Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW) Index as a Predictor of Severity of Acute Ischemic Stroke: A Correlation Study
Introduction: Globally, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). The red cell distribution width (RDW) is a readily available and inexpensive test which is done routinely as a part of complete blood count in these patients. Objective: In this study, we tried to correlate the RDW with severity of acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Methods: Patients presenting to emergency department (ED) within 24 hours of the onset of clinical signs and symptoms suggestive of AIS were assessed for Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score followed by non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT) scan. RDW value for all the patients who were included in the study were co-related with the severity of the stroke. Results: The median (IQR) RDW in the patients with minor stroke on the basis of GCS was 13.5 (13.3-13.5), moderate stroke was 13.8 (13.5-14.4) and with severe stroke was 15.4 (15.1- 15.6) (p < 0.001). The median (IQR) RDW in the patients with minor stroke on the basis of NIHSS score was 13.4 (13.2 – 13.6), moderate stroke was 13.8 (13.5-14.3), and moderate to severe stroke was 14.7 (14.5-15.3) and with severe stroke was 15.5 (15.1-15.7) (p < 0.001). The median RDW in patients who were alive was 13.8 (13.5 -15.1) and in patients who expired was 15.5 (14.5 -15.7) (p = 0.048). Conclusion: Based on the findings of this study, RDW index has statistically significant correlation with the severity of AIS. So it can potentially be an important parameter to predict the prognosis of AIS patients.
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