Can we distinguish stroke and stroke mimics via red cell distribution width in young patients?
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Submission date: 2013-08-20
Final revision date: 2013-10-21
Acceptance date: 2013-10-21
Online publication date: 2015-10-12
Publication date: 2015-10-31
Arch Med Sci 2015;11(5):958–963
Introduction: Discrimination of stroke and stroke mimics is problematic in young patients. The aim of the study was to determine whether arterial ischemic stroke and stroke mimics can be differentiated via the red cell distribution width (RDW) value in young patients.
Material and methods: In this retrospective cross-sectional study, a total of 236 patients hospitalized at the neurology ward were investigated. The patients were divided into 3 groups: the 1st group included young stroke patients, the 2nd group included patients with epilepsy, and the 3rd group included patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Complete blood count and computed tomographic brain imaging tests were performed in all patients, and magnetic resonance imaging was done when necessary.
Results: A total of 236 patients were included in this study. Ninety-five (40%) patients were young stroke patients, 71 (30%) had epilepsy and 70 (30%) had MS. The mean RDW values of young patients with stroke were significantly higher than patients with epilepsy or MS (14.9 ±1.2, 13.3 ±1.2, 13.4 ±0.6, p < 0.0001, respectively). The diagnostic power of RDW in the differentiation of patients with stroke is good (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.89). When an RDW cut-off value of 14.05% is accepted for differentiating young patients with stroke from other disorders, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive and negative predictive values were 73.7%, 87.9%, 6.1 and 0.043, respectively.
Conclusions: Red cell distribution width is a promising, rapid, easy and inexpensive parameter to distinguish young stroke from stroke mimics (such as epilepsy and MS) in young patients.