Report of the 9th ESO ESMINT ESNR Stroke Winter School

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 9th ESO ESMINT ESNR Stroke Winter School had to be postponed and was held from 19th to 22nd April 2022. Given the nice spring weather, this year’s course was more a Stroke Spring than a Stroke Winter School. The local organizing committee were Dr Tomas Dobrocky, Prof. Urs Fischer, Prof. Jan Gralla, PD Dr Mirjam Heldner, Prof. Simon Jung and Prof. Pasquale Mordasini. Alice Caneva, Michela Mordasini, Joëlle Schilling and Martin Zbinden provided administrative support.

The primary aim of the 9th 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 management of patients with ischaemic stroke.

The Committee had the difficult task of selecting 64 participants from more than 150 registrations. Participants came from 17 different countries: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

This year’s Stroke Winter School started on 19th April 2022 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. Martin Dichgans 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 28 speakers including neurologists, interventional and non-interventional neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons and neuropaediatricians led challenging discussions. The teaching programme included 30 lectures and 8 tutorials with a focus on interdisciplinary treatment of stroke. There were sessions on acute stroke imaging, treatment strategies including endovascular approaches, stroke treatment in difficult circumstances, and requirements for setting up an interdisciplinary stroke center. In the afternoons, tutorials were organized separately for neurologists and neuroradiologists. Neurologists were able to learn about neuroangiography from an interventional neuroradiologist and they were taught about interpreting CT and MRI by two non-interventional neuroradiologists. Neuroradiologists had the opportunity for learning 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 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. Simulators also provided an opportunity to improve manual skills in mechanical thrombectomy.

Another highlight was the stroke simulation course: stroke physicians and neurointerventionalists 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), Balt, Cerenovus, Medtronic, MicroVention, Penumbra, Siemens Healthineers, Stryker, Vascular-Medical and Vesalio.

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 10th ESO ESMINT ESNR Stroke Winter School will be held from 31st January to 3rd February 2023 in Bern.