Why do some patients die and others survive after stroke?


The latest data on the main causes of death after stroke will be presented at ESC Heart & Stroke 2020. The international conference of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Council on Stroke is endorsed by the European Stroke Organisation (ESO).

Prof Wolfram Doehner

“Stroke patients often leave hospital with no long-term care plan and no explanation of what caused their stroke – these are undervalued areas that need urgent attention,” said Professor Wolfram Doehner, chairperson of the ESC Council on Stroke. “Current knowledge on the clinical course of stroke and the reasons patients die is based on research conducted 15 years ago, thereby limiting our ability to provide effective treatments. Contemporary data will be discussed at the meeting.”

ESC Heart & Stroke 2020 brings together a multidisciplinary audience – including physicians, nurses and scientists from cardiology, neurology, radiology, vascular surgery, and neurosurgery – to unveil and discuss state-of-the-art research and clinical practice. Explore the scientific programme.

One such area is intravascular thrombectomy, an emerging treatment for stroke which many eligible patients do not receive. Professor Doehner said: “Fast and effective thrombectomy enables many more stroke victims to return to normal life and avoid major disabilities. During the event we will discuss how to improve availability of this important treatment across Europe .”

Novel cutting-edge research will be presented including:

  • SAGE-AF: is stroke prevention therapy associated with falls in older adults with atrial fibrillation?
  • Links between adherence to oral anticoagulation treatment and outcomes such as stroke, bleeding and cardiovascular death in patients with atrial fibrillation.
  • Characteristics of atherosclerotic carotid plaques that predict stroke and mortality.
  • Influence of stroke history on outcomes after acute coronary syndromes.
  • Machine learning to predict risk of bleeding in anticoagulated atrial fibrillation patients.
  • Impact of diabetes on prognosis after stroke.

Key opinion leaders will debate the latest controversies in stroke diagnosis and management, such as tracking arrhythmias. Atrial fibrillation significantly increases the risk of stroke and can be treated with oral anticoagulation. In addition, stroke patients with as-yet unidentified atrial fibrillation could receive therapy to prevent a second stroke.

Professor Doehner said: “How and when to search for atrial fibrillation are very timely and debated issues. The cut off to diagnose atrial fibrillation is also disputed, in other words, what intensity and duration of irregular heartbeats increase the risk? Also, are consumer devices such as smartwatches a help or a hindrance in this field?”

He concluded: “The interdisciplinary nature of this stroke meeting makes it unique. We will hear perspectives about hot topics in stroke from different angles, providing the optimal setting to put forward answers to today’s burning questions.”

Cardiology Magazine