Posterior circulation acute ischemic stroke constitutes one-fourth of all ischemic strokes and can be efficiently quantified using the posterior circulation Alberta stroke program early computed tomography score (PC-ASPECTS) through diffusion-weighted imaging. We investigated whether the PC-ASPECTS and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) facilitate functional outcome prediction among Chinese patients with posterior circulation acute ischemic stroke. Participants were selected from our prospective stroke registry from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2016. The baseline NIHSS score was assessed on the first day of admission, and brain magnetic resonance imaging was performed within 36 h after stroke onset. Simple and multiple logistic regressions were conducted to determine stroke risk factors and the PC-ASPECTS. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis was performed to compare the NIHSS and PC-ASPECTS. Of 549 patients from our prospective stroke admission registry database, 125 (22.8%) had a diagnosis of posterior circulation acute ischemic stroke. The optimal cutoff for the PC-ASPECTS in predicting outcomes was 7. The odds ratios of the PC-ASPECTS (≤ 7 vs > 7) in predicting outcomes were 6.33 (p = 0.0002) and 8.49 (p = 0.0060) in the univariate and multivariate models, respectively, and 7.52 (p = 0.0041) in the aging group. On ROC curve analysis, the PC-ASPECTS demonstrated more reliability than the baseline NIHSS for predicting functional outcomes of minor posterior circulation stroke. In conclusion, both the PC-ASPECTS and NIHSS help clinicians predict functional outcomes. PC-ASPECTS > 7 is a helpful discriminator for achieving favorable functional outcome prediction in posterior circulation acute ischemic stroke.
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