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20 Aug 18. ETNA study begins

ETNA: Edinburgh Transient and Neurological attack: A Cohort Study.

ETNA study - stroke research nurse team
Stroke Research Nurse Team (L-R) Pat Taylor, Allan MacRaild, Seona Burgess

Patients frequently present with minor neurological symptoms where a diagnosis of transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or minor stroke is difficult to make. For these patients, clinicians are uncertain whether they should:

(a) reassure most patients that their symptoms are benign;

(b) treat most patients with antiplatelet or other vascular prevention; or

(c) stratify stroke risk further using clinical features or brain imaging.

These patients are important. Mis-diagnosis is not infrequent and leads to harm from preventable recurrent stroke and costs to health systems from extra care and legal liabilities. With the ETNA study we will explore the benefits and harms of urgent MRI scanning for this group of patients.

Collaboration is a key aspect of this. The ETNA team and the Edinburgh Stroke Research Group will be working alongside our clinical and research colleagues in both the Edinburgh Imaging Facility and the Emergency Department to deliver the study

All ETNA participants will receive an MRI scan. We hope to establish the feasibility and methods for a larger study of diagnostic utility of MR brain imaging and estimate the effects of MRI on clinician decision making.

The study will be utilising the state-of-art facilities and specialist staff at the Edinburgh Imaging hubs in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE) and Western General Hospital (WGH).

The study will recruit in TIA clinics from August and will expand to the Emergency Dept at RIE in September.