Brott TG, Adams HP, Olinger CP, Marler JR, Barsan WG, Biller J, et al.
"Measurements of acute cerebral infarction: a clinical examination scale."
Stroke. 1989;20: 864 – 870.
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I➜The NIH Stroke Scale or NIHSS is a 15-item impairment scoring system and a reliable tool for rapidly assessing the effects of stroke.
This scoring instrument is serving several purposes, but its main use in clinical medicine is to intend the evaluation of neurologic outcome and degree of recovery for patients with stroke. The scale assesses level of consciousness, extraocular movements, visual fields, facial muscle function, extremity strength, sensory function, coordination (ataxia), language (aphasia), speech (dysarthria), and hemi-inattention (neglect) (Lyden, Lu, & Jackson, 1999; Lyden, Lu, & Levine, 2001).Minimal amounts of training are required to reliably administer this tool, even by non-neurologists.
Items of the NIHSS are based on three previously used scales, the Toronto Stroke Scale, the Oxbury Initial Severity Scale and the Cincinnati Stroke Scale. Additional items were selected based on the clinical expertise of investigators from the NINDS stroke treatment studies (Brott et al. 1989). Obviously, another important use of the NIHSS is in research, where it allows for the objective comparison of efficacy across different stroke treatments and rehabilitation interventions.