Risk of undernutrition was found in 91 of 390 (23%) participants, more frequently among women (p = 0.007). A logistic regression model revealed an increased risk of undernutrition among older people with abnormal swallowing capacity (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.04-2.92, p = 0.034).

    CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of swallowing dysfunction and risk of undernutrition highlight the need for a systematic screening program and feasible treatment to improve swallowing function for adequate and safe food intake among older people in short-term care.

    CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov on July 4, 2016, under NCT02825927.

  • 33.
    Hägglund, Patricia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy.
    Hägg, Mary
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Levring Jäghagen, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Effects of oral neuromuscular training on swallowing dysfunction among older people in intermediate care - a cluster randomized, controlled trialManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 34.
    Hägglund, Patricia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy.
    Susanne, Koistinen
    Olai, Lena
    Ståhlnacke, Katri
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Department of Clinical Science, Karolinska Institutet, Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Levring Jäghagen, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Older people with swallowing dysfunction and poor oral health are at greater risk of early death2019In: Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, ISSN 0301-5661, E-ISSN 1600-0528Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: We investigated the associations between swallowing dysfunction, poor oral health and mortality among older people in intermediate care in Sweden.

    Methods: This prospective cohort study investigated 391 older people in 36 intermediate care units (clusters). Swallowing function was assessed with the timed water swallow test (TWST), and oral health with the revised oral assessment guide (ROAG) at baseline. Data were collected on age, sex, education level, multimorbidity, cognitive impairment, care dependency and body mass index (BMI). Time to mortality was recorded during the following year. The mixed effects Cox regression model with cluster as a random factor was used to estimate hazards ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

    Results: The median age of the participants was 84 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 11), and 53.3% were females. Mortality within one year was 25.1%. In the adjusted model, swallowing dysfunction and poor oral health were both independently associated with mortality (adjusted HR [aHR]: 1.67, 95% CI 1.02‐2.75; P = .041 and aHR: 1.98, 95% CI 1.07‐3.65; P = .029, respectively). Participants with combined swallowing dysfunction and poor oral health showed the highest mortality (35.0%) and 2.6 (95% CI 1.15‐5.89; P = .022) times higher mortality risk than those with normal swallowing function and good oral health (13.0%).

    Conclusions: Swallowing dysfunction and poor oral health were identified as independent risk factors for mortality in older people in intermediate care. Although further studies are required to verify these findings, they suggest that systematic assessment of swallowing function and oral health status should be performed for care considerations.

  • 35. Hållmarker, Ulf
    et al.
    Lindbäck, Johan
    Michaëlsson, Karl
    Ärnlöv, Johan
    Åsberg, Signild
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Medicine. Department Clinical Science, Karolinska Institute, Danderyds Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hellberg, Dan
    Lagerqvist, Bo
    James, Stefan
    Survival and incidence of cardiovascular diseases in participants in a long-distance ski race (Vasaloppet, Sweden) compared with the background population2018In: European Heart Journal - Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes, ISSN 2058-5225, E-ISSN 2058-1742, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 91-97Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We studied the relationship between taking part in a long-distance ski race and incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) to address the hypothesis that lifestyle lowers the incidence. A cohort of 399 630 subjects in Sweden, half were skiers in the world's largest ski race, and half were non-skiers. Non-skiers were frequency matched for sex, age, and year of race. Individuals with severe diseases were excluded. The endpoints were death, myocardial infarction, or stroke. The subjects were followed up for a maximum of 21.8 years and median of 9.8 years. We identified 9399 death, myocardial infarction, or stroke events among non-skiers and 4784 among the Vasaloppet skiers. The adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) comparing skiers and non-skiers were 0.52 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.49-0.54] for all-cause mortality, 0.56 (95% CI 0.52-0.60) for myocardial infarction and 0.63 (95% CI 0.58-0.67) for stroke and for all three outcomes 0.56 (95% CI 0.54-0.58). The results were consistent across subgroups: age, sex, family status, education, and race year. For skiers, a doubling of race time was associated with a higher age-adjusted risk of 19%, and male skiers had a doubled risk than female skiers, with a HR 2.06 (95% CI 1.89-2.41). The outcome analyses revealed no differences in risk of atrial fibrillation between skiers and non-skiers. This large cohort study provides additional support for the hypothesis that individuals with high level of physical activity representing a healthy lifestyle, as evident by their participation in a long-distance ski race, have a lower risk of CVD or death.

