Background and purpose: Hematoma expansion after acute intracerebral hemorrhage is common and is associated with early deterioration and poor clinical outcome. The computed tomographic angiography (CTA) spot sign is a promising predictor of expansion; however, frequency and predictive values are variable across studies, possibly because of differences in onset-to-CTA time. We performed a patient-level meta-analysis to define the relationship between onset-to-CTA time and frequency and predictive ability of the spot sign.
Methods: We completed a systematic review for studies of CTA spot sign and hematoma expansion. We subsequently pooled patient-level data on the frequency and predictive values for significant hematoma expansion according to 5 predefined categorized onset-to-CTA times. We calculated spot-sign frequency both as raw and frequency-adjusted rates.
Results: Among 2051 studies identified, 12 met our inclusion criteria. Baseline hematoma volume, spot-sign status, and time-to-CTA were available for 1176 patients, and 1039 patients had follow-up computed tomographies for hematoma expansion analysis. The overall spot sign frequency was 26%, decreasing from 39% within 2 hours of onset to 13% beyond 8 hours (P<0.001). There was a significant decrease in hematoma expansion in spot-positive patients as onset-to-CTA time increased (P=0.004), with positive predictive values decreasing from 53% to 33%.
Conclusions: The frequency of the CTA spot sign is inversely related to intracerebral hemorrhage onset-to-CTA time. Furthermore, the positive predictive value of the spot sign for significant hematoma expansion decreases as time-to-CTA increases. Our results offer more precise risk stratification for patients with acute intracerebral hemorrhage and will help refine clinical prediction rules for intracerebral hemorrhage expansion.
Keywords: CT angiography; cerebral hemorrhage; hematoma expansion; intracerebral hemorrhage; spot sign.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.