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Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project (OCSP) classification is a simple
clinical scheme for subdividing first ever acute stroke. Several small
studies have shown that when an infarct is visible on CT or MRI, the
classification predicts its site in about three quarters of patients.
The aim was to further investigate this relation in a much larger
cohort of patients in hospital with ischaemic stroke.
METHODS—Between 1994 and 1997, inpatients and outpatients with ischaemic stroke were assessed by one of several stroke physicians who noted the OCSP classification. A neuroradiologist classified the site and extent of recent infarction on CT or MRI.
RESULTS—Of 1012 patients with ischaemic stroke, 655 (65%) had recent visible infarcts. These radiological lesions were appropriate to the clinical classification in 69/87 (79%) patients with a total anterior circulation syndrome, 213/298 (71%) with a partial anterior circulation syndrome, 105/144 (73%) with a lacunar syndrome, and 105/126 (83%) with a posterior circulation syndrome. Overall, 75% of patients with visible infarcts were correctly classified clinically. If patients without a visible infarct did have an appropriate lesion in the brain (best case), the classification would have correctly predicted its site and size in 849/1012 (84%) patients, compared with only 492/1012 (49%) in the worst case scenario.
CONCLUSION—The OCSP classification predicted the site of infarct in three quarters of patients. When an infarct is visible on brain imaging, the site of the infarct should guide the use of further investigations, but if an infarct is not seen, the OCSP classification could be used to predict its likely size and site.