Liz Mackey, Stroke Nurse Practitioner, Western Health Melbourne Lizzie Dodd, Clinical Practice Consultant, Acute Stroke Unit Coordinator, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital SA Health Aims • Introduction to the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale • Common pitfalls of the NIHSS • Discuss how the NIHSS can be incorporated into practice • • • • • Patient assessment Communication Decision making Stroke trial recruitment Reporting outcomes • Case examples • Training options National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale 15-item neurologic examination stroke scale Ratings for each item are scored with 3 to 5 grades with 0 as normal, and there is an allowance for untestable items. Range 0 – 42 • Mild 0-7 • Moderate 8-16 • Severe > 16 The single patient assessment requires less than 10 minutes to complete. National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale A trained observer rates the patient’s ability to answer questions and perform activities. The evaluation of stroke severity depends upon the ability of the observer to accurately and consistently assess the patient National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale Evaluates the effect of stroke on: • • • • • • • • • • Level of consciousness Extraocular movement Visual-field loss Facial symmetry Motor strength Ataxia Sensory loss Language Dysarthria Extinction and Inattention (Neglect) http://www.ninds.nih.gov/doctors/NIH_Stroke_Scale.pdf Pitfalls of the NIHSS Three main pitfalls in using the NIHSS: Items with poor reliability Dominant-hemisphere strokes Lessened weighting for posterior circulation strokes Pitfalls: Items with poor reliability The NIHSS contains FOUR items which are widely acknowledged to have poor reliability 1a Loss of Consciousness 4 Facial Palsy 7 Ataxia 10 Dysarthria Potential issues if not scored accurately include: Communication difficulties between practitioners Decision making errors (eg in thrombolysis or trial recruitment) Difficulties assessing patient outcomes Review clip 1,6,9,12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awscZzCVaqE&lis t=PLfvzF_UhY1eZhoSn_uox8Fi3wtdku3x7K&index=13 Pitfalls: dominant hemisphere strokes Communication / language impairments in dominant hemisphere strokes Higher scores for more deficits related to language / communication impairments Tendency for dominant hemisphere strokes to receive a higher rating, approximately 4-points more for the same size stroke, compared with non-dominant hemisphere strokes. Items affected particularly: 1b LOC Questions, 1c LOC Commands, 9 Best language, 10 Dysarthria Ref 13, 14 Pitfalls: Posterior circulation Lessened weighting for vertebrobasilar (posterior circulation) strokes Items include: 1a LOC 3 Visual fields 4 Facial palsy 5&6 Motor 7 Ataxia 8 Sensory 10 Dysarthria Other elements that provide more information about the posterior circulation receive no score e.g. diplopia dysphagia gait instability hearing nystagmus Ref 12 Why should we bother doing NIHSS? • • • • • Well-validated, reliable Time efficient & standardised brief neurological examination Assesses degree of neurological deficit Predictor of mortality & functional outcomes (short- and long-term) Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management 2010 (NSF p.55) • “Stroke severity should be assessed & recorded on admission by a trained clinician using a validated tool (e.g. NIHSS or SSS)” • Facilitates: • Communication (clinicians, patients, care givers) • Identification of location of infarct • Early understanding of prognosis • Selection for interventions / trials • Identification of potential for complications Ref 1-9 NIHSS use in everyday clinical practice Emergency Department • Who? • Why? • Rapid assessment & decision making: • Location of stroke • Thrombolysis • Patient management & prognosis • Facilitate coordination of care • Adds to the picture of the stroke subtype • TACI, PACI, LACI, POCI, haemorrhage • Trial recruitment • Communication when referring to other teams • eg. neurointervention, neurosurgery • Facilitates communication to patients and families / care givers NIHSS use in everyday clinical practice Thrombolysis decision making: • Baseline differences in NIHSS scores can affect the response of stroke patients to intravenous tissue plasminogen activator • Risk of haemorrhage is considerable