Gaze Weakness Neglect and Speech: An Acute Stroke Scale for Large Vessel Occlusion in the Emergency Department for Faster Treatment 

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Yahia M Lodi Adam Bowen Aria Soltani Irfan Khan H Polavarapu Anas Hourani


Background: Despite the advancement in acute ischemic stroke with large vessel occlusion (LVO), golden time is lost in assessment lengthy neurological examination and redundantly in the Emergency department, often after emergency medical service prehospital stroke scale evaluation indicating possible LVO. A simple acute ischemic stroke scale (AISS) of the cortical representations of the anterior circulation can rapidly predict LVO, saving precious time to initiate early intravenous tissue plasminogen activator and endovascular mechanical thrombectomy. We proposed an ASIS in the emergency department called Gaze Weakness Neglect Speech (GWNS) to evaluate its feasibility and predictability for the detection of LVO in anterior circulation in the emergency department. Additionally, to evaluate if time can be gained that has been lost in obtaining National Institute of Health stroke Scale (NIHSS) and computed tomographic angiography (CTA), avoiding unnecessary radiation.

Methods: This is a prospective observational study. An institutional review board permission was obtained, and patient enrollment started in January 2020 and ended in January 2021. Consecutive patients from January 2020 to September 2021 were selected from the database. The GWNS stroke scale was used by stroke and vascular neurologist during the emergency triage. The GWNS stroke scale scores range from 0 to 4 (1 for positive 0 for negative). The GWNS stroke scale assesses gaze deviation or gaze preference (G), presence of any weakness (W), neglect/disregard (N), and any speech impairment (S). Demographic data, CTA/cerebral angiographic data, and scores from NIHSS were also collected. The collected data was analyzed by a biostatistician to determine the association between the GWNS scale score and LVO.

Results: In our study,109 qualifying patients were selected. Fifty-eight patients had GWNS stroke scale score of 3 or 4, with 57 having confirmed LVO and 1 presenting after a seizure.  The GWNS stroke score ≥3 (0.86) correlated with LVO better than NIHSS (0.67), regardless of hemisphere side involvement. The GWNS stroke scale score of ≥3 also was effective in detection of proximal and distal blood vessels occlusion in the anterior circulation (Internal carotid artery, middle cerebral artery and its branches).  A GWNS stroke scale score of ≥3 with presence of gaze was the most predictive for LVO (0.9) followed by neglect/disregards (0.8). The time to obtain GWNS stroke scale was 1.5 minutes (range 1-3) and time to obtain/interpretation CTA was 41.3 +/- 7.4 minutes after emergency department arrival (range: 29-51 minutes).

Conclusions: Our Gaze Weakness Neglect Speech stroke scale can be performed rapidly in the emergency department and is highly predictive of LVO in the internal carotid artery, middle cerebral artery and middle cerebral branches. A GWNS stroke scale score of ≥3 is highly predictive of LVO, especially when gaze or neglect is present. Patients can potentially bypass CTA or advanced imaging in future studies, saving precious time and millions of brain cells for better outcome.

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LODI, Yahia M et al. Gaze Weakness Neglect and Speech: An Acute Stroke Scale for Large Vessel Occlusion in the Emergency Department for Faster Treatment . Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 5, may 2023. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 18 apr. 2024. doi:
Research Articles


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