Design and Validation of a Prehospital Stroke Scale to Predict Large Arterial Occlusion
The Rapid Arterial Occlusion Evaluation Scale
Background and Purpose—We aimed to develop and validate a simple prehospital stroke scale to predict the presence of large vessel occlusion (LVO) in patients with acute stroke.
Methods—The Rapid Arterial oCclusion Evaluation (RACE) scale was designed based on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) items with a higher predictive value of LVO on a retrospective cohort of 654 patients with acute ischemic stroke: facial palsy (scored 0–2), arm motor function (0–2), leg motor function (0–2), gaze (0–1), and aphasia or agnosia (0–2). Thereafter, the RACE scale was validated prospectively in the field by trained medical emergency technicians in 357 consecutive patients transferred by Emergency Medical Services to our Comprehensive Stroke Center. Neurologists evaluated stroke severity at admission and LVO was diagnosed by transcranial duplex, computed tomography, or MR angiography. Receiver operating curve, sensitivity, specificity, and global accuracy of the RACE scale were analyzed to evaluate its predictive value for LVO.
Results—In the prospective cohort, the RACE scale showed a strong correlation with NIHSS (r=0.76; P<0.001). LVO was detected in 76 of 357 patients (21%). Receiver operating curves showed a similar capacity to predict LVO of the RACE scale compared with the NIHSS (area under the curve 0.82 and 0.85, respectively). A RACE scale ≥5 had sensitivity 0.85, specificity 0.68, positive predictive value 0.42, and negative predictive value 0.94 for detecting LVO.
Conclusions—The RACE scale is a simple tool that can accurately assess stroke severity and identify patients with acute stroke with large artery occlusion at prehospital setting by medical emergency technicians.
- Received August 1, 2013.
- Accepted October 17, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.