Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener 2017 11 13;18(7-8):505-510. Epub 2017 Jul 13.
a Institute of Physiology, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculty of Medicine , University of Lisbon , Lisbon , Portugal.
Objective: To define an applicable dataset for ALS patient registries we weighted specific clinical items as scored by worldwide ALS experts.
Methods: Sixty participants were invited based on relevant clinical work, publications and personal acquaintance. They rated 160 clinical items consensually agreed by the members of our project, incorporating specialists from five European Centres. Scoring scheme was defined as: 1 - essential; 2 - important; 3 - not very important. A mixed effect model was applied to rank items and to find possible correlations with geographical region (Europe vs. outside Europe).
Results: We received 40 responses, 20 from Europe and 20 from outside; 42/160 data were scored as essential by >50% of the respondents, including: date of birth, gender, date of disease onset, date of diagnosis, ethnicity, region of onset, predominant upper neuron (UMN) or lower motor neuron (LMN) impairment, proximal versus distal weakness, respiratory symptoms, dysarthria, weight loss, signs of LMN/UMN involvement, emotional incontinence, cognitive changes, respiratory signs, neck weakness, body mass index, ALSFRS-R at entry, ALSFRS-R subscores at entry, timing and pattern of spreading and staging, electromyography, spirometry, MRI, CK level, riluzole intake, genetic background, history of physical exercise and previous and current main occupation. Four components were scored as non-relevant, including place of birth, blood pressure and pain at onset. There was no significant difference between regions (European vs. non-European countries).
Conclusions: Our study identified a consensual set of clinical data with 42 specific items that can be used as a minimal data set for patient registers and for clinical trials.