Objective To systematically evaluate the orthotic effect of functional electrical stimulation (FES) on the improvement of walking in stroke patients with foot drop. Methods The randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated the orthotic effect of FES on walking in stroke patients with foot drop were electronically searched in the databases such as PubMed, Web of Science, The Cochrane Library (Issue 1, 2013), EMbase, CBM, CNKI, VIP and WanFang Data from January 2000 to January 2013, and the relevant references of included papers were also manually searched. Two reviewers independently screened the trials according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, extracted the data, and assessed the methodology quality. The meta-analyses were performed using RevMan 5.1 software. Results A total of 8 RCTs involving 255 patients were included. The results of meta-analyses on 4 RCTs showed that, compared with the conventional rehabilitation intervention, the functional electrical stimulation could significantly improve the walking speed, with significant difference (MD=0.09, 95%CI 0.00 to 0.18, P=0.04). The other indicators were only descriptively analyzed due to the incomplete data. Conclusions Functional electrical stimulation is effective in improving walking speed, but it is uncertain of other therapeutic indicators. So it should be further proved by conducting more high quality, large sample and multi-center RCTs.
Objective To assess the clinical efficacy of stroke unit (SU) of integrated traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine in the treatment of acute cerebral stroke. Methods Randomized or quasi-randomized controlled trials (RCTs or q-RCTs) were identified from CBM (1978-2009), CNKI (1994-2009), VIP (1989-2009), PubMed (1966-2009), MEDLINE (1978-2009), Scifinder (1998-2009), and The Cochrane Library (Issue 6, 2009), and relevant journals from Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine were also hand searched. Data were extracted and evaluated by two reviewers independently with a designed extraction form. RevMan5.0.23 software was used for data analyses. Results A total of 12 RCTs and q-RCTs involving 2 316 patients were included. Meta-analyses showed that, stroke unit of integrated traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine was superior to general medicine treatment (Plt;0.05) in case fatality rate one month after stroke (RR= 0.34, 95%CI 0.22 to 0.54), discharge NIHSS score (WMD= –1.01, 95%CI –1.52 to –0.51) and discharge OHS score (WMD= –0.48, 95%CI –0.78 to –0.18); and it was superior to SU of western medicine (Plt;0.05) in NIHSS score one week after stroke (WMD= –2.38, 95%CI –4.08 to –0.68), NIHSS score one month after stroke (WMD= –1.52, 95%CI –2.32 to –0.73) NIHSS score three months after stroke (WMD= –1.77, 95%CI –2.59 to –0.95), difference value of NIHSS score of hospital admission and discharge (WMD= –1.94, 95%CI –2.54 to –1.34), OHS score one month after stroke (WMD= –0.56, 95%CI –0.95 to –0.17) and OHS score three months after stroke (WMD= –1.05, 95%CI –1.44 to –0.66). Conclusion The current limited evidence shows that there is a significant difference between stroke unit of integrated traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine and general medicine treatment. Although there is no significant difference compared with SU of western medicine, it is superior in improving the functional impairment of nerve as well as disability of injury. More large-scale RCTs with high quality are required to verify the effect of stroke unit of integrated traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine in the treatment of acute cerebral stroke.
Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in treating stroke patients with motor dysfunction. Methods The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMbase, CBM, CNKI and WanFang Data were searched from inception to January 2012, and the references of the included studies were also retrieved to collect the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on rTMS in treating stroke patients with motor dysfunction. Two reviewers independently screened articles according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, extracted data and evaluated the quality of the included studies. Then meta-analysis was performed using RevMan 5.0.2 software, and evidence quality and recommendation level were assessed using the GRADE system. Results A total of 11 RCTs involving 376 patients were included. The results of meta-analysis (including 3 RCTs, low quality) showed that, compared with the routine rehabilitation treatment, 2 to 4 weeks of rTMS was much beneficial to stroke patients with motor dysfunction, with significant differences (WMD=11.02, 95%CI 2.56 to 19.47). The other 8 studies only adopted descriptive analysis accordingly. Conclusion It is still uncertain of the effectiveness of rTMS in improving motor dysfunction of stroke patients, so rTMS should be applied with caution in clinic.
