Prognostication of long-term outcomes after subarachnoid hemorrhage: The FRESH score

Ann Neurol. 2016 Jul;80(1):46-58. doi: 10.1002/ana.24675. Epub 2016 May 25.


Objective: To create a multidimensional tool to prognosticate long-term functional, cognitive, and quality of life outcomes after spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) using data up to 48 hours after admission.

Methods: Data were prospectively collected for 1,619 consecutive patients enrolled in the SAH outcome project July 1996 to March 2014. Linear models (LMs) were applied to identify factors associated with outcome in 1,526 patients with complete data. Twelve-month functional, cognitive, and quality of life outcomes were measured using the modified Rankin scale (mRS), Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status, and Sickness Impact Profile. Based on the LM residuals, we constructed the FRESH score (Functional Recovery Expected after Subarachnoid Hemorrhage). Score performance, discrimination, and internal validity were tested using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), Nagelkerke and Cox/Snell R(2) , and bootstrapping. For external validation, we used a control population of SAH patients from the CONSCIOUS-1 study (n = 413).

Results: The FRESH score was composed of Hunt & Hess and APACHE-II physiologic scores on admission, age, and aneurysmal rebleed within 48 hours. Separate scores to prognosticate 1-year cognition (FRESH-cog) and quality of life (FRESH-quol) were developed controlling for education and premorbid disability. Poor functional outcome (mRS = 4-6) for score levels 1 through 9 respectively was present in 3, 6, 12, 38, 61, 83, 92, 98, and 100% at 1-year follow-up. Performance of FRESH (AUC = 0.90), FRESH-cog (AUC = 0.80), and FRESH-quol (AUC = 0.78) was high. External validation of our cohort using mRS as endpoint showed satisfactory results (AUC = 0.77). To allow for convenient score calculation, we built a smartphone app available for free download.

Interpretation: FRESH is the first clinical tool to prognosticate long-term outcome after spontaneous SAH in a multidimensional manner. Ann Neurol 2016;80:46-58.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Cognition
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Neurological / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Recovery of Function
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / diagnosis*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / psychology

Grant support