Prehospital identification of large vessel occlusion using the FAST‐ED score



The prehospital identification of stroke patients with large vessel occlusion (LVO) enables appropriate hospital selection and reduces the onset-to-treatment time. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the Field Assessment Stroke Triage for Emergency Destination (FAST-ED) scale could be reconstructed from existing prehospital patient reports and to compare its performance with neurologist’s clinical judgement using the same prehospital data.

Materials & Methods

All patients transported by ambulance using stroke code on a six-month period were registered for the study. The prehospital patient reports were retrospectively evaluated using the FAST-ED scale by two investigators. The performance of FAST-ED score (≥4 points) in LVO identification was compared to neurologist’s clinical judgement (‘LVO or not’). The presence of LVO was verified using computed tomography angiography imaging.


A total of 610 FAST-ED scores were obtained. The FAST-ED had a sensitivity of 57.8%, specificity of 87.2%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 37.3%, negative predictive value (NPV) of 93.4% and area under curve (AUC) of 0.724. Interclass correlation coefficient for both raters over the entire range of FAST-ED was 0.92 (0.88–0.94). The neurologist’s clinical judgement raised sensitivity to 79.4%, NPV to 97.1% and PPV to 45.0% with an AUC of 0.837 (p < .05).


The existing patient report data could be feasibly used to reconstruct FAST-ED scores to identify LVO. The binary FAST-ED score had a moderate sensitivity and good specificity for prehospital LVO identification. However, the FAST-ED was surpassed by neurologist’s clinical judgement which further increased the sensitivity of identification.

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