Background and Purpose-It is not always clear whether, how, and when to undertake further radiological investigation of spontaneous (nontraumatic) intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
Methods-We systematically reviewed Ovid MEDLINE and EMBASE databases for studies of the diagnostic utility of radiological investigations of the cause(s) of ICH. We sent a structured survey to neurologists, stroke specialists, neurosurgeons, and neuroradiologists in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France to assess whether, how, and when they would investigate supratentorial ICH.
Results-This systematic review detected 20 relevant studies (including 1933 patients), which either quantified the yield of a radiological investigation/imaging strategy (n=15) or compared 2 imaging techniques (n=5). Six hundred ninety-two (49%) physicians responded to the survey. Further investigation would have been undertaken by the following: 99% of respondents, for younger (38 to 43 years), normotensive adults with lobar or deep ICH; 76%, for older (age 72 to 83 years), normotensive adults with deep ICH; and 31%, for older adults with deep ICH and prestroke hypertension. Younger patient age was the strongest influence on the decision to further investigate ICH (odds ratio=16; 95% confidence interval, 13 to 20), followed by the absence of prestroke hypertension (odds ratio=5; 95% confidence interval, 4 to 6) and lobar ICH location (odds ratio=2; 95% confidence interval, 1 to 2).
Conclusions-The paucity of studies on the diagnostic utility of imaging investigations of the cause(s) of ICH may contribute to the variation observed in when and how and which patients are investigated in current clinical practice. Studies comparing different types of diagnostic strategies are required. (Stroke. 2010;41:685-690.)
- intracerebral hemorrhage
- systematic review