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Stroke. 2008 Aug;39(8):2249-56. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.107.510321. Epub 2008 Jun 5.

Early hemorrhagic transformation of brain infarction: rate, predictive factors, and influence on clinical outcome: results of a prospective multicenter study.

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Stroke Unit, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Perugia, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, Perugia, 06126 Italy.



Early hemorrhagic transformation (HT) is a complication of ischemic stroke but its effect on patient outcome is unclear. The aims of this study were to assess: (1) the rate of early HT in patients admitted for ischemic stroke, (2) the correlation between early HT and functional outcome at 3 months, and (3) the risk factors for early HT.


Consecutive patients with ischemic stroke were included in this prospective study in 4 study centers. Early HT was assessed by CT examination performed at day 5+/-2 after stroke onset. Study outcomes were 3-month mortality or disability. Disability was assessed using a modified Rankin score (> or = 3 indicating disabling stroke) by neurologists unaware of the occurrence of HT in the individual cases. Outcomes in patients with and without early HT were compared by chi(2) test. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors for HT.


Among 1125 consecutive patients (median age 76.00 years), 98 (8.7%) had HT, 62 (5.5%) had hemorrhagic infarction, and 36 (3.2%) parenchymal hematoma. At 3 months, 455 patients (40.7%) were disabled or died. Death or disability was seen in 33 patients with parenchymal hematoma (91.7%), in 35 patients with hemorrhagic infarction (57.4%) as compared with 387 of the 1021 patients without HT (37.9%). At logistic regression analysis, parenchymal hematoma, but not hemorrhagic infarction, was independently associated with an increased risk for death or disability (OR 15.29; 95% CI 2.35 to 99.35). At logistic regression analysis, parenchymal hematoma was predicted by large lesions (OR 12.20, 95% CI 5.58 to 26.67), stroke attributable to cardioembolism (OR 5.25; 95% CI 2.27 to 12.14) or to other causes (OR 6.77; 95% CI 1.75 to 26.18), high levels of blood glucose (OR 1.01; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.01), and thrombolytic treatment (OR 3.54, 95% CI 1.04 to 11.95).


Early HT occurs in about 9% of patients. Parenchymal hematoma, seen in about 3% of patients, is associated with an adverse outcome. Parenchymal hematoma was predicted by large lesions attributable to cardioembolism or other causes, high blood glucose, and treatment with thrombolysis.

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