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BACKGROUND: The ABCD(2) score is routinely used in assessment of transient ischaemic attack (TIA) to assess the risk of developing stroke. There remains uncertainty regarding whether the ABCD(2) score could be used to help predict extent of carotid artery stenosis (CAS). OBJECTIVES: We aimed to (i) collate and analyse all available published literature on this topic and (ii) compare the data from our local population to the existing evidence base. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective-observational study over a 6-month period using our East of England hospital-based TIA clinic data with a catchment population of ~750,000. We also searched the literature on studies reporting the association between ABCD(2) score and CAS. RESULTS: We included 341 patients in our observational study. The mean age in our cohort was 72.86 years (SD 10.91) with 52% male participants. ABCD(2) score was not significantly associated with CAS (p = 0.78). Only age > 60 years was significantly associated with ipsilateral (> 50%) and contralateral CAS (> 50% and > 70%) (p < 0.01) after controlling for other confounders. The systematic review identified four studies for inclusion and no significant association between ABCD(2) score and CAS was reported, confirming our findings. CONCLUSION: Our systematic review and observational study confirm that the ABCD(2) score does not predict CAS. However, our observational study has examined a larger number of possible predictors and demonstrates that age appears to be the single best predictor of CAS in patients presenting with a TIA. Selection of urgent carotid ultrasound scan thus should be based on individual patient's age and potential benefit of carotid intervention rather than ABCD(2) score.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Clin Pract

Publication Date





948 - 956


Age Factors, Aged, Blood Pressure, Carotid Stenosis, Female, Humans, Ischemic Attack, Transient, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Predictive Value of Tests, Reproducibility of Results, Retrospective Studies, Review Literature as Topic, Risk Factors, Severity of Illness Index, Stroke