Cerebral Microbleeds and Risk of Intracerebral Hemorrhage Post Intravenous Thrombolysis

Ramin Zand, Georgios Tsivgoulis, Mantinderpreet Singh, Michael McCormack, Nitin Goyal, Muhammad Fawad Ishfaq, Reza Bavarsad Shahripour, Katherine Nearing, Lucas Elijovich, Anne W. Alexandrov, David S. Liebeskind, Andrei V. Alexandrov

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23 Scopus citations


Background Stroke patients who have cerebral micro bleeds (CMBs) could be potentially at a greater risk for symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) than those patients without CMBs. The aim of our study was to investigate whether the presence and burden of CMBs are associated with post IVT sICH. Methods In this multicenter study, consecutive patients treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator were prospectively identified and analyzed. Patients without magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) within 24 hours of treatment were excluded. CMBs were defined as round or oval, hypointense lesions with associated blooming on T2*-weighted MRI up to 10 mm in diameter. Outcome measures included the occurrence of sICH or death. Results Of 672 patients with IVT (mean age 62 ± 14 years, 52% men, median admission NIHSS: 7 points), 103 patients had CMBs on T2*-MRI. Ten patients had more than 10, whereas the remaining 93 patients had 1-10 CMBs on T2*-MRI. The rates of sICH did not differ between patients with and patients without 1-10 CMBs (5.8% versus 3.5%; P = .27). However, sICH occurred more frequently (P = .0009) in patients with > 10 CMBs (30%, 95% confidence interval [CI] by the adjusted Wald method: 10%-61%). After adjusting for potential confounders, the presence of >10 CMBs on T2*-MRI was independently (P = .0004) associated with a higher likelihood for sICH (odds ratio [OR]:13.4, 95%CI:3.2-55.9). Conclusions Our findings indicate an increased risk of sICH after IVT when more than 10 CMBs are present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-544
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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