Objective To systematically review the methodological quality of guidelines concerning pharmacological intervention for complicated hypertension. Methods The databases and relevant guideline websites such as MEDLINE, EMbase, CBM, WangFang Data, National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC), Guidelines International Network (GIN), National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and Clinical Practice Guideline Network (CPGN) were searched to collect the clinical guidelines concerning pharmacological intervention for complicated hypertension. By adopting the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE), the methodological quality of guidelines was assessed. Meanwhile the similarities, differences and features of drug recommendation in guidelines for different areas and diseases were analyzed by means of analogy comparison.Results A total of 21 guidelines concerning pharmacological intervention for complicated hypertension were included. The number of guidelines concerning hypertension complicated with coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, diabetes mellitus (DM) and kidney disease (KD) was 5, 5, 7 and 4, respectively. The publication year ranged from 2000 to 2011. According to the AGREE instrument, 19 and 2 guidelines were graded as Level B and C, respectively. The overall guidelines got low average scores in the domain of “Stakeholder involvement” and “Applicability”, including 9 evidence-based guidelines. There were totally 4 and 3 classes in terms of the level of evidence and recommendation, respectively; moreover, 10 and 6 expression forms were adopted in the level of evidence and recommendation, respectively. For hypertension with angina pectoris, -blocker (BB) and calcium channel blocker (CCB) were recommended unanimously. For hypertension with myocardial infarction, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) and BB were recommended unanimously. For hypertension with heart failure, ACEI, angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB) and BB were recommended unanimously. For hypertension with later stage of post-stroke, 76.47% guidelines recommended diuretic (D) and ACEI. For hypertension with acute stroke, recommendations were mainly based on the guidelines developed by American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA). For hypertension with DM or KD, the guidelines basically recommended that systolic/diastolic pressure should be controlled in the range of less than 130/80 mmHg. For hypertension with DM, ACEI were recommended unanimously, followed by D and CCB. For hypertension with KD, ACEI/ARB was recommended, while 3 of the 5 guidelines recommending CCB were from Asian. Conclusion The overall methodological qualities of complicated hypertension guidelines differs, with high proportion of evidence-based guidelines. The classification criteria of the levels of evidence and recommendation are still suboptimal. For hypertension with CHD, DM, KD and later stage of stroke, results from high quality clinical evidence are consistent, and the recommendations are basically unanimous, with no regional and quality difference. But in some clinical researches beyond reaching a consensus at present, the recommendation discrepancy exists, and there still remains controversy for hypertension with acute stroke.
Objective To Provide statistical references for disease-based payment reform with Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs). Methods Based on 1 969 stroke inpatients from two hospitals in Chongqing city, we used classification and regression trees (CART) of decision tree to establish classification regulations of the case-mix model for stroke inpatients, and multivariate statistical model to evaluate whether the case-mix could provide a satisfactory prediction to costs for stroke inpatients in comparison with the foreign model. Results ① The classification nodes of our model were surgical procedure, nursing care degree, and hospital infection respectively by which 1 969 stroke inpatients were divided into 5 groups. The classification nodes in foreign model were surgical procedure, age≥50 years, and whether patients would refer to other institutions after leaving the hospitals by which 1 969 stroke inpatients were also classified into 5 groups. ② For medical institutions and the third payers, we found that the data from our model could explain 80.46% of the total costs and 16.58% for individual inpatient, which were higher than that of foreign model (76.87% for medical institutions and the third payers, 9.13% for individuals ). Conclusions Compared with foreign model, our model is more suitable for the situation in China. The study is only based on 1 969 stroke inpatients from south west part of China, so the conclusion needs further studies to confirm.
Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) is an important type of antihypertensive drug. Much evidence shows that ACEI not only decreases the blood pressure but also has the protective effect on the cardiac and cerebral vessels. ACEI may prevent the stroke. To provide the best evidence for the clinical practice, we electronically searched RCTs and systematic reviews from MEDLINE and The Cochrane Library to evaluate the mechanisms and the effects of ACEI in stroke treatment and prevention.
