Vomiting should be a prompt predictor of stroke outcome

Emerg Med J. 2013 Sep;30(9):728-31. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2012-201586. Epub 2012 Sep 27.


Background: To predict the outcome of stroke at an acute stage is important but still difficult. Vomiting is one of the commonest symptoms in stroke patients. The aim of this study is threefold: first, to examine the percentage of vomiting in each of the three major categories of strokes; second, to investigate the association between vomiting and other characteristics and third, to determine the correlation between vomiting and mortality.

Methods: We investigated the existence or absence of vomiting in stroke patients in the Kyoto prefecture cohort. We compared the characteristics of patients with and without vomiting. We calculated the HR for death in both types of patients, adjusted for age, sex, blood pressure, arrhythmia, tobacco and alcohol use and paresis.

Results: Of the 1968 confirmed stroke patients, 1349 (68.5%) had cerebral infarction (CI), 459 (23.3%) had cerebral haemorrhage (CH) and 152 (7.7%) had subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). Vomiting was seen in 14.5% of all stroke patients. When subdivided according to stroke type, vomiting was observed in 8.7% of CI, 23.7% of CH and 36.8% of SAH cases. HR for death and 95% CI were 5.06 and 3.26 to 7.84 (p<0.001) when all stroke patients were considered, 5.27 and 2.56 to 10.83 (p<0.001) in CI, 2.82 and 1.33 to 5.99 (p=0.007) in CH and 5.07 and 1.87 to 13.76 (p=0.001) in SAH.

Conclusions: Compared with patients without vomiting, the risk of death was significantly higher in patients with vomiting at the onset of stroke. Vomiting should be an early predictor of the outcome.

Keywords: emergency department; prehospital care; stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / complications
  • Cerebral Infarction / complications
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Stroke* / mortality
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / complications
  • Vomiting / etiology*
  • Vomiting / mortality