Who will benefit from stroke drug? New score can help decide

February 6, 2012

A new scoring method can help doctors quickly decide which stroke patients will respond well to the clot-busting drug alteplase, according to a study published in the February 7, 2012, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The DRAGON score was 86 percent accurate in predicting the outcome three months after people had the stroke and received the drug within four-and-a-half hours after their first stroke symptoms.

"The DRAGON score is simple and fast to perform, it has no cost, and it consists solely of factors that are known when the patient is admitted to the hospital or soon after," said study author Daniel Strbian, MD, PhD, of Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland. "We found that we could determine the score in less than a minute. This can help the doctor, the patient, and the family to evaluate the situation, make choices and give the most relevant treatment with the greatest speed."

Strbian said the score can help with the decision to try additional therapies when the likelihood is high that alteplase alone will not provide a good outcome.

The study involved 1,319 people with with an average age of 69 who were treated with alteplase. Participants were given a score of zero to 10 based on their age, glucose level, time since started, the severity of the stroke and other factors. The higher the score was, the more likely the person was to have a bad outcome three months later. A bad outcome was defined as being dead or being bedridden, incontinent and requiring constant and attention.

A total of 96 percent of those with scores of zero to two had a good outcome three months later. A good outcome was defined as being independent in daily activities. None of the people with DRAGON scores of eight to 10 had good outcomes three months later.

The score was also tested on a second group of 333 people at a hospital in Switzerland, with similar results.

Explore further: New Web tool may help predict risk of second stroke

Related Stories

New Web tool may help predict risk of second stroke

December 16, 2009

Scientists have developed a new web-based tool that may better predict whether a person will suffer a second stroke within 90 days of a first stroke, according to research published in the December 16, 2009, online issue ...

Study: Women need clot-busting therapy after stroke

March 1, 2010

New research shows women who don't receive a clot-busting drug after a stroke fare worse than men who are not treated. The study is published in the March 2, 2010, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American ...

Recommended for you

Amputees' brains remember missing hands even years later

August 30, 2016

Our brains have a detailed picture of our hands and fingers, and that persists even decades after an amputation, Oxford University researchers have found. The finding could have implications for the control of next generation ...

Brain's internal compass also navigates during imagination

August 30, 2016

When you try to find your way in a new place, your brain creates a spatial map that represents that environment. Neuroscientists from Radboud University's Donders Institute now show that the brain's 'navigation system' is ...

Special nerve cells cause goose bumps and nipple erection

August 29, 2016

The sympathetic nerve system has long been thought to respond the same regardless of the physical or emotional stimulus triggering it. However, in a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in the Nature Neuroscience, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.