The RoPE Score and Right-to-Left Shunt Severity by Transcranial Doppler in the CODICIA Study.

The RoPE Score and Right-to-Left Shunt Severity by Transcranial Doppler in the CODICIA Study.



For patients with cryptogenic stroke (CS) and patent foramen ovale (PFO), it is unknown whether the magnitude of right-to-left shunt (RLSh) measured by contrast transcranial Doppler (c-TCD) is correlated with the likelihood an identified PFO is related to CS as determined by the Risk of Paradoxical Embolism (RoPE) score. Additionally, for patients with CS, it is unknown whether PFO assessment by c-TCD is more sensitive for identifying RLSh compared with transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). Our aim was to determine the significance of RLSh grade by c-TCD in patients with PFO and CS.


We evaluated patients with CS who had RLSh quantified by c-TCD in the Multicenter Study into RLSh in Cryptogenic Stroke (CODICIA) to determine whether there is an association between c-TCD shunt grade and the RoPE Score. For patients who underwent c-TCD and TEE, we determined whether there is agreement in identifying and grading RLSh between these two modalities.


The RoPE score predicted the presence versus the absence of RLSh documented by c-TCD (c-statistic = 0.66). For patients with documented RLSh by c-TCD, shunt severity was correlated with increasing RoPE score (rank correlation (r) = 0.15, p = 0.01). Among 293 patients who had both c-TCD and TEE performed, c-TCD was more sensitive (98.7%) for detecting RLSh. Of the 97 patients with no PFO identified on TEE, 28 (29%) had a large amount of RLSh seen on c-TCD.


For patients with CS, severity of RLSh by c-TCD is positively correlated with the RoPE score, indicating that this technique for shunt grading identifies patients more likely to have pathogenic rather than incidental PFOs. c-TCD is also more sensitive in detecting RLSh than TEE. These findings suggest an important role for c-TCD in the evaluation of PFO in the setting of CS.

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