Development of a Novel Prognostic Model to Predict 6-Month Swallowing Recovery After Ischemic Stroke

Stroke. 2020 Feb;51(2):440-448. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.027439. Epub 2019 Dec 30.


Background and Purpose- The aim of this study was to explore clinical and radiological prognostic factors for long-term swallowing recovery in patients with poststroke dysphagia and to develop and validate a prognostic model using a machine learning algorithm. Methods- Consecutive patients (N=137) with acute ischemic stroke referred for swallowing examinations were retrospectively reviewed. Dysphagia was monitored in the 6 months poststroke period and then analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression model for clinical and radiological factors. Bayesian network models were developed using potential prognostic factors to classify patients into those with good (no need for tube feeding or diet modification for 6 months) and poor (tube feeding or diet modification for 6 months) recovery of swallowing function. Results- Twenty-four (17.5%) patients showed persistent dysphagia for the first 6 months with a mean duration of 65.6 days. The time duration of poststroke dysphagia significantly differed by tube feeding status, clinical dysphagia scale, sex, severe white matter hyperintensities, and bilateral lesions at the corona radiata, basal ganglia, or internal capsule (CR/BG/IC). Among these factors, tube feeding status (P<0.001), bilateral lesions at CR/BG/IC (P=0.001), and clinical dysphagia scale (P=0.042) were significant prognostic factors in a multivariate analysis using Cox regression models. The tree-augmented network classifier, based on 10 factors (sex, lesions at CR, BG/IC, and insula, laterality, anterolateral territory of the brain stem, bilateral lesions at CR/BG/IC, severe white matter hyperintensities, clinical dysphagia scale, and tube feeding status), performed better than other benchmarking classifiers developed in this study. Conclusions- Initial dysphagia severity and bilateral lesions at CR/BG/IC are revealed to be significant prognostic factors for 6-month swallowing recovery. The prediction of 6-month swallowing recovery was feasible based on clinical and radiological factors using the Bayesian network model. We emphasize the importance of bilateral subcortical lesions as prognostic factors that can be utilized to develop prediction models for long-term swallowing recovery.

Keywords: deglutition; machine learning; prognosis; stroke; survival analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Basal Ganglia / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Brain Stem / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Deglutition Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology
  • Deglutition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Enteral Nutrition
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Humans
  • Internal Capsule / diagnostic imaging
  • Machine Learning*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sex Factors
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • White Matter / diagnostic imaging