Annals of African Medicine

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Stroke scores and CT scan in ascertaining type of stroke.

F Salawu, I Umar, A Danburam


Background: Stroke, a major cause of morbidity and mortality is on the increase in Nigeria, routine Computerized Tomography (CT) for all Nigerians with stroke is not available to most doctors, and this poses management problems. We compared two available clinical scores with brain CT for the differential diagnosis of cerebral ischemia and hemorrhage among adult Nigerians with first-ever acute stroke.
Methods: The study was conducted at the State Specialist Hospital Maiduguri. Ninety-five adult Nigerians presenting with first-ever acute stroke onset within 48 hours were evaluated with the Siriraj Hospital Stroke (SHS) score on presentation and the Guy’s Hospital Stroke (GHS) score 24 hours after admission. CT brain scan was considered as gold standard. These two stroke scores were compared with the results of CT brain and sensitivity, specificity; positive predictive and negative values were
calculated. Results: Applying the recommended optimum cut-off points for the 2 scores, diagnoses were classified by the Guy’s Hospital Stroke and Siriraj Hospital Stroke score as probable hemorrhagic strokes (49% and
25% respectively) and probable ischemic (40% and 65% respectively). The remainder were classified as “uncertain.” The prevalence of hemorrhage diagnosed by gold standard (CT) was 29.5% while the prevalence of ischemic stroke diagnosed by CT was 54.7%. The CT brain was normal in 15.8%. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value for cerebral hemorrhage was 0.64, 0.48, 0.4 and 0.71 for Guy’s Hospital Stroke score and 0.35, 0.73, 0.4 and 0.68 for Siriraj
Hospital Stroke score. Conclusion: It is evident from the study that these clinical scoring systems alone are not sufficient and one has to employ the use of computerized tomography scan in establishing stroke type in Nigerians with stroke.

AJOL African Journals Online