Q&A with Dr. Hougaard
Stroke Progress and Innovation Awards 2014
Kristina Dupont Hougaard, MD
Kristina Dupont Hougaard, Niels Hjort, Dora Zeidler, Leif Sørensen, Anne Nørgaard, Troels Martin Hansen, Paul von Weitzel-Mudersbach, Claus Z. Simonsen, Dorte Damgaard, Hanne Gottrup, Kristina Svendsen, Peter Vestergaard Rasmussen, Lars R. Ribe, Irene K. Mikkelsen, Kartheban Nagenthiraja, Tae-Hee Cho, Andrew N. Redington, Hans Erik Bøtker, Leif Østergaard, Kim Mouridsen, and Grethe Andersen.
SPOTLIGHT: Q&A with Dr. Hougaard
What is the key take-away message from your article?
Per-conditioning is a promising and well-tolerated treatment that seems to act immediately. It can be delivered during pre-hospital ambulance transportation and mediates neuroprotection in acute stroke patients.
A key factor, and an area currently receiving much focus, is the time spend at pre-hospital transportation of the stroke patient to the hospital when it comes to early initiation of treatment and improval of the outcome after stroke.
What prompted you and your co-authors to perform this study?
A similar study done at the Department of Cardiology at our hospital, using the same methods had shown effect in patients undergoing PCI for myocardial infarction. The fact that many things are similar regarding revascularisation therapy in heart and brain made us think that we could find a similar effect in acute ischemic stroke patients.
What is innovative about this work? And what are its applications?
The innovative part of this work was to start treatment as soon as possible during pre-hospital ambulance transportation in patients suspected of having a stroke; prior to admission, final diagnosis and reperfusion therapy.
The potential application of per-conditioning is an inexpensive, easy to use, and safe method that can be used in all parts of the world with the use of a simple blood pressure cuff.
Tell us about the biggest challenge you came across while conducting this study.
I think that the biggest challenge was organizing the entire study which involved a multidisciplinary team and a high volume acute stroke setting. We educated paramedics in stroke recognition, taking consent and treatment during transportation. In-hospital staff was continuously educated in randomization procedures, clinical evaluation, and the MRI protocol that was performed prior to tPA, at 24 hours and at 1 month follow-up. Finally this study could never be carried out without a close collaboration with basic scientists taking responsibility for building up the MR database and helping with difficult analysis.
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