October 29, 2009

"The Neuro Exam is not dead"

Bedside Eye Exam Outperforms MRI in Identifying Stroke

"We only misclassified 1 out of 25 patients who had a vestibular disease that was a benign condition of the inner ear,"

"This study demonstrates the critical importance of function-linked tests over purely time-static anatomic tests in discerning the localization of vestibular dysfunction early in its course," session cochair Nina Schor, MD, PhD, from the University of Rochester Medical Center, New York, told Medscape Neurology. "It's so much the better that the tests described by Dr. Newman-Toker can be performed at the bedside in these often critically ill patients."

There are three signs to look for:
Head Impulse test
Beating Nystagmus in lateral gaze
Test of Skew with the Cover/Alternating Cover

These signs showed a Sensitivity of 100% (n=69) and a specificity of 96%(n=25) which is remarkable... while it makes sense to "wait and see" if future tests show that these results are reproducible, it really does not hurt to spend a few extra minutes in a neuro exam to check for these things:
"I No (know) Strokes!" Impulse/Nystagmus/Skew.

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