Selecting stroke patients with large vessel occlusion (LVO) based on prehospital stroke scales could provide a faster triage and transportation to a comprehensive stroke centre resulting a favourable outcome. We aimed here to explore the detailed severity assessment of Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale (CPSS) to improve its ability to detect LVO in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients.
A cross-sectional analysis was performed in a prospectively collected registry of consecutive patients with first ever AIS admitted within 6 hours after symptom onset. On admission stroke severity was assessed National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and the presence of LVO was confirmed by computed tomography angiography (CTA) as an endpoint. A detailed version of CPSS (d-CPSS) was designed based on the severity assessment of CPSS items derived from NIHSS. The ability of this scale to confirm an LVO was compared to CPSS and NIHSS respectively.
Using a ROC analysis, the AUC value of d-CPSS was significantly higher compared to the AUC value of CPSS itself (0.788 vs. 0.633, p < 0.001) and very similar to the AUC of NIHSS (0.795, p = 0.510). An optimal cut-off score was found as d-CPSS ≥ 5 to discriminate the presence of LVO (sensitivity: 69.9%, specificity: 75.2%).
A detailed severity assessment of CPSS items (upper extremity weakness, facial palsy and speech disturbance) could significantly increase the ability of CPSS to discriminate the presence of LVO in AIS patients.