  • 36. Hållmarker, Ulf
    et al.
    Åsberg, Signild
    Michaëlsson, Karl
    Ärnlöv, Johan
    Hellberg, Dan
    Lindbäck, Johan
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    James, Stefan
    Risk of Recurrent Stroke and Death After First Stroke in Long-Distance Ski Race Participants2015In: Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease, ISSN 2047-9980, E-ISSN 2047-9980, Vol. 4, no 10, article id e002469Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Physical activity is of benefit for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, but it appears to increase the risk for atrial fibrillation. We aimed to study a cohort of patients following a first stroke in individuals with previous high physical activity, compare them to the general population with respect to recurrent stroke and death, and relate these to atrial fibrillation. Methods and Results: From the participants of the Vasaloppet, the world's largest ski-race, and matched individuals from the general population (n=708 604), we identified 5964 patients hospitalized with a first-time stroke between 1994 and 2010. Individuals with severe diseases were excluded. One half percent of skiers and 1% of nonskiers were hospitalized due to stroke. The incidence rate was 8.3 per 100 person-years among skiers and 11.1 among nonskiers. The hazard ratio (HR) for recurrent stroke or death between the 2 groups was 0.76 (95% CI 0.67 to 0.86). The result was consistent in subgroups. The HR for death was 0.66 (95% CI 0.56 to 0.78) and for recurrent stroke 0.82 (95% CI 0.70 to 0.96). After adjustment for smoking and socioeconomic factors, the HR for death was consistent at 0.70 (95% CI 0.56 to 0.87) while the HR for recurrent stroke was not statistically significant. Outcomes for skiers with atrial fibrillation tended to show a lower risk than for nonskiers. Conclusions: This large cohort study supports the hypothesis that patients with a stroke and with prior regular physical activity have a lower risk of death, while their risk for recurrent stroke is similar to that of nonskiers. The skiers had a higher incidence of atrial fibrillation, but still no increased risk of recurring stroke.

  • 37.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ahlqvist, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology, School of Dentistry.
    Arnerlöv, Conny
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Garoff, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology, School of Dentistry.
    Johansson, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Levring Jäghagen, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Carotid ultrasound accurately detects arterial calcification quantified by cone beam computed tomography2014In: European Heart Journal, ISSN 0195-668X, E-ISSN 1522-9645, Vol. 35, no Supplement 1, Meeting abstract P3519, p. 636-636Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 38.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ultrasound assessment of carotid plaque echogenicity response to statin therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis2015In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, ISSN 1422-0067, E-ISSN 1422-0067, Vol. 16, no 5, p. 10734-10747Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate in a systematic review and meta-analysis model the effect of statin therapy on carotid plaque echogenicity assessed by ultrasound.

    METHODS: We have systematically searched electronic databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Center Register) up to April, 2015, for studies evaluating the effect of statins on plaque echogenicity. Two researchers independently determined the eligibility of studies evaluating the effect of statin therapy on carotid plaque echogenicity that used ultrasound and grey scale median (GSM) or integrated back scatter (IBS).

    RESULTS: Nine out of 580 identified studies including 566 patients' carotid artery data were meta-analyzed for a mean follow up of 7.2 months. A consistent increase in the echogenicity of carotid artery plaques, after statin therapy, was reported. Pooled weighted mean difference % (WMD) on plaque echogenicity after statin therapy was 29% (95% CI 22%-36%), p < 0.001, I2 = 92.1%. In a meta-regression analysis using % mean changes of LDL, HDL and hsCRP as moderators, it was shown that the effects of statins on plaque echogenicity were related to changes in hsCRP, but not to LDL and HDL changes from the baseline. The effect of statins on the plaque was progressive; it showed significance after the first month of treatment, and the echogenicity continued to increase in the following six and 12 months.

    CONCLUSIONS: Statin therapy is associated with a favorable increase of carotid plaque echogenicity. This effect seems to be dependent on the period of treatment and hsCRP change from the baseline, independent of changes in LDL and HDL.

