Objective

To validate the ability of a specifically developed cognitive risk score to identify patients at risk of poststroke neurocognitive disorders (NCDs) who are eligible for a comprehensive cognitive assessment.

Methods

After assessing 404 patients (infarct 91.3%) in the Groupe de Réflexion pour l’Evaluation Cognitive VASCulaire (GRECogVASC) cross-sectional study with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke–Canadian Stroke Network battery 6 months after stroke, we used multivariable logistic regression and bootstrap analyses to determine factors associated with NCDs. Independent, internally validated factors were included in a cognitive risk score.

Results

Cognitive impairment was present in 170 of the 320 patients with a Rankin Scale score ≥1. The backward logistic regression selected 4 factors (≥73% of the permutations): NIH Stroke Scale score on admission ≥7 (odds ratio [OR] 2.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.29–4.3, p = 0.005), multiple strokes (OR 3.78, 95% CI 1.6–8, p = 0.002), adjusted Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSEadj) score ≤27 (OR 6.69, 95% CI 3.9–11.6, p = 0.0001), and Fazekas score ≥2 (OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.3–4.2, p = 0.004). The cognitive risk score computed with these 4 factors provided good calibration, discrimination (overoptimism-corrected C = 0.793), and goodness of fit (Hosmer-Lemeshow test p = 0.99). A combination of Rankin Scale score ≥1, cognitive risk score ≥1, and MMSEadj score ≥21 selected 230 (56.9%) of the 404 patients for a comprehensive assessment. This procedure yielded good sensitivity (96.5%) and moderate specificity (43%; positive predictive value 0.66, negative predictive value 0.91) and was more accurate (p ≤ 0.03 for all) than the sole use of screening tests (MMSE or Montréal Cognitive Assessment).

Conclusion

The GRECogVASC cognitive risk score comprises 4 easily documented factors; this procedure helps to identify patients at risk of poststroke NCDs who must therefore undergo a comprehensive assessment.

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier:

NCT01339195.

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