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Purines for Rapid Identification of Stroke Mimics (PRISM): study protocol for a diagnostic accuracy study


Purines for Rapid Identification of Stroke Mimics (PRISM): study protocol for a diagnostic accuracy study Thumbnail



<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:sec> <jats:title>Background</jats:title> <jats:p>Rapid treatment of stroke improves outcomes, but accurate early recognition can be challenging. Between 20 and 40% of patients suspected to have stroke by ambulance and emergency department staff later receive a non-stroke ‘mimic’ diagnosis after stroke specialist investigation. This early diagnostic uncertainty results in displacement of mimic patients from more appropriate services, inappropriate demands on stroke specialist resources and delayed access to specialist therapies for stroke patients. Blood purine concentrations rise rapidly during hypoxic tissue injury, which is a key mechanism of damage during acute stroke but is not typical in mimic conditions. A portable point of care fingerprick test has been developed to measure blood purine concentration which could be used to triage patients experiencing suspected stroke symptoms into those likely to have a non-stroke mimic condition and those likely to have true stroke. This study is evaluating test performance for identification of stroke mimic conditions.</jats:p> </jats:sec><jats:sec> <jats:title>Methods</jats:title> <jats:p>Design: prospective observational cohort study</jats:p> <jats:p>Setting: regional UK ambulance and acute stroke services</jats:p> <jats:p>Participants: a convenience series of two populations will be tested: adults with a label of suspected stroke assigned (and tested) by attending ambulance personnel and adults with a label of suspected stroke assigned at hospital (who have not been tested by ambulance staff).</jats:p> <jats:p>Index test: SMARTChip Purine assay</jats:p> <jats:p>Reference standard tests: expert clinician opinion informed by brain imaging and/or other investigations will assign the following diagnoses which constitute the suspected stroke population: ischaemic stroke, haemorrhagic stroke, TIA and stroke mimic conditions.</jats:p> <jats:p>Sample size: ambulance population (powered for mimic sensitivity) 935 participants; hospital population (powered for mimic specificity) 377 participants.</jats:p> <jats:p>Analyses: area under the receiver operating curve (ROC) and optimal sensitivity, specificity, and negative and positive predictive values for identification of mimic conditions. Optimal threshold for the ambulance population will maximise sensitivity, minimum 80%, and aim to keep specificity above 70%. Optimal threshold for the hospital population will maximise specificity, minimum 80%, and aim to keep sensitivity above 70%.</jats:p> </jats:sec><jats:sec> <jats:title>Discussion</jats:title> <jats:p>The results from this study will determine how accurately the SMARTChip purine assay test can identify stroke mimic conditions within the suspected stroke population. If acceptable performance is confirmed, deployment of the test in ambulances or emergency departments could enable more appropriate direction of patients to stroke or non-stroke services.</jats:p> </jats:sec><jats:sec> <jats:title>Trial registration</jats:title> <jats:p>Registered with ISRCTN (identifier: ISRCTN22323981) on 13/02/2019 <jats:ext-link xmlns:xlink="" ext-link-type="uri" xlink:href=""></jats:ext-link></jats:p> </jats:sec>

Acceptance Date Mar 17, 2021
Publication Date May 20, 2021
Journal Diagnostic and Prognostic Research
Print ISSN 2397-7523
Publisher BioMed Central
Publisher URL