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Development and validation of a prognostic tool for direct enteral tube insertion after acute stroke

Joundi RA, Saposnik G, Martino R, Fang J, Kapral MK. Stroke. 2020; May 13 [Epub ahead of print]. DOI:

Background and Purpose — We aimed to create a novel prognostic risk score to estimate outcomes after direct enteral tube placement in acute stroke.

Methods — We used the Ontario Stroke Registry and linked databases to obtain clinical information on all patients with direct enteral tube insertion after ischemic stroke or intracerebral hemorrhage from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2010 (derivation cohort) and July 1, 2010 to March 31, 2013 (validation cohort). We used multivariable regression to assign scores to predictor variables for 3 outcomes after tube placement: favorable outcome (discharge modified Rankin Scale score 0–3 and alive at 90 days), poor outcome (discharge modified Rankin Scale score 5 or death at 90 days), and 30-day mortality.

Results — Variables associated with a favorable outcome were younger age, preadmission independence, ischemic stroke rather than intracerebral hemorrhage, lower stroke severity, and a shorter time between stroke and tube placement. Variables associated with a poor outcome were older age, preadmission dependence, atrial fibrillation, greater stroke severity, and tracheostomy. Age, preadmission dependence, atrial fibrillation, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and shorter time to tube placement were associated with increased 30-day mortality. Using these variables, we created an online calculator to facilitate estimation of individual patient risk of favorable and poor outcomes. C-statistic in the validation cohort was 0.82 for favorable outcome, 0.65 for poor outcome, and 0.62 for 30-day mortality, and calibration was adequate.

Conclusions — We developed risk scores to estimate outcomes after direct enteral tube insertion for acute dysphagic stroke. This information may be useful in discussions with patients and families when there is prognostic uncertainty surrounding outcomes with direct enteral tube placement after stroke.