Bio

Bio


Dr. Nirali Vora is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological sciences at Stanford University. She is board certified in Adult Neurology and Vascular Neurology after completing her residency and advanced fellowship training at Stanford. She provides comprehensive care for all stroke patients, as well as hospitalized adults with acute or undiagnosed neurological conditions. She specializes in treating vascular disorders including TIA, vasculitis, dissection, venous thrombosis, and undetermined or “cryptogenic” causes of stroke.

Dr. Vora directs the Stanford Global Health Neurology program, through which she started the first stroke unit in Zimbabwe and gained experience in HIV neurology and other neuro-infectious diseases. Additional research interests include stroke prevention, TIA triage, eliminating disparities in health care, and neurology education. She is also the Associate Program Director of the Stanford Adult Neurology Residency.

Clinical Focus


  • Global Health Neurology Education
  • Stroke
  • TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack)
  • Neurology

Academic Appointments


Administrative Appointments


  • Director, Global Health Neurology (2014 - Present)
  • Associate Residency Director, Adult Neurology (2016 - Present)
  • Associate Fellowship Director, Vascular Neurology (2014 - 2016)

Honors & Awards


  • Chief Resident, Stanford Neurology Residency Program (2012-2013)
  • Resident Scholar, American Academy of Neurology (2013)
  • Teaching Award, Neurology Clerkship (2013)
  • Christine Wijman Humanism in Medicine Award, Stanford University (2013)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Member, American Academy of Neurology (2009 - Present)
  • Member, American Heart/Stroke Association (2012 - Present)
  • Executive Education Committee, World Federation of Neurology (2013 - 2014)

Professional Education


  • Board Certification: Vascular Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (2014)
  • Fellowship:Stanford University School of Medicine (2014) CA
  • Board Certification: Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (2013)
  • Residency:Stanford University School of Medicine Registrar (2013) CA
  • Internship:Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (2010) CA
  • Medical Education:Chicago Medical School (2009) IL

Community and International Work


  • Global Health Neurology, Ghana, Kumasi, Ghana

    Topic

    Stroke systems of care, education

    Partnering Organization(s)

    KNUST, KATH

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    Yes

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    Yes

  • Global Health Neurology, Zimbabwe

    Topic

    Stroke care

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Center for Innovation in Global Health

    Populations Served

    Underserved

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    Yes

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    Yes

  • Arbor Free Clinic

    Populations Served

    Underserved

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    No

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    No

Research & Scholarship

Clinical Trials


  • Rivaroxaban Versus Aspirin in Secondary Prevention of Stroke and Prevention of Systemic Embolism in Patients With Recent Embolic Stroke of Undetermined Source (ESUS) Recruiting

    This is a study in patients who recently had a brain attack (stroke) and in whom no clear cause of the stroke could be identified. These strokes are likely due to a blood clot and therefore, can be called embolic stroke of undetermined source. The abbreviation is ESUS. The study will compare 2 blood thinners. Patients will be randomly assigned to either Rivaroxaban 15 mg or Aspirin 100 mg and the study is intended to show, if patients given rivaroxaban have fewer blood clots in the brain (stroke) or in other blood vessels.

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  • Study to Examine the Effects of MultiStem in Ischemic Stroke Recruiting

    A study to examine the safety and potential effectiveness of the adult stem cell investigational product, MultiStem, in adults who have suffered an ischemic stroke. The hypothesis is that MultiStem will be safe and provide benefit following an ischemic stroke.

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  • Platelet-Oriented Inhibition in New TIA and Minor Ischemic Stroke (POINT) Trial Recruiting

    A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a transient episode of neurological dysfunction caused by focal brain, spinal cord, or retinal ischemia, without acute infarction. An ischemic stroke is a cerebral infarction. In POINT, eligibility is limited to brain TIAs and to minor ischemic strokes (with an NIH Stroke Scale [NIHSS] score less than or equal to 3). TIAs are common [25], and are often harbingers of disabling strokes. Approximately 250,000-350,000 TIAs are diagnosed each year in the US. Given median survival of more than 8 years [32], there are approximately 2.4 million TIA survivors. In a national survey, one in fifteen of those over 65 years old reported a history of TIA [33], which is equivalent to a prevalence of 2.3 million in older Americans. Based on the prevalence of undiagnosed transient neurological events, the true incidence of TIA may be twice as high as the rates of diagnosis [33]. Based on our review of the National Inpatient Sample for 1997-2003, there were an average of 200,000 hospital admissions for TIA each year, with annual charges climbing quickly in the period to $2.6 billion in 2003. Composite endpoint of new ischemic vascular events: ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction or ischemic vascular death at 90 days.