  • 39.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ultrasound assessment of carotid plaque echogenicity response to statin therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis2015In: European Heart Journal, ISSN 0195-668X, E-ISSN 1522-9645, Vol. 36, no Suppl 1, p. 993-993Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 40.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Johansson, Elias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Grönlund, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Common carotid intima-media features determine distal disease phenotype and vulnerability in asymptomatic patients2015In: International Journal of Cardiology, ISSN 0167-5273, E-ISSN 1874-1754, Vol. 196, p. 22-28Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: There is a growing awareness of the importance of carotid plaque features evaluation in stroke prediction. Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and recently its echogenicity were used for stroke prediction, although their clinical relevance was not well determined. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between common carotid artery (CCA) ultrasound markers of atherosclerosis and distal, bifurcation and internal carotid artery (ICA), plaque features. Methods: We analyzed 137 carotid arteries in 87 asymptomatic patients with known carotid disease (mean age 69 +/- 6 year, 34.5% females). Intima media thickness (IMT) and its gray scale median (IM-GSM) were measured at the CCA. Plaque textural features including gray scale median (GSM), juxtaluminal black area (JBA-mm(2)) without a visible cap, and plaque coarseness, at bifurcation and ICA were also determined. CCA measurements were correlated with those of the distal plaques. Results: An increased IMT in CCA correlated with plaque irregularities in the bifurcation and ICA (r = 0.53, p < 0.001), while IM-GSM was closely related to plaque echogenicity (GSM) (r = 0.76, p < 0.001), and other textural plaque features. Both, IMT and IM-GSM correlated weakly with stenosis severity (r = 0.27, p = 0.001 and r = -0.18, p = 0.026) respectively. Conclusion: In asymptomatic patients, measurements of CCA reflect distal, bifurcation and ICA disease, with IMT reflecting plaque irregularities and IM-GSM as markers of textural plaque abnormalities. Integrating measurements of both IMT and IM-GSM in a model could be used as a better marker of disease vulnerability over and above each measure individually. 

  • 41.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Johansson, Elias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Grönlund, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Radiation Physics.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Vulnerable plaques in the contralateral carotid arteries in symptomatic patients: a detailed ultrasound analysis2014In: Atherosclerosis, ISSN 0021-9150, E-ISSN 1879-1484, Vol. 235, no 2, p. 526-531Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND AND AIM: Carotid plaques may represent a generalized atherosclerotic syndrome or a localized disease. The aim of this study was to assess the morphological and textural features of carotid plaques located contralateral to the symptomatic side and compare them with the symptomatic side and with plaques from asymptomatic patients. METHODS: We studied 66 arteries in 39 patients (mean age 70 ± 7 year, 33% females). Arterial plaques were classified as either symptomatic (n = 30), contralateral to symptomatic (n = 25) or asymptomatic (n = 11). We compared several plaque features between these groups including the mean values of the grey scale median (GSM), entropy, juxtaluminal black area (JBA) without visible echogenic cap, GSM of the JBA and surface irregularity. RESULTS: The plaques contralateral to symptomatic arteries had similar morphological and textural features to those in the symptomatic arteries. In contrast, they had more vulnerable morphological and textural features than those in asymptomatic arteries: less smooth plaques (12% vs. 55%) and instead more often mildly irregular (60% vs 36%) or markedly irregular (28% vs. 9%; p = 0.03), lower GSM (26.2 ± 8 vs. 49.4 ± 14, p < 0.001) and lower GSM of the JBA (5.0 ± 3.6 vs. 11.4 ± 2.1, p = 0.008). The frequency of entropy and plaque calcification was similar in all groups. CONCLUSION: Symptomatic patients with carotid artery disease seem to have similar morphological and textural features of vulnerability in the symptomatic and the contralateral carotid arteries, which are profound compared with asymptomatic carotid arteries. These findings support the concept of generalized carotid atherosclerotic pathology rather than incidental unilateral disease, and also emphasize a need for aggressive measures for plaque stabilization, particularly in symptomatic patients.

