Neurological Impairment Among Survivors of Intracerebral Hemorrhage: The FAST Trial

Abstract Background Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is the deadliest and most disabling form of stroke. Little is known about the causes of persistent neurological impairment among ICH survivors.

Methods Factor seven for acute hemorrhagic stroke (FAST) was a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted at 122 sites in 22 countries. Neurological impairment was evaluated according to the NIHSS in all patients at hospital admission, and at days 1, 2, 3, 15 and day 90 after ICH onset. Multivariate stepwise logistic regression was applied to identify predictors of neurological impairment 90 days after hospital admission.

Results A total of 821 patients were enrolled; 638 survivors were evaluated with the NIHSS at day 90. Mean NIHSS score at admission was 13.2 (SD 6.6), decreasing to 9.6 (SD 7.7) at day 15 and 5.1 (SD 5.5) at day 90. Twenty-five percent of patients had severe neurological impairment (NIHSS ≥ 15) at baseline compared to 6% of those alive at day 90. Neurological worsening within the first 72 h (defined as worsening of GCS of two or more points or increase in NIHSS score ≥ 4) predicted greater neurological impairment at day 90 in all models. A decrease of <10% in systolic blood pressure (SBP) within the first 24 h was significantly associated with less severe neurologic impairment compared to more severe reductions.

Conclusion Neurological deterioration within 24 h of ICH onset is a powerful determinant of persistent neurological impairment. Careful reduction of the SBP by 1–10% in the first 24 h may lower the risk.

  • Content Type Journal Article
  • Category Original Article
  • Pages 1-8
  • DOI 10.1007/s12028-011-9632-6
  • Authors
    • Michael C. Christensen, Regulatory Affairs, Novo Nordisk A/S, Vandtårnsvej 114, 2860 Søborg, Denmark
    • Stephen Morris, UCL Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL, London, UK
    • Laura Vallejo-Torres, UCL Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL, London, UK
    • Catherine Vincent, Merck Serono, Geneva, Switzerland
    • Stephan A. Mayer, Departments of Neurology and Neurological Surgery, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

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