Send to

Choose Destination
Stroke. 2018 Mar;49(3):e111-e122. doi: 10.1161/STR.0000000000000160. Epub 2018 Jan 24.

Accuracy of Prediction Instruments for Diagnosing Large Vessel Occlusion in Individuals With Suspected Stroke: A Systematic Review for the 2018 Guidelines for the Early Management of Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke.



Endovascular thrombectomy is a highly efficacious treatment for large vessel occlusion (LVO). LVO prediction instruments, based on stroke signs and symptoms, have been proposed to identify stroke patients with LVO for rapid transport to endovascular thrombectomy-capable hospitals. This evidence review committee was commissioned by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association to systematically review evidence for the accuracy of LVO prediction instruments.


Medline, Embase, and Cochrane databases were searched on October 27, 2016. Study quality was assessed with the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy-2 tool.


Thirty-six relevant studies were identified. Most studies (21 of 36) recruited patients with ischemic stroke, with few studies in the prehospital setting (4 of 36) and in populations that included hemorrhagic stroke or stroke mimics (12 of 36). The most frequently studied prediction instrument was the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale. Most studies had either some risk of bias or unclear risk of bias. Reported discrimination of LVO mostly ranged from 0.70 to 0.85, as measured by the C statistic. In meta-analysis, sensitivity was as high as 87% and specificity was as high as 90%, but no threshold on any instruments predicted LVO with both high sensitivity and specificity. With a positive LVO prediction test, the probability of LVO could be 50% to 60% (depending on the LVO prevalence in the population), but the probability of LVO with a negative test could still be ≥10%.


No scale predicted LVO with both high sensitivity and high specificity. Systems that use LVO prediction instruments for triage will miss some patients with LVO and milder stroke. More prospective studies are needed to assess the accuracy of LVO prediction instruments in the prehospital setting in all patients with suspected stroke, including patients with hemorrhagic stroke and stroke mimics.


AHA Scientific Statements; stroke; thrombectomy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Conflict of interest statement

The American Heart Association makes every effort to avoid any actual or potential conflicts of interest that may arise as a result of an outside relationship or a personal, professional, or business interest of a member of the writing panel. Specifically, all members of the writing group are required to complete and submit a Disclosure Questionnaire showing all such relationships that might be perceived as real or potential conflicts of interest.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center