Stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Current diagnostic modalities include CT and MRI. Over the last decade, novel technologies to facilitate stroke diagnosis, with the hope of shortening time to treatment and reducing rates of morbidity and mortality, have been developed. The authors conducted a systematic review to identify studies reporting on next-generation point-of-care stroke diagnostic technologies described within the last decade.
A systematic review was performed according to PRISMA guidelines to identify studies reporting noninvasive stroke diagnostics. The QUADAS-2 (Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2) tool was utilized to assess risk of bias. PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus databases were utilized. Primary outcomes assessed included accuracy and timing compared with standard imaging, potential risks or complications, potential limitations, cost of the technology, size/portability, and range/size of detection.
Of the 2646 reviewed articles, 19 studies met the inclusion criteria and included the following modalities of noninvasive stoke detection: microwave technology (6 studies, 31.6%), electroencephalography (EEG; 4 studies, 21.1%), ultrasonography (3 studies, 15.8%), near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS; 2 studies, 10.5%), portable MRI devices (2 studies, 10.5%), volumetric impedance phase-shift spectroscopy (VIPS; 1 study, 5.3%), and eddy current damping (1 study, 5.3%). Notable medical devices that accurately predicted stroke in this review were EEG-based diagnosis, with a maximum sensitivity of 91.7% for predicting a stroke, microwave-based diagnosis, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.88 for differentiating ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), ultrasound with an AUC of 0.92, VIPS with an AUC of 0.93, and portable MRI with a diagnostic accuracy similar to that of traditional MRI. NIRS offers significant potential for more superficially located hemorrhage but is limited in detecting deep-seated ICH (2.5-cm scanning depth).
As technology and computational resources have advanced, several novel point-of-care medical devices show promise in facilitating rapid stroke diagnosis, with the potential for improving time to treatment and informing prehospital stroke triage.