Improving the Prediction of Stroke or Death After Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) by Adding Diffusion-weighted Imaging Lesions and TIA Etiology to the ABCD2 Score

Department of Emergency Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases: the official journal of National Stroke Association (Impact Factor: 1.67). 05/2012; 22(7). DOI: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2012.03.007
Source: PubMed


The present study investigated the addition of transient ischemic attack (TIA) etiology and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to the ABCD2 score, creating the ABCDE+ score, to improve the predictive ability of stroke risk or death at 6 months after TIA. We performed a cohort study of 150 consecutive patients with TIA. All patients underwent DWI and all had an etiologic workup and were followed up for 6 months. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was used to compare the scores' ability to predict the outcome of stroke or death. Multivariate Cox regression analysis was performed to evaluate the association between the measured variables and subsequent stroke or death. Thirty patients (20%) experienced future stroke, and 12 patients (8%) died within the 6-month follow-up. A comparison of AUCs demonstrated the superiority of the ABCDE+ score over the ABCD2 score for predicting stroke (0.64 vs 0.60) and for predicting death (0.62 vs 0.56). ABCD2 score >4, ABCDE+ score >6, large-artery disease, and lesions detected on DWI were found to be independent predictors of future stroke, and ABCDE+ score >6, age, and heart disease were independent predictors of death. We conclude that incorporating DWI positivity and etiology of TIA into the ABCD2 score can improve the ability to predict stroke and death within 6 months after TIA.

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Available from: Hamidreza Hatamabadi, Jan 11, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Background: MR diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has revolutionized neuroimaging and contributed to a tissue-based redefinition of transient ischemic attack (TIA). Stroke patients with DWI lesions may have neurological symptoms that resolve completely within 24 h, suggesting successful vessel recanalization. Prior studies of stroke patients with transient symptoms have not found any predilection for DWI lesions in any specific territory. Other studies have, however, reported an association between higher brain dysfunction and presence of DWI lesions in patients with transient ischemic symptoms, suggesting a high rate of cortical affection in these patients. We sought to see whether DWI location in stroke patients with transient symptoms <24 h differed from those with persistent symptoms ≥ 24 h. We hypothesized an association between transient symptoms <24 h and cortical DWI lesion localization due to a possible higher rate of vessel recanalization in patients with transient symptoms causing distal cortical infarctions. Methods: Ischemic stroke patients examined with DWI and admitted within 24 h after symptom onset between February 2006 and November 2013 were prospectively registered in a database (The Bergen NORSTROKE Registry). Based on neurological examination 24 h after admission, patients were classified as having either transient symptoms <24 h (DWI <24) or persistent symptoms ≥ 24 h (DWI ≥ 24). DWI lesions were classified into different groups depending on lesion location: cortical lesions, confined to the supratentorial cortex; large subcortical lesions, located in the hemispheric white matter, basal ganglia, internal capsule, thalamus or corona radiate with a diameter ≥ 15 mm; lacunar lesions, located in the same territory as large subcortical lesions with a diameter <15 mm; mixed cortical-subcortical lesions, located in both supratentorial cortex and subcortex; cerebellar lesions, confined to the cerebellum; brain stem lesions, confined to the brain stem; multiple locations, located in more than one of the above defined areas. Results: A total of 142 ischemic stroke patients had DWI <24 and 830 DWI ≥ 24. Cortical DWI location was more frequent in patients with DWI <24 (54.2% vs. 29.5%, p < 0.001), while proportions of mixed cortical-subcortical lesions (13.4% vs. 26.5%, p = 0.001) and lesions with multiple locations (5.6% vs. 11.1%, p = 0.048) were less frequent as compared to DWI ≥ 24. Cortical DWI location was independently associated with DWI <24 when adjusted for confounders in multiple regression analyses (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.28-2.81, p = 0.001). Conclusion: Cortical DWI location was independently associated with transient stroke symptoms <24 h. This may be explained by vessel recanalization, resulting in upstream transportation of remaining particles and distal cortical lesions.
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