Objective: To investigate the incidence and prognostic significance of fever on presentation and during the subsequent 72 hours in patients with spontaneous supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
Methods: We analyzed 251 patients. On admission, body temperature, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, age, sex, blood pressure, blood glucose level, and presumed origin of hemorrhage were analyzed. From the initial CT scan, hematoma volume, location, and presence of intraventricular hemorrhage were determined. From the first 72 hours, hematoma enlargement, duration of increased temperatures, blood pressure, and blood glucose level were determined. Outcome was classified on discharge with the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score.
Results: Outcomes included no symptoms in 23 (9%), moderate disability in 64 (26%), severe disability in 104 (41%), vegetative state in 5 (2%), and death in 55 (22%) patients. Prognostic factors retained from a logistic regression model with a dichotomized GOS scale (GOS score of 1 or 2 versus GOS score of 3 to 5) as response variables were GCS score of 7 or less, age older than 75 years, hematoma volume of more than 60 cm3, ventricular hemorrhage, and presence of a coagulation disorder (p < 0.05). Fever was associated with intraventricular hemorrhage. From 196 patients, data from the first 72 hours were analyzed. A total of 18 patients (9%) had normal temperatures throughout the study. The duration of fever (> or =37.5 degrees C) was less than 24 hours in 66 (34%), 24 to 48 hours in 70 (36%), and more than 48 hours in 42 patients (21%). Independent prognostic factors during the first 72 hours were duration of fever, secondary hemorrhage, GCS score of 7 or less, ventricular hemorrhage, hematoma volume of more than 60 cm3, duration of increased blood pressure of more than 48 hours, and duration of increased blood glucose of more than 48 hours.
Conclusions: The incidence of fever after supratentorial ICH is high, especially in patients with ventricular hemorrhage. In patients surviving the first 72 hours after hospital admission, the duration of fever is associated with poor outcome and seems to be an independent prognostic factor in these patients.