G. E. Mead, J. M. Wardlaw, M. S. Dennis, S. C. Lewis, C. P. Warlow



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Background and Purpose-The Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project (OCSP) devised a simple classification for acute stroke based on clinical features only, which is of value in predicting prognosis. We investigated whether the pattern of intracranial vascular abnormalities is related to the clinical syndrome. Methods-Patients with acute ischemic stroke were classified by a stroke physician as having total or partial anterior circulation infarct (TACI or PACI, respectively), lacunar infarct (LACI), or posterior circulation infarct (POCI), Color-coded power transcranial Doppler was done whenever possible. Intracranial arterial velocities were compared in the 4 subtypes of ischemic stroke after adjustment for age and time to transcranial Doppler. Results-Middle cerebral artery velocity was abnormal (hyperemia, reduced velocity, occlusion, or focal stenosis) in 38 of 69 TACIs (55%), 50 of 171 PACIs (29%), and 20 of 236 LACIs or POCIs (8%) (P<0.001), Velocity in the Al segment of the anterior cerebral artery was reversed in 12 of 69 TACIs (17%), 20 of 171 PACIs (12%), and 8 of 236 LACIs or POCIs (3%) (P<0.001). Basilar artery velocity was abnormal in 8 of 121 POCIs (7%) compared with 5 of 355 (1%) of the other subtypes (P=0.005). Vertebral artery velocity was abnormal (reduced velocity, occlusion, stenosis) in 20 of 121 POCIs (17%) compared with 20 of 355 others (6%) (P=0.01). Conclusions-Intracranial arterial abnormalities were related to OCSP clinical subtype. Therefore, it is possible to stratify patients according to OCSP classification in trials of new treatments in which treatment effectiveness may depend on the underlying pattern of arterial pathology and before any arterial imaging is available.