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Prevalence of large vessel occlusion in patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke: a 10-year systematic review of the literature
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  • Published on:
    The AIS Denominator

    We had an opportunity to read the article by Lakomkin et al regarding systematic literature review of LVO prevalence. Since one of our studies is part of this review we feel compelled to comment on the paper. We do appreciate the authors’ efforts in conducting this analysis which is important in understanding the burden of disease – but, with respect offer some criticisms. The major limitation of the paper which the authors recognize is the heterogeneity of the included studies. Unfortunately, this limitation is so critical that it yields unreliable information at best and misleading at worst.

    The paper intends to study the prevalence of large vessel strokes. However, apart from a couple of population based studies in their review, the rest are a heterogenous mix describing an LVO rate from very selective cohorts of patients from single centers. Several are centered around validation of clinical scales for detecting LVOs. The key features of a population based study include a defined catchment population, access to a large part of that population and a reliable marker of disease. Without these a “prevalence” constitutes a report of a center’s experience of disease rate as it pertains to their patient intake. While still valuable it is not an estimation of the disease burden in the population that the center serves unless an overwhelming majority of that population comes to that center.

    The authors determine an average rate of about 30% LVO amongst acute isch...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.