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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE

A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2014 October;50(5):489-94

language: English

Topical distribution of initial paresis of the limbs to predict clinically relevant spasticity after ischemic stroke: a retrospective cohort study

Picelli A. 1, Tamburin S. 2, Dambruoso F. 1, Midiri A. 1, Girardi P. 3, Santamato A. 4, Fiore P. 4, Smania N. 1, 5

1 Neuromotor and Cognitive Rehabilitation Research Center, Department of Neurological and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy;
2 Neurology Section, Department of Neurological and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy;
3 Unit of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Verona, Verona, Italy;
4 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation OORR Hospital, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy;
5 Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera‑Universitaria Integrata, Verona, Italy


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BACKGROUND: The degree of initial paresis relates to spasticity development in stroke patients. However, the importance of proximal and distal paresis in predicting spasticity after stroke is unclear.
AIM: To investigate the role of topical distribution of initial limb paresis to predict clinically relevant spasticity in adults with stroke.
DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.
METHODS: Seventy-two first-ever ischemic stroke patients were examined. At the acute phase of illness, demographics and the European Stroke Scale motor items (maintenance of outstretched arm position, arm raising, wrist extension, grip strength, maintenance of outstretched leg position, leg flexion, foot dorsiflexion) were evaluated. At six months after the stroke onset, spasticity was assessed at the upper and lower limb with the modified Ashworth Scale. Clinically relevant spasticity was defined as modified Ashworth Scale ≥3 (0-5).
RESULTS: The degree of initial paresis of the proximal muscles of the upper limb and the distal muscles of the lower limb showed the strongest association and the best profile of sensitivity-specificity in predicting clinically relevant spasticity at the upper and lower limb, respectively. Younger age showed higher risk for developing clinically relevant spasticity in the upper limb.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the hypothesis that the initial degree of proximal paresis of the upper limb and distal paresis of the lower limb as well as age may be considered early predictors of clinically relevant spasticity in adults with ischemic stroke.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Our findings further improve the role of initial paresis as predictor of spasticity after stroke.

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nicola.smania@univr.it