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  • Imaging Collaterals in Acute Stroke (iCAS) Recruiting

    Stroke is caused by a sudden blockage of a blood vessel that delivers blood to the brain. Unblocking the blood vessel with a blood clot removal device restores blood flow and if done quickly may prevent the disability that can be caused by a stroke. However, not all stroke patients benefit from having their blood vessel unblocked. The aim of this study is to determine if special brain imaging, called MRI, can be used to identify which stroke patients are most likely to benefit from attempts to unblock their blood vessel with a special blood clot removal device. In particular, we will assess in this trial whether a noncontrast MR imaging sequence, arterial spin labeling (ASL), can demonstrate the presence of collateral blood flow (compared with a gold standard of the angiogram) and whether it is useful to predict who will benefit from treatment.

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  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) Triage and Evaluation of Stroke Risk Recruiting

    Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a transient neurological deficit (speech disturbance, weakness…), caused by temporary occlusion of a brain vessel by a blood clot that leaves no lasting effect. TIA diagnosis can be challenging and an expert stroke evaluation combined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could improve the diagnosis accuracy. The risk of a debilitating stroke can be as high as 5% during the first 72 hrs after TIA. TIA characteristics (duration, type of symptoms, age of the patient), the presence of a significant narrowing of the neck vessels responsible for the patient's symptoms (symptomatic stenosis), and an abnormal MRI are associated with an increased risk of stroke. An emergent evaluation and treatment of TIA patients by a stroke specialist could reduce the risk of stroke to 2%. Stanford has implemented an expedited triage pathway for TIA patients combining a clinical evaluation by a stroke neurologist, an acute MRI of the brain and the vessels and a sampling of biomarkers (Lp-PLA2). The investigators are investigating the yield of this unique approach to improve TIA diagnosis, prognosis and secondary stroke prevention. The objective of this prospective cohort study is to determine which factors will help the physician to confirm the diagnosis of TIA and to define the risk of stroke after a TIA.

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  • Stroke Hyperglycemia Insulin Network Effort (SHINE) Trial Recruiting

    The Stroke Hyperglycemia Insulin Network Effort (SHINE) Trial is a multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial of 1400 patients that will include approximately 60 enrolling sites. The study hypotheses are that treatment of hyperglycemic acute ischemic stroke patients with targeted glucose concentration (80mg/dL - 130 mg/dL) will be safe and result in improved 3 month outcome after stroke. Eligible subjects must be within 12 hours of stroke symptom onset and have diabetes and glucose concentrations of over 110 mg/dL on initial evaluation. The enrolling sites will include the Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials (NETT) sites as well as non NETT sites from all over the United States. The study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of targeted glucose control (treatment group - IV insulin with target 80-130 mg/dl) verses control therapy of sub q insulin plus basal insulin with target glucose less than 180 mg/ dL. The primary outcome will be functional outcome at 3 months as measured by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) Score. The primary safety outcome will be severe hypoglycemia defined as <40 mg/dL. Enrollment will occur over 3.5 - 4 years.

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Publications

All Publications


  • Inter-rater agreement analysis of the Precise Diagnostic Score for suspected transient ischemic attack INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE Cereda, C. W., George, P. M., Inoue, M., Vora, N., Olivot, J., Schwartz, N., Lansberg, M. G., Kemp, S., Mlynash, M., Albers, G. W. 2016; 11 (1): 85-92

