Summer Stroke Symposium in Kyiv: hot topics and fond memories

Author: Yuriy Flomin

More than ever, stroke physicians need to learn. Therefore, on June 3rd, the Trinity Day eve, three renowned stroke experts came to Kyiv, Ukraine, to contribute as Faculty to the Summer Stroke Symposium ‘Stroke Update 2017’ organized by three institutions: Ukrainian Anti-Stroke Association, Stroke Center at Clinic ‘Oberig’ (Kyiv, Ukraine) and Neurological team at Mediclinic City Hospital (Dubai, UAE). As stroke care is a team sport, it came as no surprise that the audience consisted of about 70 Neurologists, Neurosurgeons, Neurological Critical Care specialists, and Neuroradiologists as well as Internists, PTs, and Nurses from Kyiv and 10 other countries across Ukraine. The meeting was officially endorsed by ESO and supported by the ANGELS Initiative. Interestingly, the Ukrainian Anti-Stroke Association for the first time arranged for a live translation of the event using FaceBook group (please see posts from June 3 at

At the beginning of the symposium, three local speakers addressed current state, challenges and opportunities of stroke care in Ukraine. Lev Pristupuk, MD presented the ANGELS initiative and its milestones in Ukraine. Yuriy Flomin, MD, PhD highlighted high burden of stroke in Ukraine as well as lack of reliable data about stroke epidemiology, stroke care system and quality of stroke care in the country. Stanislav Konotopchyk, MD reported on three clinical cases of successful mechanical thrombectomy in acute stroke recently performed at the Center of Endovascular Neuroroentgensurgery (Kyiv, Ukraine).

As former Stroke Neurologist at Cleveland Clinic, Professor and Chairman of Copenhagen Comprehensive Stroke Center, Denmark, and present Chief Neurologist, Mediclinic City Hospital, Dubai Health Care City, Prof. Derk Krieger has huge experience in stroke research and management. Prof. Krieger not only updated the audience on recent advances in the field, but covered the topics of setting up stroke centers focusing on crucial elements and steps relevant to impoverished healthcare systems. Alessandro Terruzzi, MD, Neurologist and Neurosonologist, trained in Milano, Italy, and practicing at Mediclinic City Hospital, elegantly showed main aspects of ultrasound usage in acute stroke, including vascular imaging, neurosonological evaluation and monitoring, and potential therapeutic implications. Ralf Kockro, MD, Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon and Attending Neurosurgeon, Hirslanden Hospital Zürich, shared his experience in open surgical interventions in acute stroke such as hemicraniectomy, intracerebral hematoma removal, and cerebral aneurysm clipping. Dr. Kockro was open to discuss technical details and secrets that help improve outcomes of operations on acute stroke patients.

During the afternoon part of the meeting, Prof. Krieger presented to the participants two clinical stroke cases in Grand Round format. First case illustrated diagnostic and management challenges in a patient with septic endocarditis and spinal epidural abscess who developed an ICH on antithrombotic treatment. The second case showed the advantages of multimodal neuroimaging in selecting patients with wake-up stroke for urgent revascularization procedures. This format of problem-oriented approach seemed new and of significant interest to most Ukrainian colleagues who did their best to come up with suggestions and justify them.

Thus Summer Stroke Symposium ‘Stroke Update 2017’ turned out a success. It provided wealth of new information informing the practice in addition to a tremendous stimulus to look for our way forward, to improve stroke care in our country. In their preliminary feedback, the attendees expressed their deep satisfaction with the state-of-the-science meeting free from commercial bias and sincere hope that the organizers will keep holding such meetings that not only advance the field, but give all a feeling of belonging to international stroke community.

Next morning the Faculty visited the grave of world-famous Ukrainian Neuroscientist Vladimir Betz and, feeling empowered, spent o lot of time discussing opportunities for future collaboration in order to enhance and accelerate stroke treatment in Ukraine. We strongly believe, we will be able to organize new stroke meetings to address the unmet needs of our colleagues who have chosen for the better stroke care.