A Prospective Cohort Study of Patients With Transient Ischemic Attack to Identify High-Risk Clinical Characteristics
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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The occurrence of a transient ischemic attack (TIA) increases an individual's risk for subsequent stroke. The objectives of this study were to determine clinical features of patients with TIA associated with impending (≤7 days) stroke and to develop a clinical prediction score for impending stroke. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study at 8 Canadian emergency departments for 5 years. We enrolled patients with a new TIA. Our outcome was subsequent stroke within 7 days of TIA diagnosis. RESULTS: We prospectively enrolled 3906 patients, of which 86 (2.2%) experienced a stroke within 7 days. Clinical features strongly correlated with having an impending stroke included first-ever TIA, language disturbance, longer duration, weakness, gait disturbance, elevated blood pressure, atrial fibrillation on ECG, infarction on computed tomography, and elevated blood glucose. Variables less associated with having an impending stroke included vertigo, lightheadedness, and visual loss. From this cohort, we derived the Canadian TIA Score which identifies the risk of subsequent stroke≤7 days and consists of 13 variables. This model has good discrimination with a c-statistic of 0.77 (95% confidence interval, 0.73-0.82). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with TIA with their first TIA, language disturbance, duration of symptoms≥10 minutes, gait disturbance, atrial fibrillation, infarction on computed tomography, elevated platelets or glucose, unilateral weakness, history of carotid stenosis, and elevated diastolic blood pressure are at higher risk for an impending stroke. Patients with vertigo and no high-risk features are at low risk. The Canadian TIA Score quantifies the impending stroke risk following TIA.
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