Stroke management

Elizabeth Warburton, Josef A. Alawneh, Philip L. Clatworthy, Rhiannon S. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Stroke is the third most common cause of death in most developed countries. It is a worldwide problem; about 4.5 million people die from stroke each year. Stroke can occur at any age, but half of all strokes occur in people aged over 70 years. About 80% of all acute strokes are ischaemic, usually resulting from thrombotic or embolic occlusion of a cerebral artery. The remainder are caused either by intracerebral or subarachnoid haemorrhage.

METHODS AND OUTCOMES: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of specialised care in people with acute stroke? What are the effects of medical treatment in people with acute ischaemic stroke? What are the effects of decompressive hemicraniectomy in acute ischaemic stroke? What are the effects of surgical evacuation for intracerebral haematomas? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to August 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

RESULTS: We found 41 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.

CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: acute reduction in blood pressure, aspirin, evacuation (early surgical evacuation, or conservative treatment), decompressive hemicraniectomy, neuroprotective agents (calcium channel blockers, citicoline, gamma-aminobutyric acid agonists, glycine antagonists, lubeluzole, magnesium, N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists), specialised stroke care, systemic anticoagulation (heparinoids, specific thrombin inhibitors, low molecular weight heparin, oral anticoagulants, unfractionated heparin), and thrombolysis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Clinical Evidence
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


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