  • 42.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Johansson, Elias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Grönlund, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Common carotid intima-media measurements determine distal disease structure and vulnerability in asymptomatic patients2015In: Atherosclerosis, ISSN 0021-9150, E-ISSN 1879-1484, Vol. 241, no 1, p. E164-E164Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 43.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Nicoll, Rachel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Coronary and carotid atherosclerosis: how useful is the imaging?2013In: Atherosclerosis, ISSN 0021-9150, E-ISSN 1879-1484, Vol. 231, no 2, p. 323-333Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The recent advancement of imaging modalities has made possible visualization of atherosclerosis disease in all phases of its development. Markers of subclinical atherosclerosis or even the most advanced plaque features are acquired by invasive (IVUS, OCT) and non-invasive imaging modalities (US, MRI, CTA). Determining plaques prone to rupture (vulnerable plaques) might help to identify patients at risk for myocardial infarction or stroke. The most accepted features of plaque vulnerability include: thin cap fibroatheroma, large lipid core, intimal spotty calcification, positive remodeling and intraplaque neovascularizations. Today, research is focusing on finding imaging techniques that are less invasive, less radiation and can detect most of the vulnerable plaque features. While, carotid atherosclerosis can be visualized using noninvasive imaging, such as US, MRI and CT, imaging plaque feature in coronary arteries needs invasive imaging modalities. However, atherosclerosis is a systemic disease with plaque development simultaneously in different arteries and data acquisition in carotid arteries can add useful information for prediction of coronary events.

  • 44.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Grönlund, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Medicine. Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyds Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Carotid plaque echogenicity predicts cerebrovascular symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis2016In: European Journal of Neurology, ISSN 1351-5101, E-ISSN 1468-1331, Vol. 23, no 7, p. 1241-1247Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background and purpose: Many reports have shown an association between hypoechoic (echolucent) carotid atherosclerotic plaques and unstable features. In this meta-analysis our aim was to determine the role of carotid plaque echogenicity in predicting future cerebrovascular (CV) symptoms.

    Methods: Electronic databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Center Register) up to September 2015 were systematically searched. Studies with ultrasound-based characterization of carotid artery plaque echogenicity and its association with focal neurological symptoms of vascular origin were eligible for analysis. In the meta-analysis, heterogeneity was measured usingI2 statistics and publication bias was evaluated using the Begg–Mazumdar test. In addition several comparisons between subgroups were performed.

    Results: Of 1387 identified reports, eight studies with asymptomatic patients and three studies with symptomatic patients were meta-analyzed. Pooled analysis showed an association between echolucent carotid plaques and future CV events in asymptomatic patients [relative risk 2.72 (95% confidence interval 1.86–3.96)] and recurrent symptoms in symptomatic patients [relative risk 2.97 (95% confidence interval 1.85–4.78)]. The association was preserved for all stenosis degrees in asymptomatic patients, whilst patients with echolucent plaques and severe stenosis were at higher risk of future events. Also, computer-assisted methods for assessment of carotid plaque echogenicity and studies analyzing ultrasound data collected after the year 2000 showed better prediction.

    Conclusions: In asymptomatic and symptomatic patients, analysis of carotid plaque echogenicity could identify those at high risk of CV events.

  • 45.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Carotid plaque echogenicity predicts cerebrovascular symptoms: a systematic review and metaanalysisManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 46.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    et al.
    Umeå University.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Johansson, E
    Grönlund, C
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Carotid IM-GSM is more accurate than conventional IMT for monitoring systemic burden of atherosclerosisManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 47.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Johansson, Elias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Ahlqvist, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Arnerlöv, Conny
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Garoff, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Jäghagen, Eva Levring
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Atherosclerotic Calcification Detection: A Comparative Study of Carotid Ultrasound and Cone Beam CT2015In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, ISSN 1422-0067, E-ISSN 1422-0067, Vol. 16, no 8, p. 19978-19988Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND AND AIM: Arterial calcification is often detected on ultrasound examination but its diagnostic accuracy is not well validated. The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of carotid ultrasound B mode findings in detecting atherosclerotic calcification quantified by cone beam computed tomography (CBCT).

    METHODS: We analyzed 94 carotid arteries, from 88 patients (mean age 70 ± 7 years, 33% females), who underwent pre-endarterectomy ultrasound examination. Plaques with high echogenic nodules and posterior shadowing were considered calcified. After surgery, the excised plaques were examined using CBCT, from which the calcification volume (mm3) was calculated. In cases with multiple calcifications the largest calcification nodule volume was used to represent the plaque. Carotid artery calcification by the two imaging techniques was compared using conventional correlations.

    RESULTS: Carotid ultrasound was highly accurate in detecting the presence of calcification; with a sensitivity of 88.2%. Based on the quartile ranges of calcification volumes measured by CBCT we have divided plaque calcification into four groups: <8; 8-35; 36-70 and >70 mm3. Calcification volumes ≥8 were accurately detectable by ultrasound with a sensitivity of 96%. Of the 21 plaques with <8 mm3 calcification volume; only 13 were detected by ultrasound; resulting in a sensitivity of 62%. There was no difference in the volume of calcification between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.