Objective To assess the appropriateness of Barthel Index (BI) and Modified Rankin Scales (MRS) used as long-term outcome measures in a stroke data register and to investigate the correlation between cutoff points of the two scales in different stroke patients with and without disability. Methods Nine hundred and twelve patients were registered prospectively. BI and MRS were evaluated at the end of 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after stroke onset. The distribution, ceiling effects and floor effects of the two scales were evaluated. A logistic regression model was established to investigate correlation of cutoff points of BI and MRS. Results There were a total of 2 829 evaluation points of BI and MRS. The percentages of patients reaching the maximum scores of BI at the end of 3, 6 and 12 months (54.8％, 62.2％ and 68.3％, respectively) were higher than those of MRS. There was significant correlation between the two scales (Spearman’s correlation coefficient 0.887, P＜0.05), when MRS scores of ≤1 and ≤2 were taken as cutoff points, the corresponding cutoff points of BI score were ≥90 and ≥85, respectively. Conclusions BI has significant ceiling effects when used as long-term outcome measurement in a stroke data register. There was significant correlation between BI and MRS scores. In future clinical studies, an MRS score ≤2 or BI score ≥85 could be used as cutoff points in predicting stroke patients with and without disability.
A stroke unit means organized inpatient stroke care. The available evidence shows that stroke unit is the most effective treatmeat in stroke care. The definition, classification and the essential components of stroke unit have been explained in this article to help better understanding on it.
Objective To formulate an evidence-based treatment plan for a patient with ischemic stroke accompanied by hypertension and atrial fibrillation. Methods We searched The Cochrane Library (Issue 4, 2006), SUMsearch (January 1980 to December 2006) and PubMed (January 1980 to December 2006) to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses about the efficacy and safety of anticoagulant therapy for ischemic stroke coupled with atrial fibrillation, and blood pressure lowering therapy for ischemic stroke coupled with hypertension. We evaluated the validity, reliability and feasibility of each study to identify the current best evidence. Results Four guidelines, 3 SRs and 6 RCTs were included. The evidence showed that low-intensity anticoagulant therapy was safe and effective for this patient, and that rapid blood pressure lowering therapy was not suitable for acute ischemic stroke. According to the current evidence, as well as the patient’s clinical condition and preference, low-intensity warfarin was given with a target INR (international normalized ratio) of 2.0. During convalescence, he was given oral fosinopril and indapamide. His symptoms were relieved after two weeks of treatment, and follow-up at one month indicated that this plan was suitable for the patient. Conclusions Anticoagulant therapy is still preferred for acute ischemic stroke accompanied by hypertension and atrial fibrillation. The current evidence suggests that warfarin is superior to other anticoagulants. The target INR should be adjusted individually, especially in old patients. The maintenance of a low INR level, if necessary, could maximise utility and minimise the risk of hemorrhage. Aspirin is recommended when anticoagulants cannot be tolerated. Intensive blood pressure lowering therapy is not reasonable for patients with acute ischemic stroke. Antihypertensive drugs like ACEI and low-dose diuretics may be chosen during convalescence.
Objective To investigate the risk factors of stroke associated pneumonia in stroke patients.Methods A case-control study was conducted. 114 patients who were diagnosed stroke associated pneumonia between January 2008 and December 2010 were recruited as a patient group. 205 patients who were diagnosed stroke without pneumoniawere recruited as a control group. General conditions, accompanied disease, vital sign, hematologic marker, severity of stroke, and bulbar paralysis were compared between two groups. Multifactor Logistic regression was used to screen associated factors.Results Age gt; 65 years ( OR=3. 310, 95% CI 2. 016-7. 549) , accompanied with COPD ( OR = 3. 624, 95% CI 1. 574-9. 236) , diabetes ( OR= 3. 781, 95% CI 1. 305-6. 842) , failed water swallowing test ( OR = 3. 625, 95% CI 1. 604- 8. 386) , big volume of stroke ( OR=14. 784, 95% CI 3. 737-38. 588) , NIH stroke scale ( NIHSS) score gt;6 ( OR=2. 913, 95% CI 1. 029-7. 985) , abbreviated mental test ( AMT) score lt; 8 ( OR = 4. 229, 95% CI 2. 215-9. 368) were associated with stroke associated pneumonia. Conclusion The risk factors for stroke associated pneumonia in stroke patients were age gt;65 years, accompanied with COPD, diabetes, failed WST, big volume of stroke, NIHSS score gt;6, and AMT score lt;8.