To identify predictors and the optimal time point for the early prediction of the presence and severity of spasticity in the upper limb 12 months poststroke.
In total, 117 patients in the Gothenburg area who had experienced a stroke for the first time and with documented arm paresis day 3 poststroke were consecutively included. Assessments were made at admission and at 3 and 10 days, 4 weeks, and 12 months poststroke. Upper limb spasticity in elbow flexion/extension and wrist flexion/extension was assessed with the modified Ashworth Scale (MAS). Any spasticity was regarded as MAS =1, and severe spasticity was regarded as MAS =2 in any of the muscles. Sensorimotor function, sensation, pain, and joint range of motion in the upper limb were assessed with the Fugl-Meyer assessment scale, and, together with demographic and diagnostic information, were included in both univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis models. Seventy-six patients were included in the logistic regression analysis.
Sensorimotor function was the most important predictor both for any and severe spasticity 12 months poststroke. In addition, spasticity 4 weeks poststroke was a significant predictor for severe spasticity. The best prediction model for any spasticity was observed 10 days poststroke (85% sensitivity, 90% specificity). The best prediction model for severe spasticity was observed 4 weeks poststroke (91% sensitivity, 92% specificity).
Reduced sensorimotor function was the most important predictor both for any and severe spasticity, and spasticity could be predicted with high sensitivity and specificity 10 days poststroke.