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Stroke. 2009 Mar;40(3):743-8. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.108.526772. Epub 2009 Jan 8.

Oxfordshire community stroke project clinical stroke syndrome and appearances of tissue and vascular lesions on pretreatment ct in hyperacute ischemic stroke among the first 510 patients in the Third International Stroke Trial (IST-3).

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  • 12nd Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw, Poland. akobayas@ipin.edu.pl



The Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project (OCSP) clinical stroke syndrome classification correlates well with the stroke lesion in established ischemic stroke, but there are few data in patients with hyperacute stroke. We wished to assess whether the OCSP correlated with the site and size of the ischemic lesion and location of cerebral vessel lesion on computed tomography (CT) in hyperacute stroke.


Prospective study of ischemic stroke patients presenting within 6 hours of onset in the Third International Stroke Trial (IST-3), a randomized, controlled trial of rt-PA. OCSP syndrome was assigned by a computer-based algorithm. The CT assessment was made by a neuroradiologist blinded to clinical details.


We assessed baseline data and CT findings for the first 510 patients; early tissue ischemic changes were present in 329/510 (65%) total anterior circulation syndrome (TACS) - 79%; partial anterior circulation syndrome (PACS) - 57%, lacunar syndrome (LACS) - 40%; posterior circulation syndrome (POCS) - 33%. The site and size of ischemic change on CT was compatible with the clinical syndrome in 79%, 37%, 2%, and 14%, respectively. Assuming that all patients with a normal CT scan will develop an incompatible lesion these numbers reflected the "worst possible scenario." For the "best possible scenario" we presumed that those with a normal CT will develop concordant ischemic change and the proportions were 100%, 80%, 62% and 81%, respectively. The hyperattenuated artery sign was seen in 206/510 (40%); (TACS 54%; PACS 35%, LACS 5%, and POCS 19%).


Within 6 hours of stroke, in patients with a nonlacunar syndrome, the OCSP syndrome correlated well with the pattern of ischemic change on CT. For clinicians who wish to restrict the use of thrombolytic therapy to large-artery ischemic stroke, concordance of clinical and CT appearances may give greater confidence in making therapeutic decisions in hyperacute stroke. In centers where immediate access to MR is limited, use of the classification may help focus use of MR on patients with suspected LACS and POCS. The utility of the classification may further increase if IST-3 establishes that the OCSP syndrome significantly modifies response to thrombolytic therapy.

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