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Swiss Med Wkly. 2010 May 1;140(17-18):254-9. doi: smw-12919.

Predictors of early mortality after acute ischaemic stroke.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Inselspital, University Hospital Bern and University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.



The study set out to identify clinical, laboratory and radiological predictors of early mortality after an acute ischaemic stroke (AIS) and to analyse medical and neurological complications that caused death.


A total of 479 consecutive patients (mean age 63+/-14 years) with AIS underwent stroke examination and treatment. Examination included clinical evaluation, laboratory tests, and brain CT and/or MRI. Follow-up data at 30 days were available for 467 patients (93%) who were included in the present analysis.


The median National Institute of Health Stroke Study (NIHSS) score on admission was 6. A total of 62 patients (13%) died within 30 days. The cause of death was the initial event in 43 (69%), pneumonia in 12 (19%), intracerebral haemorrhage in 9 (15%), recurrent stroke in 6 (10%), myocardial infarction in 2 (3%), and cancer in 1 (2%) of the patients. In univariate comparisons, advanced age (p<0.001), hypertension (p=0.013), coronary disease (p=0.001), NIHSS score (p<0.001), undetermined stroke etiology (p=0.031), relevant co-morbidities (p=0.008), hyperglycemia (p<0.001), atrial fibrillation (p<0.001), early CT signs of ischemia (p<0.001), dense artery sign (p<0.001), proximal vessel occlusion (p<0.001), and thrombolysis (p=0.008) were associated with early mortality. In multivariate analysis, advanced age (HR=1.12; 95% CI 1.05-1.19; p<0.001) and high NIHSS score on admission (HR=1.15, 95% CI 1.05-1.25; p=0.002) were independent predictors of early mortality.


We report 13% mortality at 30 days after AIS. More than two thirds of the deaths are related to the initial stroke. Advanced age and high NIHSS score are the only independent predictors of early mortality in this series.

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