Intracranial Hemorrhage in Hospitalized Patients: An Infrequently Studied Condition with High Mortality

Andrea Loggini, Victor J. Del Brutto, Faten El Ammar, Zachary B. Bulwa, Faddi Saleh Velez, Cedric McKoy, Raisa C. Martinez, James Brorson, Fernando D. Goldenberg, Agnieszka A. Ardelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) may occur in patients admitted to the hospital for unrelated medical conditions, resulting in prolonged hospitalization and worse prognosis. We aim to assess the clinical presentation and outcomes of in-hospital ICH compared to patients with ICH presenting from the community. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of all acute stroke alerts diagnosed with ICH in an urban academic hospital over a 4-year period. Demographics, clinical presentation, use of antithrombotic therapy, and presence of coagulopathy were recorded. ICH score and a sequential organ failure assessment score were calculated during the initial assessment. Initial head computed tomography was reviewed to determine ICH subtype, location, and volume of the hematoma. In-hospital mortality and discharge disposition were used as surrogate of clinical outcome. Results: From the 1965 stroke alert cases analyzed over the studied years, 145 (7.4%) were diagnosed with ICH. Overall, the mean age was 62.9 ± 13.9 and 53.7% were women. Thirty-two patients (22%) developed ICH in the inpatient setting and 113 (78%) presented from the community. Systolic blood pressure at presentation was lower in the in-hospital group (p < 0.01). Inpatients who developed ICH were more likely than community ICH patients to be on combination of antiplatelet agents (21.9% vs. 5.3%, p < 0.05) or therapeutic heparinoids (21.9% vs. 0.9%, p < 0.01). Also, In-hospital ICH patients had a higher rate of spontaneous or iatrogenic coagulopathy (65.6% vs. 10.6%, p < 0.01) and thrombocytopenia (31.3% vs. 1.8%, p < 0.01). Lobar hemorrhages were more prevalent in the in-hospital group (82.6% vs. 39.1%, p < 0.01) and the mean hematoma volume was higher (40.9 ± 43.1 mL vs. 24.1 ± 30.4 mL; p < 0.02). Median ICH score in the in-hospital group was not statistically different from the emergency department group: 2 (IQR: 0–3) versus 1 (IQR: 0–3). When comparing patients with in-hospital ICH and those from the community, the short-term mortality was higher in the former group (81% vs. 31%, p < 0.01). The incidence of withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies as a proximate mechanism of death was higher, but not statistically significant, in the in-hospital group (86% vs. 61%). Conclusion: ICH is a critical complication in the inpatient setting, predominantly occurring in already ill patients with underlying spontaneous or iatrogenic coagulopathy. Large volume lobar intraparenchymal hemorrhage is a common radiographic finding. ICH is frequently a catastrophic event and powerfully weighs in with end-of-life discussion, resulting in high short-term mortality rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-731
Number of pages7
JournalNeurocritical Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Coagulopathy
  • In-hospital stroke
  • Intracranial hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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