Wanted: Imaging centers to take survey for stroke trials

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STIR wants you. More precisely, the international Stroke Imaging Research group wants your imaging facility to participate in a survey to collect information about technical capabilities. The goal is to facilitate image-guided stroke clinical trials, the group’s co-chair told Cardiovascular Business.

“If we want to be efficient performing image-guided stroke trials, then we need to have an idea of the resources that are available out there,” said Max Wintermark, MD, chief of neuroradiology and medical director of CT and MRI at the University of Virginia Medical School in Charlottesville.  “We know the great centers that can perform stroke trials but we don’t always know which of those centers have the capabilities to perform those image-guided trials.”

STIR was born from the experiences of Wintermark and others involved in stroke imaging research. They recognized the clinical trials faced numerous challenges, including a lack of standardization that may have contributed to negative findings. Since its formation in 2007, STIR participants have issued two roadmaps for acute stroke imaging research.

Given the pace of innovation in neuroimaging and devices, researchers who design and perform image-guided stroke clinical trials risk having findings rendered obsolete by publication. In hopes of shortening the gap, STIR has posted an online survey that will allow imaging sites to outline their specific capabilities. The results will serve as a database resource for investigators, who can submit a query to the STIR steering committee to find suitable imaging facilities and collaborators.

The repository may help speed up patient recruitment, Wintermark said, and ensure that clinical trials are sufficiently powered and include a diverse patient population. In addition, STIR is collecting and centralizing images that can be used for power calculations and to test hypotheses.

“The idea is to streamline this process and facilitate research collaborations among sites,” said Wintermark, who co-chairs the group with Steven J. Warach, MD, PhD, formerly of the National Institute Neurological Disorders and Stroke and now at the University of Texas Southwestern Clinical Research institute in Austin.

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete, according to STIR. The deadline is Sept. 30. One name will be drawn at random to receive a prize, an Apple iPad. The STIR group plans to publish the results.

To take the survey, click here.