Abstract 11: The Utility of Causative Classification System: Correlation between Causative and Phenotypic Stroke Subtypes
Background: Causative Classification of Stroke (CCS) system is a novel, web-based, and fully-computerized algorithm that integrates clinical, diagnostic, and etiologic stroke characteristics in an evidence-based manner (available at http://ccs.mgh.harvard.edu) and provides in a given patient both phenotypic subtypes where abnormal evaluation findings are simply organized in major etiologic categories and causative subtypes where abnormal evaluation findings are filtered through a decision making process to identify the most likely cause of stroke. In this study, we sought to identify the concordance between phenotypic and causative CCS subtypes in the NINDS Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN).
Methods: A total of 24 adjudicators from 15 US and European sites certified in CCS retrospectively determined CCS subtypes through chart review in 7134 patients. The CCS software provided causative subtypes in 3 confidence levels as “evident”, “probable” or “possible” based on the weight of causal evidence. We estimated how often CCS classified a given major abnormal evaluation finding as the causative stroke mechanism.
Results: CCS assigned 55% of patients with the phenotype of moderate-to-severe atherosclerotic stenosis into the causative category of “evident large artery atherosclerosis”. Likewise, 50% of patients with a major cardiac source (such as atrial fibrillation) were classified into “evident cardio-aortic embolism”, and 74% of those with imaging evidence of a typical lacunar infarct into “evident small artery occlusion”. In 20% to 30% of patients, phenotypic and causative categories were the same but the causative subtype was assigned with a lower level of confidence. Six to 20% of patients with a given phenotypic feature were classified into a different causative category. Failure to investigate for other subtypes in the presence of a positive test finding and the presence of multiple competing etiologies were key contributors to the observed disconcordance between phenotypic and causative subtypes.
Conclusions: Our findings show that the presence of a major abnormality in stroke evaluation does not necessarily mean that it is always the cause. The ability of CCS system to discriminate between phenotypic and causative characteristics of stroke etiology provides the opportunity to refine stroke phenotypes for use in research studies.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.