Collaterals 2019: encouraging platform of communication also for young stroke researchers

A chance for young stroke researchers to present their findings on an international platform

By Dr.Inna Lutsenko, Faculty of Online and Distance Education, Kyrgyz State Medical Academy, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Dr.Gulmira Djumalieva, Vice Rector for International Relations and Strategic Development at Kyrgyz State Medical Academy, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

The 6th International Symposium on Collaterals to the Brain, Collaterals 2019 is an ESO-endorsed conference led and inspired by Prof. David Liebeskind from UCLA. Collaterals has the core aspect of discussing brain collaterals and targeting them as the possible chain in acute stroke treatment and recovery. The conference is unique as it has incorporated an interactive mode where audience from more than 50 countries could join the sessions in person or remotely via provided internet links. The latest data on collateral circulation, thrombolytic therapy (IVT) and mechanical thrombectomy (EVT) can be presented in Los Angeles, US or back home.

Over the 7 years, a positive trend is seen in Collaterals with an increasing number of young ESO members presenting. Here we highlight some of the research findings discussed by young ESO members in Collaterals 2019.

Let’s start from Eastern Europe. It is encouraging that Dmytro Lebedynets is leading simulation trainings on thrombolysis for doctors from all over Ukraine and other Eastern European countries in the framework of Angels Initiative collaboration. With this approach, he made it possible for hospitals to shorten their door-to-needle time, about which he presented during the conference.

Tedora Sakelarova from Bulgaria showed that in their hospital, there has been significant improvement for both IVT and EVT services in the last couple of years. In 2019 for example, 879 stroke patients received IVT and 251 EVTs were performed.

In addition to data from Eastern European countries, the conference has also heard interesting updates from some well-known studies from Europe.

Manon Kappelhof from Netherlands presented the latest data from the Mr.CLEAN Registry and showed that in routine clinical practice, endovascular treatment for patients with acute ischaemic stroke due to large intracranial vessel occlusion in the anterior circulation is at least as effective and safe as in the setting of a randomised controlled trial.

Olli Pekka Suomalainen from Finland shared their experience from the Helsinki Stroke Registry that in hospitals without access to MRI, the use of the CT-based E-ASPECTS score together with the CT perfusion data was also able to predict the final infarction volume.

As a young researcher myself, I was fortunate to be able to report the results on gender difference based on the RES-Q stroke registry. We found that Kyrgyzstan women with acute stroke were less likely to be admitted timely to an acute stroke unit compared with men. They also tended to have less typical stroke symptoms and had more disability at 3 months following the acute stroke. The results echoed with results presented by Prof. Werner Hacke from Germany where they found very similar trends and showed that this phenomenon was most prominent for women with non-typical stroke symptoms and those who lived alone. I felt that the opportunity to present your own research as well as being able to discuss with other researchers is very stimulating and inspirational!

In conclusion, in addition to being a platform to exchange ideas and country experiences in acute stroke treatment, the Collaterals is also a good opportunity for young stroke researchers to present their findings from the behalf of their scientific teams and Universities!