Prognostic value of the ABCD2 score beyond short-term follow-up after transient ischemic attack (TIA)—a cohort study

Katrin Holzer, Regina Feurer, Suwad Sadikovic, Lorena Esposito, Angelina Bockelbrink, Dirk Sander, Bernhard Hemmer, Holger Poppert
BMC Neurology 2010, 10: 50

BACKGROUND: Transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients are at a high vascular risk. Recently the ABCD2 score was validated for evaluating short-term stroke risk after TIA. We assessed the value of this score to predict the vascular outcome after TIA during medium- to long-term follow-up.

METHODS: The ABCD2 score of 176 TIA patients consecutively admitted to the Stroke Unit was retrospectively calculated and stratified into three categories. TIA was defined as an acute transient focal neurological deficit caused by vascular disease and being completely reversible within 24 hours. All patients had to undergo cerebral MRI within 5 days after onset of symptoms as well as extracranial and transcranial Doppler and duplex ultrasonography. At a median follow-up of 27 months, new vascular events were recorded. Multivariate Cox regression adjusted for EDC findings and heart failure was performed for the combined endpoint of cerebral ischemic events, cardiac ischemic events and death of vascular or unknown cause.

RESULTS: Fifty-five patients (32.0%) had an ABCD2 score < or = 3, 80 patients (46.5%) had an ABCD2 score of 4-5 points and 37 patients (21.5%) had an ABCD2 score of 6-7 points. Follow-up data were available in 173 (98.3%) patients. Twenty-two patients (13.8%) experienced an ischemic stroke or TIA; 5 (3.0%) a myocardial infarction or acute coronary syndrome; 10 (5.7%) died of vascular or unknown cause; and 5 (3.0%) patients underwent arterial revascularization. An ABCD2 score > 3 was significantly associated with the combined endpoint of cerebral or cardiovascular ischemic events, and death of vascular or unknown cause (hazard ratio (HR) 4.01, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.21 to 13.27). After adjustment for extracranial ultrasonographic findings and heart failure, there was still a strong trend (HR 3.13, 95% CI 0.94 to 10.49). Whereas new cardiovascular ischemic events occurred in 9 (8.3%) patients with an ABCD2 score > 3, this happened in none of the 53 patients with a score < or = 3.

CONCLUSIONS: An ABCD2 score > 3 is associated with an increased general risk for vascular events in the medium- to long-term follow-up after TIA.

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