Initial National Institute of Health Stroke Scale to Early Predict the Improvement of Swallowing in Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke

Wen Chih Lin, Chih Yuan Huang, Lin Fu Lee, Yun Wen Chen, Chung Han Ho, Yuan Ting Sun

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Objectives: To study the applicability of National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) in early predicting the prognosis of poststroke dysphagia in an acute ward. Methods: This is an observational retrospective cohort study including adult patients with ischemic stroke. Patients with various factors affecting swallowing were excluded to obtain a representative sample of 165 patients. The main outcome measure was the improvements of oral intake function. Results: The scores of facial palsy (NIHSS item 4) (odds ratio [OR]: 0.484, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.279-0.838, P = .0096] and language/aphasia (NIHSS item 9) (OR: 0.562, 95% CI: 0.321-0.982, P = .0430) demonstrated significantly negative effects on the early improvement of dysphagia. Moreover, the improved patients had a 4.14-fold (95% CI: 2.53-11.23, P = .005) increased odds of returning home compared with nonimproved patients. Conclusions: Our findings provide evidence that early improvement of poststroke dysphagia was significantly associated with a favorable discharge destination and NIHSS items of facial palsy and language/aphasia can be used at the onset of stroke to identify dysphagic patients at risk of achieving limited improvement. These findings provide valuable prognostic indicators for clinicians to make a precise outcome prediction at very early stage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104297
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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