Objective: To analyze the incidence and impact of an intracerebral hematoma (ICH) on treatment and outcome in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Methods: Data of 585 consecutive patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage from June 1999 to December 2005 were prospectively entered in a database. ICH was diagnosed and size was measured by computed tomographic scan before aneurysm occlusion. Fifty patients (8.5%) presented with an ICH larger than 50 cm3. The treatment decision (coil, clip, or hematoma evacuation) was based on an interdisciplinary approach. Patients were stratified into good (Hunt and Hess Grades I-III) versus poor (Hunt and Hess Grades IV and V) grade, and outcome was assessed according to the modified Rankin Scale at 6 months.
Results: Overall, 358 patients presented in good grade, with 4 of them having ICH (1.1%); and 227 patients presented in poor grade, with 46 of them having ICH (20.3%, P < 0.01). In good-grade patients with an ICH (n = 4), a favorable outcome (modified Rankin Scale score of 0-2) was achieved in 1 patient (25%), and in 246 patients (75%) without an ICH (P = 0.053; odds ratio, 0.11). A favorable outcome was achieved in 5 poor-grade patients (12.8%) with an ICH and in 40 patients (23.7%) without an ICH (P = 0.19; odds ratio, 0.47). Time to treatment was significantly shorter in patients with an ICH than without an ICH (median, 7 versus 26 h; P < 0.001) and shortest in patients with favorable outcome (3.5 hours; P < 0.01).
Conclusion: The current data confirm that the presence of an ICH is a predictor of unfavorable outcome. However, despite large ICHs, a significant number of patients have a good outcome. To achieve a favorable outcome, ultra-early treatment with hematoma evacuation and aneurysm obliteration seems to be mandatory.