A smartphone pupillometry tool for detection of acute large vessel occlusion

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2023 Dec;32(12):107430. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2023.107430. Epub 2023 Oct 17.


Objectives: Pupillary light reflex (PLR) parameters can be used as quantitative biomarkers of neurological function. Since digital infrared pupillometry is expensive, we sought to examine alterations in PLR parameters using a smartphone quantitative pupillometry platform in subjects with acute ischemic stroke (AIS).

Materials and methods: Patients were enrolled if they presented to the emergency department as a stroke code activation and had evidence of a large vessel occlusion (LVO) on computed tomography angiography. Controls were enrolled from hospital staff. A smartphone pupillometer was used in AIS patients with LVO pre-mechanical thrombectomy, immediately post-thrombectomy, and at 24 h post-thrombectomy. Clinical and demographic data were collected, along with the proprietary Neurological Pupil index (NPi) score from the NPi-200 digital infrared pupillometer. PLR parameters were compared using mean differences. The absolute and non-absolute inter-eye difference in each parameter for each subject were also analyzed by measuring 1 - (R:L) to determine alteration in the equilibrium between subject pupils. The NPi was analyzed for mean differences between cohorts.

Results: Healthy controls (n = 132) and AIS patients (n = 31) were enrolled. Significant differences were observed in PLR parameters for healthy subjects when compared to pre-thrombectomy subjects in both mean and absolute inter-eye differences after post hoc Bonferroni correction. The proprietary NPi score was not significantly different for all groups and comparisons.

Conclusions: Significant alterations in the PLR were observed in AIS patients with LVO before thrombectomy, indicating the potential use of smartphone pupillometry for detection of LVO.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Ischemic stroke; Mobile health; Pupillary light reflex; Smartphone pupillometry.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Ischemic Stroke*
  • Pupil
  • Reflex, Pupillary
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Smartphone
  • Stroke* / diagnostic imaging