Clinical Focus

  • Neurology
  • Vascular Neurology

Academic Appointments

Honors & Awards

  • Boldrey Award in neuroscience research, San Francisco Neurological Society (May 2012)

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: Vascular Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (2012)
  • Medical Education:University of Maryland School of Medicine (2007) MD
  • Board Certification, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Vascular Neurology (2012)
  • Board Certification: Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (2011)
  • Fellowship, Clinical Excellence Research Center, Stanford University, healthcare systems design and delivery
  • Fellowship:Stanford University - Stroke (2012) CA
  • Residency:University of Southern California (2011) CA
  • Internship:Mercy Medical Center - University of Maryland (2008) MD
  • BA, The Johns Hopkins University, biology, economics (2003)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

I am participating in a post-doctoral fellowship in health efficiency and quality outcomes research sponsored by Stanford's own Clinical Excellence in Research Center.

I am also actively involved in evaluating a biomarker for utility in acute ischemic stroke diagnosis. We are currently recruiting patients who present with TIA or stroke like symptoms to participate in this study.

Clinical Trials

  • 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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  • [SOCRATES -Acute Stroke Or Transient IsChaemic Attack TReated With Aspirin or Ticagrelor and Patient OutcomES] Recruiting

    The primary objective of the study is to compare the effect of 90-day treatment with ticagrelor (180 mg [two 90 mg tablets] loading dose on Day 1 followed by 90 mg twice daily maintenance dose for the remainder of the study) vs acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)-aspirin (300 mg [three 100 mg tablets] loading dose on Day 1 followed by 100 mg once daily maintenance dose for the remainder of the study) for the prevention of major vascular events (composite of stroke, myocardial infarction [MI], and death) in patients with acute ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

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  • Computed Tomography Perfusion (CTP) to Predict Response to Recanalization in Ischemic Stroke Project (CRISP) Recruiting

    The overall goal of the CTP to predict Response to recanalization in Ischemic Stroke Project (CRISP) is to develop a practical tool to identify acute stroke patients who are likely to benefit from endovascular therapy. The project has two main parts. During the first part, the investigators propose to develop a fully automated system (RAPID) for processing of CT Perfusion (CTP) images that will generate brain maps of the ischemic core and penumbra. There will be no patient enrollment in part one of this project. During the second part, the investigators aim to demonstrate that physicians in the emergency setting, with the aid of a fully automated CTP analysis program (RAPID), can accurately predict response to recanalization in stroke patients undergoing revascularization. To achieve this aim the investigators will conduct a prospective cohort study of 240 consecutive stroke patients who will undergo a CTP scan prior to endovascular therapy. The study will be conducted at four sites (Stanford University, St Luke's Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Emory University/Grady Hospital). Patients will have an early follow-up MRI scan within 12+/-6 hours to assess reperfusion and a late follow-up MRI scan at day 5 to determine the final infarct.

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  • Diagnostic Utility of MRI in Intracerebral Hemorrhage Recruiting

    The overall aim of this project is to prospectively determine whether MRI can improve the conventional neuroradiological evaluation (CT with or without cerebral angiography) of patients with a spontaneous ICH or IVH. The study design will also allow us to identify the added benefit of specific MR sequences and repeat MRI in the chronic stage, thereby allowing us to prospectively determine their value in a consecutive series of patients. This information should have a major impact on the management of these patients by providing data on the diagnostic yield of routine MRI in patients presenting with a wide variety of causes for ICH or IVH. These data will help guide the diagnostic evaluation and the management of brain hemorrhage patients in the future.

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All Publications

  • Impact of diffusion-weighted imaging alberta stroke program early computed tomography score on the success of endovascular reperfusion therapy. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation Inoue, M., Olivot, J., Labreuche, J., Mlynash, M., Tai, W., Albucher, J., Meseguer, E., Amarenco, P., Mazighi, M. 2014; 45 (7): 1992-1998


    In acute ischemic stroke patients treated by intravenous thrombolysis, a diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography Score (ASPECTS) is an independent factor of functional outcomes. Our aim was to assess the impact of pretreatment DWI-ASPECTS on outcomes after endovascular therapy, with a specific emphasis on recanalization.We analyzed data collected between April 2007 and March 2013 in a prospective clinical registry of acute ischemic stroke patients treated by endovascular approach. Every patient with a documented internal carotid artery or middle cerebral artery occlusion who underwent an acute DWI-MRI before treatment was eligible for this study. The primary outcome was a favorable outcome defined by modified Rankin Scale of 0 to 2 at 90 days.Two hundred ten patients were included and median DWI-ASPECTS was 7 (interquartile range, 4-8). DWI-ASPECTS≥5 was the optimal threshold to predict a favorable outcome (area under the curve=0.69; sensitivity, 90%; specificity, 38%). In a multivariate analysis including confounding variables, the adjusted odds ratio for favorable outcomes associated with a DWI-ASPECTS of ≥5 was 5.06 (95% confidence interval, 1.86-13.77; P=0.002). Nonetheless, the occurrence of a complete recanalization was associated with an increased rate of favorable outcomes in patients with DWI-ASPECTS under 5 (50% versus 3%, P<0.001).DWI-ASPECTS≥5 seems to be the optimal threshold to predict favorable outcomes among patients undergoing endovascular reperfusion within 6 hours. Selected patients with a DWI-ASPECTS of <5 may still benefit when a complete reperfusion is achieved.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.005084

    View details for PubMedID 24923724

  • Secondary prevention of atherothrombotic or cryptogenic stroke. Circulation Tai, W. A., Albers, G. W. 2014; 129 (4): 527-531

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.000658

    View details for PubMedID 24470474

  • What can be achieved by redesigning stroke care for a value-based world? Expert review of pharmacoeconomics & outcomes research Tai, W., Kalanithi, L., Milstein, A. 2014: 1-3


    Stroke results in significant healthcare costs and decreased quality of life. Thoughtful healthcare delivery redesign can help solve this problem through lower-cost, higher-quality care. The dominant fee-for-service reimbursement system may not incentivize delivery systems to invest in new cost-saving delivery innovations. Furthermore, lack of transparency hinder development of new systems of care. However, emerging payment models, including bundled payments and prospective payment, promote adoption of value-based stroke care methods. Both prevention and treatment of stroke offer opportunities to improve value-for-money via adoption of a package of emerging innovations. In order to encourage such adoption, alignment of incentives is crucial.

    View details for DOI 10.1586/14737167.2014.946013

    View details for PubMedID 25095813

  • Better Health, Less Spending: Delivery Innovation for Ischemic Cerebrovascular Disease. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation Kalanithi, L., Tai, W., Conley, J., Platchek, T., Zulman, D., Milstein, A. 2014

    View details for DOI 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.006236

    View details for PubMedID 25123221

  • Multimodal Imaging Transcends Time in Thrombolysis For Pediatric Stroke Journal of Pediatric Neuroradiology Waimei Amy Tai, Nerses Sanossian, Arthur Partikian, Monique Mogensen, Jesse Jones, David S. Liebeskind 2012; 1 (2)
  • Sex Specific Trends in Mortality Amongst Hospitalized Mid-Life Stroke Patients Stroke Amytis Towfighi, Waimei Tai, Daniela Markovic, Bruce Ovbiagele 2011; 42 (10): 2740-5

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