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Pronai W.,Section of Nephrology | Neyer U.,Feldkirch Academic Teaching Hospital | Neyer U.,Vorarlberg Institute for Vascular Investigation and Treatment VIVIT | Barnas U.,3. Med. Abteilung | And 6 more authors.
Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift

ALTERNATE is an international observational study evaluating biweekly darbepoetin alfa (DA) in adult dialysis patients in clinical practice. Austrian ALTERNATE results are presented here (n=505). The follow-up study ALTERNATE follow-up (AFU) followed Austrian ALTERNATE patients for an additional 12 months (n=135). Data were collected 6 months before and 12 months after conversion to biweekly dosing and during 12 months of follow-up. The primary measures were hemoglobin concentration 12 months after conversion and at the end of AFU, respectively. Mean (95% CI) hemoglobin (g/dL) was 11.87 (11.75-11.99) at conversion, 11.71 (11.58-11.83) at month 12, and 11.66 (11.45-11.86) at end of AFU. Geometric mean (95% CI) weekly dose (μg/wk) was 32.97 (30.80-35.30) at conversion, 29.90 (26.71-33.46) 12 months after conversion, and 24.38 (18.40-30.35) at end of AFU. The studies show that hemoglobin and dose could be effectively maintained over an extended period of time after conversion from higher frequency erythropoiesis-stimulating agents to biweekly DA. © 2013 Springer-Verlag. Source

Matosevic B.,Innsbruck Medical University | Knoflach M.,Innsbruck Medical University | Werner P.,Innsbruck Medical University | Pechlaner R.,Feldkirch Academic Teaching Hospital | And 5 more authors.

Objective: Prominent fibrinogen cleavage by recombinant tissue plasminogen activator and formation of fibrinogen degradation products with anticoagulant properties was proposed to amplify the risk of thrombolysis-related bleeding complications, but supportive evidence mainly derived from studies on myocardial infarction. Methods: This study included 547 consecutive stroke patients treated with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, who underwent repeated assessment of fibrinogen levels before and 6 hours after thrombolysis. Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhages were ascertained using National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke criteria. Results: Intracranial hemorrhage or systemic bleeding events manifested in 47 patients (8.6%). A decrease ≥200 mg/dL in the fibrinogen level 6 hours after thrombolysis emerged as a significant and independent predictor for bleeding risk (multivariable odds ratio [95% confidence interval] 4.53 [2.39-8.60], p < 0.001). The population-attributable risk was 39.9% (95% confidence interval, 19.0-60.2) for any major bleeding, causality assumed, and surpassed 50% in patients with less severe strokes (NIH Stroke Scale score ≤16). Quantification of fibrinogen depletion after stroke thrombolysis significantly improved routine risk prediction of bleeding complications as indicated by an increase in the C-statistics from 0.712 to 0.798 (p = 0.015) and a net reclassification index of 0.341 (p < 0.001). A prospective bicenter validation sample (n = 148) corroborates the key findings of this study and suggests positive and negative predictive values of fibrinogen depletion for any major bleeding of 29.2% and 93.5%. Conclusion: This study lends strong support to the concept that prominent fibrinogen turnover after IV stroke thrombolysis - a condition termed "early fibrinogen degradation coagulopathy" - is a relevant cause of major bleeding complications. Rigorous testing of more fibrin-specific thrombolytic agents in the setting of acute stroke is warranted. © 2013 American Academy of Neurology. Source

Hohlrieder M.,Feldkirch Academic Teaching Hospital | Kroesslhuber F.,Austrian Mountain Rescue Service | Voelckel W.,Trauma Center | Lutz M.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 2 more authors.
High Altitude Medicine and Biology

