Objective: To develop a grading scale to predict the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and prognosis after treatment with IV tissue-plasminogen activator (t-PA) in patients with ischemic stroke.
Methods: We constructed a five-point scale based on NIH Stroke Scale score, extent of hypodensity on CT scan, serum glucose at baseline, and history of diabetes to predict the risk of hemorrhage after thrombolysis (HAT score). We evaluated the predictive ability of this scale, using c-statistics, in two independent cohorts: the t-PA treated group in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke study, and consecutive patients treated with IV t-PA at our institution.
Results: The percentage of patients who developed any ICH after t-PA increased with higher scores in both cohorts. Collectively, the rate of any symptomatic ICH was 2% (0 point), 5% (1 point), 10% (2 points), 15% (3 points), and 44% (>3 points). The c-statistic was 0.72 (95% CI 0.65-0.79; p < 0.001) for all hemorrhages; 0.74 (0.63-0.84; p < 0.001) for symptomatic hemorrhages; and 0.79 (0.70-0.88; p < 0.001) for hemorrhages with final fatal outcome. Similar results were obtained when each cohort was analyzed separately. The score also reasonably predicted good (mRS < or = 2) (c-statistic 0.75; 0.69-0.80; p < 0.001) and catastrophic (mRS > or = 5) (0.78; 0.72-0.84; p < 0.001) functional outcomes on day 90 in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke t-PA-treated patients.
Conclusions: The hemorrhage after thrombolysis (HAT) score is a practical, quick, and easy-to-perform scale that allows reasonable risk stratification of intracerebral hemorrhage after IV tissue-plasminogen activator (t-PA). However, the prognostic value of this scale and its use to predict the net benefit from t-PA needs to be refined and prospectively confirmed in a larger cohort of patients before it can be used in clinical decision-making.