Improving prediction of outcome in "good grade" subarachnoid hemorrhage

Enrique C. Leira, Patricia H. Davis, Coleman O. Martin, James C. Torner, Bongin Yoo, Julie B. Weeks, Bradley J. Hindman, Michael M. Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: We hypothesize that subtle neurological signs at baseline could be present in some "good grade" subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) patients and that they would have negative prognostic implications. METHODS: We analyzed data from 1000 patients randomized to the Intraoperative Hypothermia for Aneurysm Surgery Trial (World Federation of Neurological Societies Grades I, II, and III). Nine hundred and forty-four patients had a complete National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) examination performed at baseline. We analyzed the relationship between baseline NIHSS scores and Glasgow Outcome Scale scores at 3 months. Using stepwise logistic regression, we identified the individual NIHSS items that independently predicted outcome to construct a useful shorter version of the scale for SAH. RESULTS: The NIHSS was abnormal at baseline in 23% of the Grade I patients and 82% of the Grade II patients. Baseline NIHSS scores strongly predicted 3-month outcomes (P < 0.001). The NIHSS items that were relevant to predict outcome were level of consciousness, dysarthria, visual fields, and worst motor score for the arms. Baseline NIHSS-SAH scores also independently predicted 3-month outcomes (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Subtle neurological signs at baseline are common in World Federation of Neurological Societies Grades I and II patients and are associated with a worse outcome at 3 months. These signs are not detected by the World Federation of Neurological Societies classification. A better stratification of "good grade" SAH patients to predict long-term outcomes may be desirable for clinical trials and practice. Either using the full NIHSS or a shortened version testing level of consciousness, visual fields, dysarthria and worst arm motor score will help to better stratify "good-grade" SAH patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-473
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Aneurysm
  • National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale
  • Outcome
  • Prognosis
  • Scales
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage


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