Report of the 10 th ESO ESMINT ESNR Stroke Winter School

The 10 th ESO ESMINT ESNR Stroke Winter School was held from 31 st January to 3 rd February 2023. The local organizing committee were Dr Thomas Meinel, PD Dr Tomas Dobrocky, Prof. Urs Fischer, Prof. Jan Gralla, Prof. Simon Jung, PD Dr Eike Piechowiak and Dr Sara Pilgram-Pastor. Alice Caneva, Mara Megert, Joëlle Schilling, Selini Tsimachidis and Martin Zbinden provided administrative support.

The primary aim of the 10 th ESO ESMINT ESNR Stroke Winter School was to bring together neurologists and neuroradiologists from all over the world to share knowledge on how to enhance interdisciplinary acute management of stroke patients. The fact that this was the 10 th anniversary of the Winter School and the numbers of international applications are continually increasing is a clear statement that this concept is needed now more than ever to help practitioners to deploy state-of-the-art stroke treatment across Europe.

The committee had the difficult task of selecting 64 participants from more than 150 applications. Participants came from 18 different countries: Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Moldova, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.

This year’s Stroke Winter School started on 31 st January 2023 with a welcome from Prof. Fischer, Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital of Basel and research consultant at the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital Bern. Prof. Peter Kelly represented the European Stroke Organization (ESO) and Prof. Jan Gralla the European Society of Minimally Invasive Neurological Therapy (ESMINT) and the Interventional Neuroradiology Section of the European Society of Neuroradiology (ESNR).

The 36 speakers including neurologists, interventional and non-interventional neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons and neuropaediatricians led challenging discussions. The teaching programme included 31 lectures and eight tutorials with a focus on interdisciplinary acute management of stroke. There were sessions on stroke imaging, treatment strategies including endovascular approaches, stroke treatment in difficult circumstances and requirements for setting up an interdisciplinary stroke centre. Because many previously open questions related to thrombectomy can now be considered settled, novel topics such as intracranial haemorrhage, cerebral venous thrombosis, carotid webs, ocular and spinal ischaemic stroke and acute revascularization, as well as optimal management of transient ischaemic attack could be included in the completely updated programme. The programme update also provided opportunities for a younger, more diverse faculty with greater representation of females, fostering a new generation of international stroke experts.

In the afternoons, tutorials were organized separately for neurologists and neuroradiologists. Neurologists were able to learn about neuroangiography from an interventional neuroradiologist and were taught about interpreting CT and MRI by two non-interventional neuroradiologists. Neuroradiologists had the opportunity to learn in small groups about endovascular procedures, management of complications, neurological examination (NIHSS) and advanced imaging in stroke. In addition, both groups of participants were able to discuss interesting and challenging cases with neurologists and interventional neuroradiologists.

A special highlight for the neurointerventionalists were the hands-on teaching sessions with the animal model. Small groups of six participants were given the opportunity to perform diagnostic angiography and endovascular treatment procedures such as thrombectomy with multiple devices. In addition, simulators helped participants to improve their manual skills in mechanical thrombectomy.

Another highlight was the stroke simulation course: stroke physicians and neuroradiologists took part in a real-life setting with simulated clinical stroke cases. Physicians had to take care of the stroke patient and to decide on acute stroke management while being observed by colleagues and professionals, after which they received feedback on their performance. Thanks are due to the following sponsors, who contributed to the realization of the Stroke Winter School:

Angels (Boehringer Ingelheim), Cerenovus (Johnson and Johnson), Daiichi-Sankyo, Medtronic, Microvention, OM Pharma, Penumbra, Phenox, Siemens Healthineers, Stryker, Vascular-Medical and 1a Medical (Balt).

The local organizing committee thanks all the invited speakers for giving their time and effort to the Stroke Winter School and for delivering such high-quality lectures. Their interest in and passion for teaching the upcoming generation of stroke physicians and neurointerventionalists was clearly evident.

We are pleased to announce that the 11 th ESO ESMINT ESNR Stroke Winter School will be held from 30 th January to 2 nd February 2024 in Berne.