Gender differences in outcomes after ischemic stroke: role of ischemic lesion volume and intracranial large-artery occlusion

Cerebrovasc Dis. 2010;30(5):470-5. doi: 10.1159/000317088. Epub 2010 Aug 24.


Background: The reasons for gender disparities in stroke outcome remain unclear, and little is known about the value of acute neuroimaging characteristics in elucidating differential stroke outcomes between the sexes.

Methods: We prospectively evaluated consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke. CT angiography (CTA) was performed in all patients within 24 h of symptom onset. CTA source images were used to evaluate lesion volume. The primary outcome measure was a modified Rankin scale (mRS) score ≥ 3 at 6 months.

Results: We evaluated 676 consecutive patients (322 women). Women were older than men (p < 0.01), more frequently had a prestroke mRS >0 (p < 0.01), and had higher admission National Institutes of Health Stroke scale scores (p = 0.01). More women had intracranial artery occlusions than men (46 vs. 33.1%, p = 0.01), but there was no significant difference between ischemic lesion volumes (p = 0.21). Using multiple regression, female gender remained an independent predictor of poor mRS scores at 6 months (odds ratio 1.57; 95% confidence interval 1.02-2.36) after adjustment for clinical and imaging covariates.

Conclusion: Compared with men, women are less likely to achieve independence after acute ischemic stroke. The disparity in stroke outcome is not explained by differences in ischemic lesion volume or the presence of intracranial artery occlusions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / epidemiology
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology*
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Stroke / diagnosis*
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / pathology