Objectives: The objective was to explore the incidence, predictors, and prognostic significance of emergency department (ED) neurologic deterioration in patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (SICH).
Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study conducted at the ED, neurocritical care unit, and general intensive care unit of a university-affiliated medical center. Consecutive adult SICH patients treated in our ED from January 2002 through December 2009 were included, identified from the registered stroke data bank. These were cross-checked for coding with International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification 431 and 432.9. Enrolled patients had SICH with elapsed times of <12 hours and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores ≥ 13 on arrival. ED neurologic deterioration was defined as having a two-or-more-point decrease in consciousness noted in any GCS score assessment between ED presentation and admission. Comparisons of numerical data were performed using an unpaired t-test (parametric data) or Mann-Whitney U-test (nonparametric data). Comparisons of categorical data were done by chi-square tests. Variables with p < 0.1 in univariate analysis were further analyzed using multiple logistic regression. No variable automated or manual selection methods were used.
Results: Among the 619 patients with SICH included in the study, 22.6% had ED neurologic deterioration. Independent predictors for ED neurologic deterioration included regular antiplatelet use, ictus to ED arrival time under 3 hours, initial body temperature ≥ 37.5°C, intraparenchymal hemorrhage associated with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), and presence of a midline shift of greater than 2 mm on computed tomography (CT). ED neurologic deterioration was associated with 1-week mortality, 30-day mortality, and poor neurologic outcome on discharge.
Conclusions: Nearly one-quarter of SICH patients with an initial GCS of 13 to 15 had a two points or more deterioration of their GCS while in the ED. ED neurologic deterioration was associated with death and poor neurologic outcomes on discharge. Several risk factors that are available early in the patients' courses appear to be associated with ED neurologic deterioration. By identifying patients at risk for early neurologic decline and intervening early, physicians may be able to improve patient outcomes.
© 2012 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.