- (1) Bispebjerg Hospital, grid.411702.1, Capital Region
- (2) Rigshospitalet, grid.475435.4, Capital Region
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Early hematoma expansion (EHE) in patients with intracerebral hematoma is a promising treatment target. To date, the time course of EHE has remained poorly described. We prospectively investigated the time course of EHE. METHODS: We included consecutive patients presenting spontaneous intracerebral hematoma within 4.5 hours. On admission, patients underwent noncontrast computed tomography (CT) and CT angiography. Serial hematoma volume estimations by transcranial B-mode ultrasound were effected through the contralateral transtemporal bone window by obtaining sagittal, transversal, and coronal diameter and calculating the ABC/2-formula. National Institute of Health Stroke Scale and transcranial B-mode ultrasound were performed consecutively every 30 minutes during the first 6 hours and from 6 to 12 hours every 2 hours. Follow-up CT and ultrasound were performed after ≈24 hours. RESULTS: Twenty-five patients with intracerebral hematoma were included; mean (SD) time from onset to CT was 108.6 (45.7) minutes. Ten (40%) patients had EHE. In patients with a final clinically significant hematoma expansion >12.5 mL, all EHE occurred within 6 hours after admission scan. EHE in spot sign positive patients continued during the first 5 hours after CT angiography. In spot sign-negative patients, no significant EHE was observed (Friedman test, P=0.476). Neurological deterioration occurred in 5 (20%) patients and was well temporally correlated with EHE. Transcranial B-mode ultrasound demonstrated good volume estimation compared with the follow-up CT with a maximum absolute volume deviation within 7 mL and minimal systematic error (mean deviation, 1.3 [confidence interval, -0.1 to 2.6] mL). CONCLUSIONS: EHE was reliably reflected by transcranial B-mode ultrasound and mainly occurred within the first 7 to 8 hours after symptom onset. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01472224.