Clinical Focus

  • Neurology
  • Neurocritical Care
  • Vascular Neurology

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Fellowship Director, Neurocritical Care, Stanford Department of Neurology (2013 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Neurocritical Care (2021)
  • Bachelor of Science, College of William & Mary, Biology (1994)
  • Medical Education: Georgetown University School of Medicine (1999) DC
  • Internship: Medstar Georgetown University Hospital Internal Medicine Residency (2000) DC
  • Residency: UCLA Dept of Neurology (2003) CA
  • Fellowship: Beth Israel Deaconess Vascular Neurology Fellowship (2004) MA
  • Fellowship, Stanford University Medical Center, Neurocritical Care (2006)
  • Board Certification, Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (2004)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Vascular Neurology (2008)
  • Board Certification, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Neurocritical Care (2021)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Dr. Finley joined the Stanford Stroke Center in 2004 from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She cares for acute stroke patients and other neurologically critical ill patients in the intensive care unit. Currently, her research interests include hypothermia after cardiac arrest and comparing health care provider's predications of future neurological function in neurologically critical ill patients to their 6-month outcome.

Clinical Trials

  • Clot Lysis: Evaluating Accelerated Resolution of Intraventricular Hemorrhage Phase III Recruiting

    The overall objective of this Phase III clinical trial is to obtain information from a population of 500 ICH subjects with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), representative of current clinical practice and national demographics of ICH regarding the benefit (or lack thereof) of IVH clot removal on subject function as measured by modified Rankin Scale (mRS). This application requests funding for five years to initiate a Phase III randomized clinical trial (RCT) testing the benefit of clot removal for intraventricular hemorrhage. The investigators propose to compare extraventricular drainage (EVD) use plus recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA; Alteplase; Genentech, Inc., San Francisco, CA) with EVD+ placebo in the management and treatment of subjects with small intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and large intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH defined as ICH < 30 cc and obstruction of the 3rd or 4th ventricles by intraventricular blood clot).

    View full details

  • Computed Tomography Perfusion (CTP) to Predict Response to Recanalization in Ischemic Stroke Project (CRISP) Not 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.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Stephanie M Kemp, BS, 650-723-4481.

    View full details

  • Diagnostic Utility of MRI in Intracerebral Hemorrhage Not 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.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Stephanie M Kemp, BS, 650-723-4481.

    View full details

  • Efficacy and Safety Study of Desmoteplase to Treat Acute Ischemic Stroke (DIAS-4) Not Recruiting

    The purpose of the study is to determine whether desmoteplase is effective and safe in the treatment of patients with acute ischaemic stroke when given within 3 to 9 hours from onset of stroke symptoms.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Maarten Lansberg, (650) 723 - 4448.

    View full details

  • Efficacy and Safety Trial of Transcranial Laser Therapy Within 24 Hours From Stroke Onset (NEST-3) Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this pivotal study is to demonstrate safety and efficacy of transcranial laser therapy (TLT) with the NeuroThera® Laser System in the treatment of subjects diagnosed with acute ischemic stroke. The initiation of the TLT procedure must be feasible for each subject between 4.5 and 24 hours of stroke onset.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Stephanie Kemp, (650) 723 - 4481.

    View full details

  • Insulin Resistance Intervention After Stroke Trial Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to determine if pioglitazone is effective in preventing future strokes or heart attacks among non-diabetic persons who have had a recent ischemic stroke.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Madelleine Garcia, (650) 725 - 2326.

    View full details

  • Progesterone for the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury III Not Recruiting

    The ProTECT study will determine if intravenous (IV) progesterone (started within 4 hours of injury and given for a total of 96 hours), is more effective than placebo for treating victims of moderate to severe acute traumatic brain injury.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Rosen Mann, (650) 721 - 2645.

    View full details

  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) Triage and Evaluation of Stroke Risk Not 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.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Stephanie Kemp, BS, 650-723-4481.

    View full details

2023-24 Courses

All Publications

  • Prognostication of ICU Patients by Providers with and without Neurocritical Care Training. Neurocritical care Finley Caulfield, A., Mlynash, M., Eyngorn, I., Lansberg, M. G., Afjei, A., Venkatasubramanian, C., Buckwalter, M. S., Hirsch, K. G. 2022


