Background: The prognosis of patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) essentially depends on both prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Endovascular stroke therapy (EST) proved to be highly efficient in the treatment of emergent large vessel occluding (ELVO) strokes in the anterior circulation. To achieve a timely diagnosis, a robust combination of few and simple signs to identify ELVOs in AIS patients applicable by paramedics in the prehospital triage is worthwhile.
Methods: This retrospective single-center study included 904 AIS patients (324 ELVO, 580 non-ELVO) admitted between 2010 and 2015 in a tertiary stroke center. We re-evaluated two symptoms based on NIHSS items, gaze deviation and hemiparesis of the limbs (“Gaze deviation and Paresis Score, GPS”) for the pre-hospital prediction of ELVO.
Results: A positive GPS AIS in patients predicted ELVO with a sensitivity of 0.89, specificity = 0.97, positive predictive value (PPV) = 0.95, negative predictive value (NPV) = 0.94 and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) = 34.25 (CI: 20.75 - 56.53). The positive Likelihood-ratio (LR + ) was 29.67, the negative Likelihood ratio (LR - ) 0.11. NIHSS of patients with positive GPS (gaze palsy NIHSS ≥ 0, Motor arm NIHSS ≥2 and Motor leg NIHSS ≥2) was markedly higher compared to negative GPS patients (p<0.001).
Conclusions: The GPS proved to be similarly accurate in detecting ELVO in the anterior circulation of AIS patients and even more specific than other published clinical scores. Its simplicity and clarity might enable non-neurological medical staff to identify ELVO AIS patients with high certainty in a preclinical setting.