We retrospectively studied incidence, patterns, and severity of injury and hypothermia in 95 victims of crevasse accidents. Fifteen (16%) victims were already dead when the rescue team arrived on the scene. Asphyxia (8 victims) was typically caused by snow burial owing to a collapse of snow bridges covering crevasses and was observed only during winter sports activities on glaciers. In 7 patients, death was caused by lethal trauma. Severe or critical multisystem trauma (ISS ≥16) was found in an additional 16 victims (17%). Severe or critical injuries were predominantly thoracic injuries and injuries of the extremities and/or pelvic region. Severe accidental hypothermia was observed in 9 of the 95 victims (10%). Three of these suffered from hypothermic sudden cardiac arrest during rescue and were immediately evacuated with ongoing CPR; all 3 made a full recovery after extracorporeal rewarming. More than two-thirds of all victims were still trapped in the crevasse when the rescue team arrived. However, the majority of them could be relatively easily extricated using standard mountaineering equipment and improvised rescue techniques. Prolonged and difficult extrication efforts were needed in less than 10% of victims. Summing up, trauma and asphyxia are the most important causes of mortality and acute life-threatening medical problems in this study, but asphyxia will be far less common in mountain regions offering fewer glacier sport activities in the winter months. Hypothermic sudden cardiac arrest could not be prevented during the difficult conditions of crevasse extrication in one-third of all hypothermic victims; however, prognosis was excellent with advanced life support at the scene and immediate helicopter evacuation to extracorporeal rewarming. © Copyright 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Knoll F.,Feldkirch Academic Teaching Hospital | Sturm G.,Innsbruck Medical University | Lamina C.,Innsbruck Medical University | Zitt E.,Feldkirch Academic Teaching Hospital | And 8 more authors.
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Background.The benefit and risk of oral anticoagulation in dialysis patients are debated controversially. Methods.We prospectively followed 235 dialysis patients of the INVOR Study (Study of Incident Dialysis Patients in Vorarlberg) for up to 7 years and analysed the prevalence and incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) and the impact of coumarin therapy on survival. Oral anticoagulation was monitored frequently. Results.A total of 748 person-years were recorded with a median follow-up of 2.84 years. Twelve patients (5.1%) had AF at the start of dialysis. During follow-up, 40 patients (17.0%) developed AF, representing an incidence of 5.85 per 100 person-years. AF was positively associated with mortality (P = 0.004). Forty-six (19.6%) of the 235 patients were treated with coumarins. The majority (93.7%) had a clear indication for oral anticoagulation. In 65% of our patients, AF was the indication for coumarins. Patients without coumarins and without AF represented our reference group. The mortality risk of the coumarin-treated patients with AF or an alternative indication for coumarins was slightly lower compared to the reference group [hazard ratio (HR) 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.80 (0.28-2.29), P = 0.679 and 0.42 (0.16-1.10), P = 0.078, respectively]. No patient under sufficient oral anticoagulation experienced a stroke or a fatal bleeding event. Patients with AF and a contraindication for coumarins had a significantly higher mortality risk compared to the reference group [HR (95% CI): 3.90 (2.16-7.04), P < 0.001]. Conclusions.Our data suggest that coumarins might be less harmful than previously anticipated when clearly indicated and closely monitored. © 2011 The Author. Source

Willeit J.,Innsbruck Medical University | Geley T.,Tyrolean Health Care Fund | Schoch J.,Tyrolean Health Care Fund | Rinner H.,Tyrolean Health Care Fund | And 36 more authors.
The Lancet Neurology

Background: Intravenous thrombolysis for ischaemic stroke remains underused worldwide. We aimed to assess whether our statewide comprehensive stroke management programme would improve thrombolysis use and clinical outcome in patients. Methods: In 2008-09, we designed the Tyrol Stroke Pathway, which provided information campaigns for the public and standardised the entire treatment pathway from stroke onset to outpatient rehabilitation. It was commenced in Tyrol, Austria, as a long-term routine-care programme and aimed to include all patients with stroke in the survey area. We focused on thrombolysis use and outcome in the first full 4 years of implementation (2010-13). Findings: We enrolled 4947 (99%) of 4992 patients with ischaemic stroke who were admitted to hospitals in Tyrol; 675 (14%) of the enrollees were treated with alteplase. Thrombolysis administration in Tyrol increased after programme implementation, from 160 of 1238 patients (12·9%, 95% CI 11·1-14·9) in 2010 to 213 of 1266 patients (16·8%, 14·8-19·0) in 2013 (ptrend 2010-13<0·0001). Differences in use of thrombolysis in the nine counties of Tyrol in 2010 (range, 2·2-22·6%) were reduced by 2013 (12·1-22·5%). Median statewide door-to-needle time decreased from 49 min (IQR 35-60) in 2010 to 44 min (29-60) in 2013; symptomatic post-thrombolysis intracerebral haemorrhages occurred in 28 of 675 patients (4·1%, 95% CI 2·8-5·9) during 2010-13. In four Austrian states without similar stroke programmes, thrombolysis administration remained stable or declined between 2010 and 2013 (mean reduction 14·4%, 95% CI 10·9-17·9). Although the 3-month mortality was not affected by our programme (137 [13%] of 1060 patients in 2010 vs 143 [13%] of 1069 patients in 2013), 3-month functional outcome significantly improved (modified Rankin Scale score 0-1 in 375 [40%] of 944 patients in 2010 vs 493 [53%] of 939 in 2013; score 0-2 in 531 [56%] patients in 2010 and 615 [65%] in 2013; ptrend 2010-13<0·0001). Interpretation: During the period of implementation of our comprehensive stroke management programme, thrombolysis administration increased and clinical outcome significantly improved, although mortality did not change. We hope that these results will guide health authorities and stroke physicians elsewhere when implementing similar programmes for patients with stroke. Funding: Reformpool of the Tyrolean Health Care Fund. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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