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Stroke. 2003 Dec;34(12):2995-8. Epub 2003 Nov 6.

Acute ischemic cerebrovascular syndrome: diagnostic criteria.

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  • 1University of California at Los Angeles Stroke Center and Department of Neurology, University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center, USA.



Existing diagnostic classification systems for cerebrovascular disease are based primarily on clinical impression of temporal features, clinical syndrome, inferred localization, or ischemic mechanism. Diagnostic certainty of the ischemic pathology based on supportive or refuting laboratory or radiological evidence has been of secondary importance.


Acute ischemic cerebrovascular syndrome (AICS) describes a spectrum of clinical presentations that share a similar underlying pathophysiology: cerebral ischemia. Diagnostic criteria for AICS incorporate prior classification systems and currently available information provided by neuroimaging and laboratory data to define 4 categories ranging from "definite AICS" to "not AICS," which define the degree of diagnostic certainty.


Clinical trials testing new treatments for acute ischemic stroke or secondary stroke prevention should limit enrollment to patients with "definite" AICS whenever feasible.

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