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Stroke. 2007 Jan;38(1):75-9. Epub 2006 Nov 22.

Asymptomatic hemorrhage after thrombolysis may not be benign: prognosis by hemorrhage type in the Canadian alteplase for stroke effectiveness study registry.

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1
Calgary Stroke Program, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Foothills Hospital, 1403 29th St NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. imanuel.Dzialowski@neuro.med.tu-dresden.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

There is ongoing controversy about the impact of hemorrhagic transformation after thrombolysis on long-term functional outcome. We sought to study the relation between the type of hemorrhagic transformation on CT scans and functional outcome.

METHODS:

Data were obtained from the Canadian Alteplase for Stroke Effectiveness Study. This study was established as a registry to prospectively collect data for acute stroke patients receiving intravenous alteplase within 3 hours from stroke onset between February 1999 and June 2001. Follow-up was completed at 90 days, and good functional outcome was defined as a modified Rankin Scale score of 0 or 1. Copies of head CT scans obtained at 24 to 48 hours after starting treatment were read in consensus by a central reading panel consisting of 1 neuroradiologist and 1 stroke neurologist. According to European Cooperative Acute Stroke Study criteria, hemorrhagic transformation was classified as none, hemorrhagic infarction (HI-1 and HI-2), or parenchymal hematoma (PH-1 and PH-2). We compared outcome across groups and performed a multivariable analysis including previously determined important predictors of good outcome in acute ischemic stroke.

RESULTS:

From 1135 patients enrolled at 60 centers across Canada, 954 follow-up CT scans were assessable. We observed some hemorrhagic transformation in 259 of 954 (27.1%) patients (110 HI-1, 57 HI-2, 48 PH-1, and 44 PH-2). Proportions of patients with good outcome were 41% with no hemorrhagic transformation, 30% with HI-1, 17% with HI-2, 15% with PH-1, and 7% with PH-2 (P<0.0001, chi(2) test). After adjustment for age, baseline serum glucose, baseline Alberta Stroke Program Early CT score, and baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, HI-1 was not a predictor of outcome. However, HI-2 (odds ratio=0.38, 95% CI=0.17 to 0.83), PH-1 (odds ratio=0.32, 95% CI=0.12 to 0.80), and PH-2 (odds ratio=0.14, 95% CI=0.04 to 0.48) were all negative predictors of outcome.

CONCLUSIONS:

The likelihood of a poor outcome after thrombolysis was proportional to the extent of hemorrhage on CT scans. HI grades of hemorrhagic transformation may not be benign.

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