Ann Geriatr Med Res.  2020 Sep;24(3):211-217. 10.4235/agmr.20.0042.

Red Cell Distribution Width as a Predictor of Functional Outcome in Rehabilitation of Older Stroke Patients

  • 1Fliman Geriatric Rehabilitation Hospital, Haifa, Israel
  • 2The Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel


Red cell distribution width (RDW) is a prognostic marker in vascular diseases. While increased RDW predicts mortality and outcomes after ischemic stroke, evidence regarding its prognostic significance in stroke rehabilitation is lacking. Thus, the present study investigated the relationship of RDW with stroke, orthopedic, and deconditioning rehabilitation outcomes.
This prospective comparative study included three groups (stroke, orthopedic, and deconditioning) of older adult patients hospitalized for rehabilitation. The patients in each group were divided into two subgroups according to whether they had high (>14.5%) or normal (≤14.5%) RDW levels on admission. Functional outcome was assessed by total and motor FIM (Functional Independence Measure) score changes and efficiency at admission and on discharge. Results: Of the 234 eligible patients, 108 (46.2%) had high RDW. Of the 50 stroke rehabilitation patients, 13 (26%) had high RDW. FIM change and efficiency scores were significantly lower in patients with high RDW only in the stroke rehabilitation group. However, multiple linear regression analysis showed that high RDW was not independently associated with total and motor FIM gain or total and motor FIM efficiency.
High RDW levels on admission to rehabilitation were associated with poor rehabilitation outcome in stroke patients but were not an independent risk factor for rehabilitation outcomes.


Stroke; Red cell distribution width; Rehabilitation; Recovery of function
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