Author: Nick Hatch, M.D.
- The Cincinnati Stroke Scale uses 3 measures to screen for ischemic stroke. The measures are: facial asymmetry, speech quality and arm drift.
- This scale is used commonly in EMS systems as a screening tool.
- Studies show that having one out of the 3 elements correlates with a 72% chance of having an ischemic stroke, while having all 3 of the elements correlates with an 85% chance. Overall the scale is highly sensitive but not very specific (92% and 48%, respectively, in one study).
- The measures focus on anterior circulation function, and often misses posterior circulation strokes.
- The Cincinnati Stroke Scale is good for EMS, but not necessarily for emergency physicians.