Risk factors for computed tomography angiography spot sign in deep and lobar intracerebral hemorrhage are shared

Stroke. 2014 Jun;45(6):1833-5. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.005276. Epub 2014 May 13.


Background and purpose: Patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) who present with a spot sign on computed tomography angiography are at increased risk of hematoma expansion and poor outcome. Because primary ICH is the acute manifestation of chronic cerebral small vessel disease, we investigated whether different clinical or imaging characteristics predict spot sign presence, using ICH location as a surrogate for arteriolosclerosis- and cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related ICH.

Methods: Patients with primary ICH and available computed tomography angiography at presentation were included. Predictors of spot sign were assessed using uni- and multivariable regression, stratified by ICH location.

Results: Seven hundred forty-one patients were eligible, 335 (45%) deep and 406 (55%) lobar ICH. At least one spot sign was present in 76 (23%) deep and 102 (25%) lobar ICH patients. In multivariable regression, warfarin (odds ratio [OR], 2.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-5.71; P=0.04), baseline ICH volume (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.09-1.33, per 10 mL increase; P<0.001), and time from symptom onset to computed tomography angiography (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.80-0.96, per hour; P=0.009) were associated with the spot sign in deep ICH. Predictors of spot sign in lobar ICH were warfarin (OR, 3.95; 95% CI, 1.87-8.51; P<0.001) and baseline ICH volume (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.10-1.31, per 10 mL increase; P<0.001).

Conclusions: The most potent associations with spot sign are shared between deep and lobar ICH, suggesting that the acute bleeding process that arises in the setting of different chronic small vessel diseases shares commonalities.

Keywords: cerebral amyloid angiopathy; cerebral small vessel disease; computed tomography angiography; hypertension; intracerebral hemorrhage; spot sign.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage*
  • Cerebral Angiography*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Warfarin / administration & dosage*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Warfarin