Less is more - The Finnish Prehospital Stroke Scale prospective validation

Jyrki Ollikainen, Pasi Jolma, Juha Pekka Pienimäki, Pauli Vuorinen, Niku Oksala, Marko Kimpimäki, Markku Grönroos, Tuuli Maria Haula, Heikki Janhunen, Satu Liisa Pauniaho

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Objectives: The current bifurcation of the acute stroke care pathway requires prehospital separation of strokes caused by large vessel occlusion. The first four binary items of the Finnish Prehospital Stroke Scale (FPSS) identify stroke in general, while the fifth binary item alone identifies stroke due to large vessel occlusion. The straightforward design is both easy for paramedics and statistically beneficial. We implemented FPSS based Western Finland Stroke Triage Plan, including medical districts of a comprehensive stroke center and four primary stroke centers. Patients and Methods: The prospective study population was consecutive recanalization candidates transported to the comprehensive stroke center within the first six months of implementing the stroke triage plan. Cohort 1 consisted of n=302 thrombolysis- or endovascular treatment candidates transported from the comprehensive stroke center hospital district. Cohort 2 comprised ten endovascular treatment candidates transferred directly to the comprehensive stroke center from the medical districts of four primary stroke centers. Results: In Cohort 1, FPSS sensitivity for large vessel occlusion was 0.66, specificity 0.94, positive predictive value 0.70, and negative predictive value 0.93. Of the ten Cohort 2 patients, nine had large vessel occlusion, and one had an intracerebral hemorrhage. Conclusions: FPSS is straightforward enough to be implemented in primary care services to identify candidates for endovascular treatment and thrombolysis. When used by paramedics, it predicted two-thirds of large vessel occlusions with the highest specificity and positive predictive value reported to date.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106996
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • large vessel occlusion
  • paramedics
  • stroke
  • triage

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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