Admission Hemoglobin Levels Are Associated With Functional Outcome in Spontaneous Intracerebral Hemorrhage

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Critical care medicine


OBJECTIVES: To test the hypothesis that admission hemoglobin levels are associated with outcome in primary, nontraumatic intracerebral hemorrhage.

DESIGN: Individual patient data meta-analysis of three studies of intracerebral hemorrhage.

SETTING: Two randomized clinical trials and one multiethnic observational study.

PATIENTS: Patients with spontaneous, nontraumatic intracerebral hemorrhage.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Our exposure of interest was admission hemoglobin levels and the primary outcome was 3-month postintracerebral hemorrhage-dichotomized modified Rankin Scale (0-3 vs 4-6). Intermediate outcomes were admission hematoma volume and hematoma expansion defined as 6 mL or 33% increase in hemorrhage size on repeat CT. A total of 4,172 intracerebral hemorrhage patients were included in the study (mean age 63 [SD = 14]; female sex 1,668 [40%]). Each additional g/dL of admission hemoglobin was associated with 14% (odds ratio, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.82-0.91) and 7% (odds ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.88-0.98) reductions in the risk of poor outcome in unadjusted and adjusted analyses, respectively. Dose-response analyses indicated a linear relationship between admission hemoglobin levels and poor outcome across the entire evaluated range (test-for-trend p < 0.001). No consistent associations were found between the admission hemoglobin levels and hematoma volume or hematoma expansion.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher hemoglobin levels are associated with better outcome in intracerebral hemorrhage. Further research is needed to evaluate admission hemoglobin levels as both a therapeutic target and predictor of outcome.

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ePub ahead of print