Introduction: Dysphagia is a common post-stroke complication, yet there are no standard tools to guide recommendations for placement of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube. Prior prediction models in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) have had inconsistent findings and have not included objective swallowing assessments. We hypothesized that inclusion of an aspiration-based score would simplify the prediction model and be a strong independent predictor of PEG placement among patients referred for instrumental assessment of swallowing (IAS) after failed bedside swallow.
Methods: Consecutive cases of AIS were identified from our inpatient registry (6/14- 4/15). Patients transferred to hospice or dying within 3 days of hospitalization were excluded. NIHSS and sub-items, medical history, and demographic data were included in the full model and subgroup analysis which included patients undergoing IAS. Univariate and multiple logistic regression were used to assess predictors of PEG placement. Penetration-Aspiration (PEN-ASP) scores (1-2 normal; 3-5, penetration, 6-8, aspiration) calculated using Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing and Modified Barium Swallow Studies were included in the model for subgroup analysis.
Results: Among 731 AIS patients, 17.9% (131) of patients received a PEG and 200 patients received IAS (39.5 % PEG). In the full model, arrival GCS and NIHSS, NIHSS level of consciousness score, and prior Diabetes Mellitus and ICH (p < 0.05). Among patients receiving IAS, arrival NIHSS, PEN-ASP score, and race (Hispanic v White) was associated with PEG placement.
Conclusions: This study represents the largest cohort of AIS patients undergoing PEG placement and IAS. We demonstrated that the PEN-ASP score helps to predict PEG placement in AIS. Race also emerged as a predictor, and in future studies, we will examine patient and provider-level factors to explain this association.