European Journal of Emergency Medicine vol:17 issue:1 pages:2-6
OBJECTIVE: To compare the diagnostic value of the Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale, the Face Arm Speech Test, the Los Angeles Prehospital Stroke Screen and the Melbourne Ambulance Stroke Screen for identifying patients with an acute stroke in a prehospital setting in Belgium. METHODS: A prospective study was performed, using a questionnaire for every primarily transported patient within emergency medial service with relevant neurological complaints. Exclusion criteria were: patients below 18 years, trauma victims, Glasgow Coma Scale of less than 8 or transported to another hospital. The questionnaire is a comprehension of different stroke scales. RESULTS: The Face Arm Speech Test and Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale demonstrate a high sensitivity (95%) but a lower specificity (33%). The sensitivity of the Los Angeles Prehospital Stroke Screen and Melbourne Ambulance Stroke Screen was lower (74%), but the specificity increased (83 and 67%). Items investigating unilateral facial paralysis and unilateral loss/absence of motor response in upper extremities seemed to be most discriminating between the stroke group (68-78%) and the nonstroke group (17%), suggesting that items related to clinical assessment are more important in stroke recognition than history items. Combination of all clinical parameters of the different scores resulted in a sensitivity and specificity of 95 and 83%, respectively. CONCLUSION: The results obtained in this study are comparable with earlier investigations. Given the limitations of the study, we could not identify the most adequate stroke scale. History items seem to be less relevant compared with clinical assessment. Further research is needed to determine the most adequate stroke scale.