CT angiography spot sign in intracerebral hemorrhage predicts active bleeding during surgery

Neurology. 2014 Sep 2;83(10):883-9. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000747. Epub 2014 Aug 6.


Objective: To determine whether the CT angiography (CTA) spot sign marks bleeding complications during and after surgery for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).

Methods: In a 2-center study of consecutive spontaneous ICH patients who underwent CTA followed by surgical hematoma evacuation, 2 experienced readers (blinded to clinical and surgical data) reviewed CTAs for spot sign presence. Blinded raters assessed active intraoperative and postoperative bleeding. The association between spot sign and active intraoperative bleeding, postoperative rebleeding, and residual ICH volumes was evaluated using univariable and multivariable logistic regression.

Results: A total of 95 patients met inclusion criteria: 44 lobar, 17 deep, 33 cerebellar, and 1 brainstem ICH; ≥1 spot sign was identified in 32 patients (34%). The spot sign was the only independent marker of active bleeding during surgery (odds ratio [OR] 3.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3-9.0). Spot sign (OR 4.1; 95% CI 1.1-17), female sex (OR 6.9; 95% CI 1.7-37), and antiplatelet use (OR 4.6; 95% CI 1.2-21) were predictive of postoperative rebleeding. Larger residual hematomas and postoperative rebleeding were associated with higher discharge case fatality (OR 3.4; 95% CI 1.1-11) and a trend toward increased case fatality at 3 months (OR 2.9; 95% CI 0.9-8.8).

Conclusions: The CTA spot sign is associated with more intraoperative bleeding, more postoperative rebleeding, and larger residual ICH volumes in patients undergoing hematoma evacuation for spontaneous ICH. The spot sign may therefore be useful to select patients for future surgical trials.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Angiography*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / physiopathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Sex Factors
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Biomarkers
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors