Skip to main content

ED misdiagnosis of cerebrovascular events in the era of modern neuroimaging

Buy Article:

$49.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Objective:

With the emergency department (ED) being a high-risk site for diagnostic errors, we sought to estimate ED diagnostic accuracy for identifying acute cerebrovascular events.

Methods:

MEDLINE and Embase were searched for studies (1995–2016) reporting ED diagnostic accuracy for ischemic stroke, TIA, or subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Two independent reviewers determined inclusion. We identified 1,693 unique citations, examined 214 full articles, and analyzed 23 studies. Studies were rated on risk of bias (QUADAS-2). Diagnostic data were extracted. We prospectively defined clinical presentation subgroups to compare odds of misdiagnosis.

Results:

Included studies reported on 15,721 patients. Studies were at low risk of bias. Overall sensitivity (91.3% [95% confidence interval (CI) 90.7–92.0]) and specificity (92.7% [91.7–93.7]) for a cerebrovascular etiology was high, but there was significant variation based on clinical presentation. Misdiagnosis was more frequent among subgroups with milder (SAH with normal vs abnormal mental state; false-negative rate 23.8% vs 4.2%, odds ratio [OR] 7.03 [4.80–10.31]), nonspecific (dizziness vs motor findings; false-negative rate 39.4% vs 4.4%, OR 14.22 [9.76–20.74]), or transient (TIA vs ischemic stroke; false discovery rate 59.7% vs 11.7%, OR 11.21 [6.66–18.89]) symptoms.

Conclusions:

Roughly 9% of cerebrovascular events are missed at initial ED presentation. Risk of misdiagnosis is much greater when presenting neurologic complaints are mild, nonspecific, or transient (range 24%–60%). This difference suggests that many misdiagnoses relate to symptom-specific factors. Future research should emphasize studying causes and designing error-reduction strategies in symptom-specific subgroups at greatest risk of misdiagnosis.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 11 April 2017

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more