    Abstract

    No definitive criteria are available to confirm the diagnosis of transient ischemic attack. Inter-rater agreement between physicians regarding the diagnosis of transient ischemic attack is low, even among vascular neurologists. We developed the Precise Diagnostic Score, a diagnostic score that consists of discrete and well-defined clinical and imaging parameters, and investigated inter-rater agreement in patients with suspected transient ischemic attack.Fellowship-trained vascular neurologists, blinded to final diagnosis, independently reviewed retrospectively identical history, physical examination, routine diagnostic studies, and brain magnetic resonance imaging (diffusion and perfusion images) from consecutive patients with suspected transient ischemic attack. Each patient was rated using the 8-point Precise Diagnostic Score score, composed of a clinical score (0-4 points) and an imaging score (0-4 points). The composite Precise Diagnostic Score determines a Precise Diagnostic Score Likelihood of Brain Ischemia Scale: 0-1 = unlikely, 2 = possible, 3 = probable, 4-8 = very likely.Three raters reviewed data from 114 patients. Using Precise Diagnostic Score, all three raters scored a similar percentage of the clinical events as being "probable" or "very likely" caused by brain ischemia: 57, 55, and 58%. Agreement was high for both total Precise Diagnostic Score (intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.94) and for the Likelihood of Brain Ischemia Scale (agreement coefficient of 0.84).Compared with prior studies, inter-rater agreement for the diagnosis of transient brain ischemia appears substantially improved with the Precise Diagnostic Score scoring system. This score is the first to include specific criteria to assess the clinical relevance of diffusion-weighted imaging and perfusion lesions and supports the added value of magnetic resonance imaging for assessing patients with suspected transient ischemic attack.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1747493015607507

    View details for Web of Science ID 000368703300021

    View details for PubMedID 26763024

  • TIA triage in emergency department using acute MRI (TIA-TEAM): A feasibility and safety study INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE Vora, N., Tung, C. E., Mlynash, M., Garcia, M., Kemp, S., Kleinman, J., Zaharchuk, G., Albers, G., Olivot, J. 2015; 10 (3): 343-347

    Abstract

    Positive diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) on MRI is associated with increased recurrent stroke risk in TIA patients. Acute MRI aids in TIA risk stratification and diagnosis.To evaluate the feasibility and safety of TIA triage directly from the emergency department (ED) with acute MRI and neurological consultation.Consecutive ED TIA patients assessed by a neurologist underwent acute MRI/MRA of head/neck per protocol and were hospitalized if positive DWI, symptomatic vessel stenosis, or per clinical judgment. Stroke neurologist adjudicated the final TIA diagnosis as definite, possible, or not a cerebrovascular event. Stroke recurrence rates were calculated at 7, 90, 365 days and compared with predicted stroke rates derived from historical DWI and ABCD(2) score data.One hundred twenty-nine enrolled patients had a mean age of 69 years (±17) and median ABCD(2) score of 3 (interquartile range [IQR] 3-4). During triage, 112 (87%) patients underwent acute MRI after a median of 16 h (IQR 10-23) from symptom onset. No patients experienced a recurrent event before imaging. Twenty-four (21%) had positive DWI and 8 (7%) had symptomatic vessel stenosis. Of the total cohort, 83 (64%) were discharged and 46 (36%) were hospitalized. By one-year follow-up, one patient in each group had experienced a stroke. Of 92 patients with MRI and index cerebrovascular event, recurrent stroke rates were 1·1% at 7 and 90 days. These were similar to predicted recurrence rates.TIA triage in the ED using a protocol with neurological consultation and acute MRI is feasible and safe. The majority of patients were discharged without hospitalization and rates of recurrent stroke were not higher than predicted.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/ijs.12390

    View details for Web of Science ID 000351395300020

    View details for PubMedID 25367837

  • The global burden of neurologic diseases. Neurology Chin, J. H., Vora, N. 2014; 83 (4): 349-351

    View details for DOI 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000610

    View details for PubMedID 25049303

  • A student-initiated and student-facilitated international health elective for preclinical medical students. Medical education online Vora, N., Chang, M., Pandya, H., Hasham, A., Lazarus, C. 2010; 15

    Abstract

    Global health education is becoming more important for developing well-rounded physicians and may encourage students toward a career in primary care. Many medical schools, however, lack adequate and structured opportunities for students beginning the curriculum.Second-year medical students initiated, designed, and facilitated a pass-fail international health elective, providing a curricular framework for preclinical medical students wishing to gain exposure to the clinical and cultural practices of a developing country.All course participants (N=30) completed a post-travel questionnaire within one week of sharing their experiences. Screening reflection essays for common themes that fulfill university core competencies yielded specific global health learning outcomes, including analysis of health care determinants.Medical students successfully implemented a sustainable global health curriculum for preclinical student peers. Financial constraints, language, and organizational burdens limit student participation. In future, long-term studies should analyze career impact and benefits to the host country.

    View details for DOI 10.3402/meo.v15i0.4896

    View details for PubMedID 20186283