Early neurological outcomes according to CHADS2 score in stroke patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation

H J Hong, Y D Kim, M-J Cha, J Kim, D H Lee, H S Lee, C M Nam, H S Nam, J H Heo
European Journal of Neurology 2012, 19 (2): 284-90

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A higher CHADS(2) score or CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc score is associated with an increased risk of ischaemic stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). However, there are no data regarding early neurological outcomes after stroke according to the risk levels.

METHODS: In this study, a total of 649 stroke patients with NVAF were enrolled and categorized into three groups: low-risk (CHADS(2) score of 0-1), moderate-risk (CHADS(2) score 2-3), or high-risk group (CHADS(2) score ≥4). CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc score was divided into four groups including 0-1, 2-3, 4-5, and ≥6. We investigated whether there were differences in initial stroke severity, early neurological outcome, and infarct size according to CHADS(2) score or CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc score in stroke patients with NVAF.

RESULTS: The initial National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score was highest in high-risk group [9.5, interquartile range (IQR) 4-18], followed by moderate-risk (8, IQR 2-17) and low-risk group (6, IQR 2-15) (P=0.012). Likewise, initial stroke severity increased in a positive fashion with increasing the CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc score. During hospitalization, those in the high-risk group or higher CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc score had less improvement in their NIHSS score. Furthermore, early neurological deterioration (END) developed more frequently as CHADS(2) score or CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc score increased. Multivariate analysis showed being in the high-risk group was independently associated with END (OR 2.129, 95% CI 1.013-4.477).

CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that patients with NVAF and higher CHADS(2) score or CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc score are more likely to develop severe stroke and a worse clinical course is expected in these patients after stroke presentation.

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