Is the TOAST Classification Suitable for Use in Personalized Medicine in Ischemic Stroke?

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Pathophysiologic classification of ischemic stroke is essential to a personalized approach to stroke treatment. The Trial of Org 101072 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) classification is the most frequently used tool to classify index ischemic strokes. We aimed to assess presence of small and large vessel disease markers across the TOAST groups. In an observational study, 99 ischemic stroke patients were consecutively included and classified according to TOAST. The assessment was supplemented with cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) score, based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and tests for carotid atherosclerosis, ankle-brachial index (ABI), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and peripheral reactive hyperemia index (RHI). Markers of small and large vessel disease were present in all TOAST groups. Carotid stenosis and atrial fibrillation were associated with their respective TOAST groups (p = 0.023 and p < 0.001, respectively). We found no association between the SVD score and the small vessel occlusion TOAST group (p = 0.59), and carotid atherosclerosis (p = 0.35), RHI (p = 0.39), ABI (p = 0.20), and eGFR (p = 0.79) were not associated with TOAST groups. The TOAST classification does not provide differential information on the pathophysiologies of the ischemic stroke. An operational classification that contains quantification of each vascular pathophysiology in the individual patient is pivotal for future research and development of personalized medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number496
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number3
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

    Research areas

  • ischemic stroke, stroke, classification, magnetic resonance imaging, large vessel disease, small vessel disease, personalized medicine, ANKLE-BRACHIAL INDEX, SMALL-VESSEL DISEASE, VASCULAR RISK-FACTORS, ETIOLOGIC CLASSIFICATION, CAUSATIVE CLASSIFICATION, ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION, MORTALITY, SUBTYPE, SCORE

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