    BACKGROUND: Predictions of functional outcome in neurocritical care (NCC) patients impact care decisions. This study compared the predictive values (PVs) of good and poor functional outcome among health care providers with and without NCC training.METHODS: Consecutive patients who were intubated for≥72h with primary neurological illness or neurological complications were prospectively enrolled and followed for 6-month functional outcome. Medical intensive care unit (MICU) attendings, NCC attendings, residents (RES), and nurses (RN) predicted 6-month functional outcome on the modified Rankin scale (mRS). The primary objective was to compare these four groups' PVs of a good (mRS score 0-3) and a poor (mRS score 4-6) outcome prediction.RESULTS: Two hundred eighty-nine patients were enrolled. One hundred seventy-six had mRS scores predicted by a provider from each group and were included in the primary outcome analysis. At 6months, 54 (31%) patients had good outcome and 122 (69%) had poor outcome. Compared with other providers, NCC attendings expected better outcomes (p<0.001). Consequently, the PV of a poor outcome prediction by NCC attendings was higher (96%[95% confidence interval [CI] 89-99%]) than that by MICU attendings (88% [95% CI 80-93%]), RES (82% [95% CI 74-88%]), and RN (85% [95% CI 77-91%]) (p=0.047, 0.002, and 0.012, respectively). When patients who had withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy (n=67) were excluded, NCC attendings remained better at predicting poor outcome (NCC 90% [95% CI 75-97%] vs. MICU 73% [95% CI 59-84%], p=0.064). The PV of a good outcome prediction was similar among groups (MICU 65% [95% CI 52-76%], NCC 63% [95% CI 51-73%], RES 71% [95% CI 55-84%], and RN 64% [95% CI 50-76%]).CONCLUSIONS: Neurointensivists expected better outcomes than other providers and were better at predicting poor functional outcomes. The PV of a good outcome prediction was modest among all providers.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12028-022-01467-6

    View details for PubMedID 35314970

  • The State of Neurocritical Care Fellowship Training and Attitudes toward Accreditation and Certification: A Survey of Neurocritical Care Fellowship Program Directors FRONTIERS IN NEUROLOGY Dhar, R., Rajajee, V., Caulfield, A., Maas, M. B., James, M. L., Kumar, A., Figueroa, S. A., McDonagh, D., Ardelt, A. 2017; 8: 548


    Neurocritical care as a recognized and distinct subspecialty of critical care has grown remarkably since its inception in the 1980s. As of 2016, there were 61 fellowship training programs accredited by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS) in the United States and more than 1,000 UCNS-certified neurointensivists from diverse medical backgrounds. In late 2015, the Program Accreditation, Physician Certification, and Fellowship Training (PACT) Committee of the Neurocritical Care Society (NCS) was convened to promote and support excellence in the training and certification of neurointensivists. One of the first tasks of the committee was to survey neurocritical care fellowship training program directors to ascertain the current state of fellowship training and attitudes regarding transition to Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accreditation of training programs and American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certification of physicians. First, the survey revealed significant heterogeneities in the manner of neurocritical care training and a lack of consistency in requirements for fellow procedural competency. Second, although a majority of the 33 respondents indicated that a move toward ACGME accreditation/ABMS certification would facilitate further growth and mainstreaming of training in neurocritical care, many programs do not currently meet administrative requirements and do not receive the level of institutional support that would be needed for such a transition. In summary, the results revealed that there is an opportunity for future harmonization of training standards and that a transition to ACGME accreditation/ABMS certification is preferred. While the results reflect the opinions of more than half of the survey respondents, they represent only a small sample of neurointensivists.

    View details for PubMedID 29163327

  • Metronidazole-Induced Encephalopathy: Not Always a Reversible Situation NEUROCRITICAL CARE Hobbs, K., Stern-Nezer, S., Buckwalter, M. S., Fischbein, N., Caulfield, A. F. 2015; 22 (3): 429-436


    Metronidazole is a nitroimidazole antimicrobial drug prescribed to treat infections caused by anaerobic bacteria and protozoa. Uncommonly, it causes central nervous system (CNS) toxicity manifesting as metronidazole-induced encephalopathy (MIE).Case report.A 65-year-old woman with hepatitis B cirrhosis (Child-Pugh class C, MELD 21) developed progressive encephalopathy to GCS 4 during a 3-week course of metronidazole for cholecystitis. Initial MRI was consistent with CNS metronidazole toxicity, with symmetrical T2 hyperintensity and generally restricted diffusion in bilateral dentate nuclei, corpus callosum, midbrain, superior cerebellar peduncles, internal capsules, and cerebral white matter. Laboratory values did not demonstrate significant electrolyte shifts, and continuous EEG was without seizure. High-dose thiamine was empirically administered. Lumbar puncture was not performed due to coagulopathy and thrombocytopenia. Despite discontinuation of metronidazole and keeping ammonia levels near normal, the patient did not improve. MRI was repeated 1 week after discontinuation of metronidazole. Although there was decreased DWI hyperintensity in the dentate nuclei, diffuse T2 hyperintensity persisted and even progressed in the brainstem, basal ganglia, and subcortical white matter. Petechial hemorrhages developed in bilateral corticospinal tracts and subcortical white matter. T1 hypointensity appeared in the corpus callosum. She was transitioned to comfort measures only and died 12 days later.MIE is an uncommon adverse effect of treatment with metronidazole that characteristically affects the dentate nuclei but may also involve the brainstem, corpus callosum, subcortical white matter, and basal ganglia. While the clinical symptoms and neuroimaging changes are usually reversible, persistent encephalopathy with poor outcome may occur.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12028-014-0102-9

