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J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2012 Sep;3(3):426-8. doi: 10.4103/0976-3147.102653.

A visit to the stroke belt of the United States.

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Department of Neurology, Narayana Medical College and Hospital, Nellore AP, India.


Southeastern part of United States has been called the Stroke Belt due to a much higher incidence of stroke compared to the rest of the country. In this article, I summarize my 2 weeks of observations as a clinical preceptor at the Comprehensive Stroke Center, University of Alabama Hospital, Birmingham, AL. 57 patients were admitted during these 2 weeks, 61% had ischemic strokes, and 23% received intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (IV rt-PA). Endovascular neuro-interventionalists were performing diagnostic catheter angiography in 14% and emergent revascularization procedures in 7% of consecutive patients. Also, the stroke team enrolled 6 patients into National institute of health (NIH) funded clinical trials (3 Argatroban tPA stroke study (ARTSS), 2 Safety study of external counter pulsation as a treatment for acute ischemic stroke (CUFFS), 1 stenting and aggressive medical management for preventing recurrent stroke in intracranial stenosis (SAMMPRIS). In my opinion, these observations provided me with useful knowledge how to develop a cutting edge, proactive stroke treatment system. In particular, availability 24 × 7 and consistent application of a curative, "finding reasons to treat approach" coupled with state-of the-art technologies and skilled operators could make a huge difference.


Cerebrovascular ultrasonography; stroke; thrombolysis

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