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Use and utility of stroke scales and grading systems

Author
Larry B Goldstein, MD, FAAN, FANA, FAHA
Section Editor
Scott E Kasner, MD
Deputy Editor
John F Dashe, MD, PhD

INTRODUCTION

In addition to their importance for assessing the impact of therapeutic interventions in clinical trials, stroke scales are useful in the routine clinical setting as aids to improve diagnostic accuracy, help determine the appropriateness of specific treatments, monitor a patient's neurologic deficits through the continuum of care, and predict and gauge outcomes. Not only are different types of scales needed for these different purposes, but no single scale is suitable for capturing all of the effects of stroke.

This topic will review stroke scales and grading systems that are used for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Grading systems used to classify patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage are reviewed separately. (See "Subarachnoid hemorrhage grading scales".)

Categorization systems used in the classification and etiology of stroke are discussed elsewhere. (See "Etiology, classification, and epidemiology of stroke", section on 'TOAST classification' and "Etiology, classification, and epidemiology of stroke", section on 'SSS-TOAST and CCS classification'.)

USE OF SCALES IN THE ASSESSMENT OF STROKE

Stroke scales are useful for clinical and research purposes as aids to improve diagnostic accuracy, determine the suitability of specific treatments, monitor change in neurologic impairments, and predict and measure outcomes. There has been considerable progress in the clinimetrics of stroke since the 1980s [1]. Although there are numerous general and stroke-specific scales that have established reliability and validity, no single scale is suitable for all clinical or research situations.

The International Classification of Functioning and Disability and Health, developed by the World Health Organization, categorizes the impact of disease into to three dimensions [2]:

                      

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Thu Mar 05 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2015.
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