    View details for PubMedID 25561434

  • Christine Anne Cunegonde Wijman, MD, PhD (1965-2013). Neurocritical care Finley Caulfield, A., Venkatasubramanian, C. 2013; 19 (1): 135-136

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12028-013-9855-9

    View details for PubMedID 23690248

  • Natural History of Perihematomal Edema After Intracerebral Hemorrhage Measured by Serial Magnetic Resonance Imaging STROKE Venkatasubramanian, C., Mlynash, M., Finley-Caulfield, A., Eyngorn, I., Kalimuthu, R., Snider, R. W., Wijman, C. A. 2011; 42 (1): 73-80


    knowledge on the natural history and clinical impact of perihematomal edema (PHE) associated with intracerebral hemorrhage is limited. We aimed to define the time course, predictors, and clinical significance of PHE measured by serial magnetic resonance imaging.patients with primary supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage ≥ 5 cm(3) underwent serial MRIs at prespecified intervals during the first month. Hematoma (H(v)) and PHE (E(v)) volumes were measured on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images. Relative PHE was defined as E(v)/H(v). Neurologic assessments were performed at admission and with each MRI. Barthel Index, modified Rankin scale, and extended Glasgow Outcome scale scores were assigned at 3 months.twenty-seven patients with 88 MRIs were prospectively included. Median H(v) and E(v) on the first MRI were 39 and 46 cm(3), respectively. Median peak absolute E(v) was 88 cm(3). Larger hematomas produced a larger absolute E(v) (r(2)=0.6) and a smaller relative PHE (r(2)=0.7). Edema volume growth was fastest in the first 2 days but continued until 12 ± 3 days. In multivariate analysis, a higher admission hematocrit was associated with a greater delay in peak PHE (P=0.06). Higher admission partial thromboplastin time was associated with higher peak rPHE (P=0.02). Edema volume growth was correlated with a decline in neurologic status at 48 hours (81 vs 43 cm(3), P=0.03) but not with 3-month functional outcome.PHE volume measured by MRI increases most rapidly in the first 2 days after symptom onset and peaks toward the end of the second week. The timing and magnitude of PHE volume are associated with hematologic factors. Its clinical significance deserves further study.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.590646

    View details for PubMedID 21164136

  • A comparison of cooling techniques to treat cardiac arrest patients with hypothermia. Stroke research and treatment Finley Caulfield, A., Rachabattula, S., Eyngorn, I., Hamilton, S. A., Kalimuthu, R., Hsia, A. W., Lansberg, M. G., Venkatasubramanian, C., BAUMANN, J. J., Buckwalter, M. S., Kumar, M. A., Castle, J. S., Wijman, C. A. 2011; 2011: 690506-?


    Introduction. We sought to compare the performance of endovascular cooling to conventional surface cooling after cardiac arrest. Methods. Patients in coma following cardiopulmonary resuscitation were cooled with an endovascular cooling catheter or with ice bags and cold-water-circulating cooling blankets to a target temperature of 32.0-34.0°C for 24 hours. Performance of cooling techniques was compared by (1) number of hourly recordings in target temperature range, (2) time elapsed from the written order to initiate cooling and target temperature, and (3) adverse events during the first week. Results. Median time in target temperature range was 19 hours (interquartile range (IQR), 16-20) in the endovascular group versus. 10 hours (IQR, 7-15) in the surface group (P = .001). Median time to target temperature was 4 (IQR, 2.8-6.2) and 4.5 (IQR, 3-6.5) hours, respectively (P = .67). Adverse events were similar. Conclusion. Endovascular cooling maintains target temperatures better than conventional surface cooling.

    View details for DOI 10.4061/2011/690506

    View details for PubMedID 21822470

  • A Comparison of Cooling Techniques to Treat Cardiac Arrest Patients with Hypothermia STROKE RESEARCH AND TREATMENT Caulfield, A., Rachabattula, S., Eyngorn, I., Hamilton, S. A., Kalimuthu, R., Hsia, A. W., Lansberg, M. G., Venkatasubramanian, C., Baumann, J. J., Buckwalter, M. S., Kumar, M. A., Castle, J. S., Wijman, C. C. 2011
  • Management of acute ischemic stroke NEUROLOGIC CLINICS Caulfield, A. F., Wijman, C. A. 2008; 26 (2): 345-?


    Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. This article summarizes the management of acute ischemic stroke, including conventional and novel therapies. The article provides an overview of the initial management, diagnostic work-up, treatment options, and supportive measures that need to be considered in the acute phase of ischemic stroke.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ncl.2008.03.016

    View details for PubMedID 18514817

  • Critical care of acute ischemic stroke CRITICAL CARE CLINICS Caulfield, A. F., Wijman, C. A. 2006; 22 (4): 581-?


    Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. This article summarizes the critical care of acute ischemic stroke, including conventional and novel therapies. The article provided an overview of the initial management, diagnostic workup, treatment options, and supportive measures that need to be considered in the acute phase of ischemic stroke.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ccc.2006.09.001

    View details for PubMedID 17239745