Objective: Our goal was to describe the prospective risk and timing of symptomatic hemorrhage in a large cohort of followed patients with intracerebral cavernous malformations (ICMs).
Methods: All patients between 1989 and 1999 with the radiographic diagnosis of intracerebral cavernous malformation were identified retrospectively. The records and radiographic data were reviewed, and follow-up after diagnosis was obtained. An incidence rate was used to calculate annual risk of symptomatic hemorrhage. Predictive factors for outcomes used univariate and multivariable analysis with p < 0.05.
Results: A total of 292 patients were identified (47.3%male) with 2,035 patient years of follow-up. Seventy-four patients presented with hemorrhage, 108 with symptoms not related to hemorrhage (seizure or focal deficit), and 110 as asymptomatic. The overall annual rate of hemorrhage in those presenting initially with hemorrhage, with symptoms not related to hemorrhage, or as an incidental finding was 6.19%, 2.18%, and 0.33%, respectively. Patients who presented initially with symptomatic hemorrhage (hazard ratio 5.14; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.54-10.4; p < 0.001) were at higher risk for future hemorrhage, and hemorrhage risk decreased with time. Male gender (hazard ratio 2.36; 95% CI 1.14-4.89; p = 0.02), and multiplicity of ICMs (hazard ratio 2.65; 95% CI 1.30-5.43; p = 0.01) also increased the risk of hemorrhage. The median time from first to second hemorrhage was 8 months.
Conclusions: This study provides an estimate of prospective annual symptomatic hemorrhage risk in patients with ICMs stratified by initial presenting symptom. Prior hemorrhage, male gender, and multiplicity of ICMs may predict future hemorrhage. Hemorrhage risk decreases with time in those initially presenting with hemorrhage.