Prolonged dysphagia is an important stroke-related complication that imposes a substantial burden on patients and families. However, simple scoring tool to predict prolonged dysphagia is not existing.
This retrospective cohort study used data from April 2010 to March 2016. Adult patients with first-ever stroke were included. The outcome was swallowing function at discharge from the subacute care hospital to the patient’s home. We collected the following factors obtained at discharge from the University of Fukui Hospital: age, sex, type of stroke, comorbidities, smoking status, alcohol use, denture use, functional dependency in daily living before admission, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (NIHSS) at admission, and Functional Independence Measure(FIM). Data were divided into a training set (70%) and test set (30%). Lasso and logistic regression were used for feature selection, a scoring system was then developed, and its prediction performance evaluated.
This study enrolled 462 patients with acute stroke. Using lasso and logistic regression, three variables (functional dependency before admission, Functional Independence Measure [FIM]-cognitive and FIM-motor scores at transfer) remained statistically significant predictors of prolonged dysphagia. Risk scores were categorized as low risk (0-2), moderate risk (3-4), and high risk (5-7), with dysphagia rates of 0%-1%, 13%-29%, and 50%-100%, respectively. A newly developed score ≥3 was the optimal cutoff for identifying patients with the potential risk of prolonged dysphagia (C-statistics, 0.92 in the test set).
The developed scoring system is simple and has a high performance in predicting prolonged dysphagia after acute stroke.

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