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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 715380, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/715380
Clinical Study

Stroke Care in Young Patients

1Stroke Unit, Neurology Department, Azienda Ospedaliera Sant'Anna Hospital, Via Ravona 1, 22020 San Fermo della Battaglia, Como, Italy
2Institute of Experimental Neurology (INSPE) and Stroke Unit, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 20132 Milano, Italy
3Stroke Unit, Neurology Department, Azienda Ospedaliera di Desio e Vimercate, 20871 Vimercate, Italy
4Stroke Unit, Neurology Department, Azienda Ospedaliera Niguarda Cà Granda, 20162 Milan, Italy
5Stroke Unit, Neurology Department, Azienda Ospedaliera A. Manzoni, 23900 Lecco, Italy
6Stroke Unit, Neurology Department, Azienda Ospedaliera Ospedale San Carlo Borromeo, 20153 Milan, Italy
7Stroke Unit, Neurology Department, Azienda Ospedaliera San Gerardo, 20900 Monza, Italy
8Neurology Department, Azienda Ospedaliera di Lodi, 26900 Lodi, Italy
9Neurology Department, Azienda Ospedaliera di Busto Arsizio, 21052 Varese, Italy
10Neurology Department, Ospedale di Circolo e Fondazione Macchi, 21100 Varese, Italy

Received 18 September 2012; Revised 24 December 2012; Accepted 26 December 2012

Academic Editor: Alison E. Baird

Copyright © 2013 L. Tancredi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The aims of this study were (i) to evaluate the clinical features of a consecutive series of young patients with ischemic stroke and (ii) to assess the changes in the clinical management of these patients over the study period. All consecutive cases of young adults aged 16 to 44 years, with ischemic stroke, that were admitted between 2000 and 2005 in 10 Italian hospitals were included. We retrospectively identified 324 patients. One or more vascular risk factors were present in 71.5% of the patients. With respect to the diagnostic process, an increase in the frequency of cerebral noninvasive angiographic studies and a decrease in the use of digital subtraction angiography were observed ( and , resp.). Undetermined causes decreased over 5-year period of study ( ). The diagnosis of cardioembolism increased. Thrombolysis was performed for 7.7% of the patients. PFO closure (8%) was the most frequently employed surgical procedure. In conclusion, the clinical care that is given to young patients with ischemic stroke changed over the study period. In particular, we detected an evolution in the diagnostic process and a reduction in the number of undetermined cases.