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HEBRAS – Heart and Brain interaction in Acute Stroke

This prospective observational study is examining whether an enhanced MRI investigation leads to a significant increase of the findings regarding the cause of stroke.

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Project description

The primary aim of the prospective observational study HEBRAS (Heart and Brain interaction in Acute Stroke) is to investigate whether an enhanced diagnostic MRI work-up (including cardiac MRI, angiography of the aortic arch and the brain-supplying arteries) combined with an in-hospital Holter-ECG of up to 5 days duration leads to a significant increase in relevant pathologic findings with respect to stroke aetiology as compared to the findings obtained by a routine diagnostic work-up (including stroke unit monitoring, 24h-Holter-ECG, echocardiography, Doppler-ultrasound of the brain-supplying arteries) in patients with acute ischemic stroke and no atrial fibrillation according to past medical history or baseline ECG. A better understanding of the stroke aetiology may improve secondary stroke prevention and long term outcome. Secondary endpoints look 1) for an association between stroke localization and cardiac dysfunction (as determined by Heart-Rate-Variability), 2) for an association of stroke localization (e.g. insular cortex involvement) to autonomic changes (as indicated by elevated urinary norepinephrine levels and heart rate variability) or cardiac dysfunction (as indicated by troponin T serum levels), respectively, 3) for an association of heart rate variability to poor functional outcome (mRS>2) and mortality at day 90, as well as to the combined endpoint of recurrent ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction or death at day 365.