Background: Risk stratification can contribute to individualized, optimal secondary prevention in patients with cerebrovascular disease.
Objective: To prospectively investigate the prediction of the Essen Stroke Risk Score (ESRS) and a pathlogical ankle brachial index (ABI) in consecutive patients hospitalized with acute ischemic stroke or TIA in 85 neurological stroke units throughout Germany.
Methods: 852 patients were prospectively documented on standardized case report forms including assessment of ESRS and ABI. After 17.5 months, recurrent cerebrovascular events, functional outcome or death could be assessed in 729 patients predominantly via central telephone interview.
Results: After discharge from the documenting hospital, recurrent stroke occurred in 41 patients (5.6%) and recurrent TIA in 15 patients (2.1%). 52 patients (7.1%) had died, 33 (4.5%) from cardiovascular causes. Patients with an ESRS ≥3 (vs. <3) had a significantly higher risk of recurrent stroke or cardiovascular death (9.7% vs. 5.1%, odds ratio [OR] 2.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.08-3.70) and a higher recurrent stroke risk (6.9% vs. 3.7%, OR 1.93; 95% CI 0.95-3.94). Patients with an ABI ≤0.9 (vs. >0.9) had a significantly higher risk of recurrent stroke or cardiovascular death (10.4% vs. 5.5%, OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.12-3.56) and a higher recurrent stroke risk (6.6% vs. 4.6%, OR 1.47, 95% CI 0.76-2.83).
Conclusion Our prospective follow-up study shows a significantly higher rate of recurrent stroke or cardiovascular death and a clear trend for a higher rate of recurrent stroke in patients with acute cerebrovascular events classified as high-risk by an ESRS ≥3 or a pathological ABI.