Can Early Neurosonology Predict Outcome in Acute Stroke?: A Metaanalysis of Prognostic Clinical Effect Sizes Related to the Vascular Status

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Background and Purpose—Prediction of short- and long-term prognosis is an important issue in acute stroke care. This metaanalysis explores the prognostic value of initial bed-side transcranial ultrasound in acute stroke.Methods—All studies prospectively applying TCCS or TCD within 24 hours of symptom onset in acute stroke, with a minimal cohort size of 20 patients, and reporting clinical outcome variables in relation to the vascular findings were included into this metaanalysis. Study quality was assessed by 2 independent reviewers.Results—Twenty-five studies with 1813 included patients identified by electronic and manual search fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion was associated with a significantly increased risk for a fatal course of stroke (OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.33 to 4.52). Patients with patent MCA were more likely to clinically improve within 4 days than patients with MCA occlusion (OR 11.11, 95% CI 5.44 to 22.69). Full recanalization within 6 hours after symptom onset was highly significantly associated with clinical improvement within 48 hours (OR 5.64, 95% CI 3.82 to 8.31) and functional independence after 3 months (OR 6.07, 95% CI 3.94 to 9.35).Conclusions—Transcranial ultrasound provides important information on prognosis in patients with acute stroke.

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