Background: Spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is frequently associated with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), which is an independent predictor of poor outcome. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between ICH volume and anatomic location to IVH, and to determine if ICH decompression into the ventricle is truly beneficial.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the CT scans and charts of all patients with ICH admitted to our stroke center over a 3-year period. Outcome data were collected using our prospective stroke registry.
Results: We identified 406 patients with ICH. A total of 45% had IVH. Thalamic and caudate locations had the highest IVH frequency (69% and 100%). ICH volume and ICH location were predictors of IVH (p < 0.001). Within each location, decompression ranges (specific volume ranges where ventricular rupture tends to occur) were established. Patients with IVH were twice as likely to have a poor outcome (discharge modified Rankin scale of 4 to 6) (OR 2.25, p = 0.001) when compared to patients without IVH. Caudate location was associated with a good outcome despite 100% incidence of IVH. Spontaneous ventricular decompression was not associated with better outcome, regardless of parenchymal volume reduction (p = 0.72).
Conclusions: Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) occurs in nearly half of patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and is related to ICH volume and location. IVH is likely to occur within the "decompression ranges" that take into account both ICH location and volume. Further, spontaneous ventricular decompression does not translate to better clinical outcome. This information may prove useful for future ICH trials, and to the clinician communicating with patients and families.