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Keywords:

  • genetics disorders;
  • risk factors;
  • stroke subtypes

Background

A reliable and reproducible classification system of stroke subtype is essential for epidemiological and genetic studies. The Causative Classification of Stroke system is an evidence-based computerized algorithm with excellent inter-rater reliability. It has been suggested that, compared to the Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment classification, it increases the proportion of cases with defined subtype that may increase power in genetic association studies. We compared Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment and Causative Classification of Stroke system classifications in a large cohort of well-phenotyped stroke patients.

Methods

Six hundred ninety consecutively recruited patients with first-ever ischemic stroke were classified, using review of clinical data and original imaging, according to the Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment and Causative Classification of Stroke system classifications.

Results

There was excellent agreement subtype assigned by between Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment and Causative Classification of Stroke system (kappa = 0·85). The agreement was excellent for the major individual subtypes: large artery atherosclerosis kappa = 0·888, small-artery occlusion kappa = 0·869, cardiac embolism kappa = 0·89, and undetermined category kappa = 0·884. There was only moderate agreement (kappa = 0·41) for the subjects with at least two competing underlying mechanism. Thirty-five (5·8%) patients classified as undetermined by Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment were assigned to a definite subtype by Causative Classification of Stroke system. Thirty-two subjects assigned to a definite subtype by Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment were classified as undetermined by Causative Classification of Stroke system.

Conclusions

There is excellent agreement between classification using Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment and Causative Classification of Stroke systems but no evidence that Causative Classification of Stroke system reduced the proportion of patients classified to undetermined subtypes. The excellent inter-rater reproducibility and web-based semiautomated nature make Causative Classification of Stroke system suitable for multicenter studies, but the benefit of reclassifying cases already classified using the Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment system on existing databases is likely to be small.