among patients with high NIHSS scores: • US FDA labelling: use intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator in patients with NIHSS scores >22 with caution. Ref 2,10 NIHSS use in everyday clinical practice Acute Stroke Care Unit • Who? • Why? • Facilitate coordination of care • Communication of changes • Recruitment to trials • When? • At intervals during acute stay: • Thrombolysis: NIHSS at 2-hours, 24-hours, discharge NIHSS use in everyday clinical practice Follow-up in Outpatient Clinic • Communication of changes • Audit of outcomes for thrombolysis NIHSS use in everyday clinical practice Stroke trial recruitment • Most stroke trials require NIHSS to be > 4 or < 26 NIHSS use in reviewing hospital morbidity & mortality performance Growing interest in ensuring stroke severity is accurately quantified By scoring stroke costs to health services are potentially more accurately identified i.e. adjustment for stroke severity Fonarow et al (2014): “Stroke severity has been documented to be a key mortality risk determinant in acute ischemic stroke. Prior analyses demonstrated that stroke severity, as quantified by the NIHSS, was the strongest predictive variable for in-hospital and 30-day mortality and substantially improved the performance of a model based on clinical variables without stroke severity” Ref 2 NIHSS use in reviewing hospital morbidity & mortality performance Fonarow et al (2012): Among hospitals ranked in the top 20% or bottom 20% of performers by the claims model without NIHSS scores, 26.3% were ranked differently by the model with NIHSS scores. Of hospitals initially classified as having “worse than expected” mortality, 57.7% were reclassified to “as expected” by the model with NIHSS scores. Ref 11 Case examples (R) (L) Large Middle Cerebral Artery Infarct L) MCA infarct (TACI) (R) (L) Not alert x age, x month Does not follow commands Eyes deviated to left Homonymous hemianopia R) facial droop UL - R) UL no mvmt & L) drift LL - R) sev weak L) some effort Absent ataxia R) Hemiparesis (face,arm) Non-verbal Dysarthria = mute ? Inattention Total = 29 2 2 2 2 2 2 5 5 0 2 3 2 0 Large Middle Cerebral Artery Infarct L) MCA infarct (TACI) (R) (L) Discussion: Mild / moderate/ severe? Prognosis? Treatment options? Lacunar Infarct Alert R) internal capsule Age, Month infarct (LACI) Follows commands (R) (L) Normal gaze No visual loss L) minor facial droop UL - L) UL some effort LL - L) some effort No ataxia L) mild sensory loss face,arm,leg No aphasia Mild dysarthria Image: Stroke July 2012 vol. 43 no. 7 1837-1842 No Inattention Total = 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 0 1 0 1 0 Lacunar Infarct R) internal capsule infarct (LACI) (R) Image: Stroke July 2012 vol. 43 no. 7 1837-1842 (L) Discussion: Mild / moderate/ severe? Prognosis? Treatment options? NIHSS Training FREE training via https://secure.trainingcampus.net/uas/modules/trees/ windex.aspx?rx=nihss-english.trainingcampus.net Boehringer Ingelheim training offer In hospital group training and accreditation for NIHSS (can be a 2 hour session or 2 x 1 hour sessions = 1 hour to train + 1 hour for exam) BI sponsor paper exams ($25 each), everyone gets booklet ($3 each), a DVD for the department ($50 worth) The DVD does the teaching Get sent to the National Stroke Association in Colorado for official processing and accreditation, certificates will be provided Benefits are that a group of doctors/nurses can do training in one inhouse session, (no need to do it at home) Examples of Apps for NIHSS Canopy Medical Translator Android https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/canopy-medicaltranslator/id792808936?mt=8 Boehringer Ingelheim App Boehringer Ingelheim App References 1. Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management 2010 (NSF) 2. 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"The Modified National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (mNIHSS): Its Time Has Come" Int J Stroke. 2009 August ; 4(4): 267–273 13. Lyden P, Claesson L, Havstad S, AshwoodT, Lu M. Factor analysis of the national institutes of health stroke scale in patients with large strokes. Arch Neurol. 2004;61:1677-1680. 14.Woo D, Broderick J, Kothari R, et al.,Group Nr-PSS. Does the national institutes of health stroke scale favor left hemisphere strokes. Stroke. 1999;30:2355-2359. Questions... Comments?