Background: We aimed to examine current practice of the management and secondary prevention of intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) in China where the disease is more common than in Western populations.
Methods: Data on baseline characteristics, management in-hospital and post-stroke, and outcome of ICH patients are from the ChinaQUEST (QUality Evaluation of Stroke Care and Treatment) study, a multi-centre, prospective, 62 hospital registry in China during 2006-07.
Results: Nearly all ICH patients (n = 1572) received an intravenous haemodiluting agent such as mannitol (96%) or a neuroprotectant (72%), and there was high use of intravenous traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) (42%). Neurosurgery was undertaken in 137 (9%) patients; being overweight, having a low Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score on admission, and Total Anterior Circulation Syndrome (TACS) clinical pattern on admission, were the only baseline factors associated with this intervention in multivariate analyses. Neurosurgery was associated with nearly three times higher risk of death/disability at 3 months post-stroke (odd ratio [OR] 2.60, p < 0.001). Continuation of antihypertensives in-hospital and at 3 and 12 months post-stroke was reported in 732/935 (78%), 775/935 (83%), and 752/935 (80%) living patients with hypertension, respectively.
Conclusions: The management of ICH in China is characterised by high rates of use of intravenous haemodiluting agents, neuroprotectants, and TCM, and of antihypertensives for secondary prevention. The controversial efficacy of these therapies, coupled with the current lack of treatments of proven benefit, is a call for action for more outcomes based research in ICH.