    CONCLUSION: Carotid ultrasound is highly accurate in detecting the presence of calcified atherosclerotic lesions of volume ≥8 mm3; but less accurate in detecting smaller volume calcified plaques. Further development of ultrasound techniques should allow better detection of early arterial calcification.

  • 48.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Medicine.
    Johansson, Elias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Medicine.
    Grönlund, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Medicine. Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyds Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Carotid IM-GSM is better than IMT for identifying patients with multiple arterial disease2018In: Scandinavian Cardiovascular Journal, ISSN 1401-7431, E-ISSN 1651-2006, Vol. 52, no 2, p. 93-99Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective. Atherosclerosis is a systemic inflammatory disease that can affect more than one arterial bed simultaneously. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between ultrasound markers of atherosclerosis and multiple arterial disease. Design. We have included 87 currently asymptomatic carotid disease patients (mean age 69 +/- 6 year, 34% females) in this study. Intima media thickness (IMT) and intima media-grey scale median (IM-GSM) were measured in the common carotid artery (CCA), and correlated with previous and/or current atherosclerotic vascular disease in the coronary, carotid and lower extremities. Patients were divided into three groups: (1) asymptomatic, (2) previous symptoms in one arterial territory and (3) previous symptoms in multiple arterial territories. Results. Patients with previous disease in the coronary arteries had higher IMT (p=.034) and lower IM-GSM (p<.001), and those with prior stroke had lower IM-GSM (p=.007). Neither IMT nor IM-GSM was different between patients with and without previous lower extremity vascular disease. IM-GSM was significantly different between groups, it decreased significantly with increasing number of arterial territories affected (37.7 +/- 15.4 vs. 29.3 +/- 16.4 vs. 20.7 +/- 12.9) p<.001, for asymptomatic, symptoms in one and in multiple arterial systems, respectively. Conventional IMT was not significantly different between groups p=.49. Conclusion. Carotid IMT was higher and IM-GSM lower in patients with symptomatic nearby arterial territories but not in those with peripheral disease. In contrast to conventional IMT, IM-GSM can differentiate between numbers of arterial territories affected by atherosclerosis, suggesting that it is a better surrogate for monitoring multiple arterial territory disease.

  • 49.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Johansson, Elias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Grönlund, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Carotid im-gsm is related to multisite atherosclerosis disease2015In: Atherosclerosis, ISSN 0021-9150, E-ISSN 1879-1484, Vol. 241, no 1, p. E164-E164Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 50.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Nicoll, Rachel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Coronary and carotid atherosclerosis: similarities and differences2013In: Atherosclerosis, ISSN 0021-9150, E-ISSN 1879-1484, Vol. 227, no 2, p. 193-200Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although a relationship is commonly accepted between coronary and carotid arterial disease, suggesting that atherosclerosis is a systemic condition, the extent of this association and correspondence has not been fully elucidated. This review discusses recent research in this field and highlights areas for future study. The prevalence of severe carotid stenosis increases with prevalence of coronary stenosis, with the latter being found in a significant number of stroke patients, while those with carotid stenosis may be at higher risk of myocardial infarction than stroke. There also appear to be common risk factors (age, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and dyslipidemia), although the effects in both vascular systems may not be identical. Furthermore, while the degree of stenosis in the coronary artery has little ability to predict acute coronary syndrome, which is caused by local thrombosis from a ruptured or eroded plaque, severe carotid stenosis causing hypoperfusion is highly predictive of stroke, although this effect may be time-limited. This apparent difference in event mechanism in the two arteries is interesting as is the difference in the rate of development of collaterals. Overall, the evidence shows that a clear relationship exists between disease in the coronary and carotid arteries, since conventional risk factors and the extent of stenosis and/or previous events emanating from one artery have a strong bearing on the prevalence of events in the other artery. Nevertheless, the exact correspondence between the two arteries is unclear, with sometimes contradictory study results. More research is needed to identify the full extent of risk factors for severe stenosis and cardio- or cerebral vascular events, among which, inflammatory biomarkers such as hs-CRP and prior vascular events are likely to play a key role.

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