A recent Greek study of hospitalized transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients validated the ABCD scoring system, which was developed to identify patients at high risk of stroke following a TIA. The ABCD score gives patients higher numbers of points based on (A)ge, (B)lood pressure, (C)linical features of unilateral weakness or speech disturbance without weakness, and (D)uration of symptoms. Points are awarded as follows: age >60 years, blood pressure ≥140/90 mm Hg, speech disturbance without weakness, and symptoms lasting 10 to 59 minutes each merit 1 point; unilateral weakness and symptoms lasting >60 minutes each get 2 points. The investigators found the 30- day risk of stroke in their 226 patients to be 9.7% overall. The risk ranged from 0% with ABCD scores of 0 to 2 to 31.3% in patients with a score of 6. These results provided further evidence of the utility of this simple scoring system.
Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacist practitioner at Cornerstone Health Care in High Point, NC.