Predicting neurologic deterioration in patients with cerebellar hematomas

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Abstract

Background:

Patients with cerebellar hematomas may appear stable but may worsen suddenly. Whether certain clinical or CT scan findings predict worsening is not known.

Methods:

We reviewed clinical and neuroimaging data in 72 patients with cerebellar hematomas at the Mayo Clinic from 1973 through 1993 to identify predictive features for neurologic deterioration. Patients presenting in coma and patients with vascular malformations or malignancies were excluded. Data were analyzed using chi-square or Fisher's exact test, with calculation of odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed on appropriate variables.

Results:

Thirty-three patients (46%) deteriorated, with a decrease in level of consciousness, new brainstem signs, or worsened motor response on the Glasgow Coma Scale. Clinical and neuroradiologic predictors for neurologic deterioration at p < 0.05 were admission systolic blood pressure greater than 200 mm Hg, pinpoint pupils and abnormal corneal or oculocephalic reflexes, hemorrhage extending into the vermis, hematoma size more than 3 cm in diameter, brainstem distortion, intraventricular hemorrhage, upward herniation, and acute hydrocephalus. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that hemorrhage located in the vermis (p = 0.03) and acute hydrocephalus (p = 0.0006) on admission CT scanning independently predicted deterioration.

Conclusion:

Patients with a cerebellar vermian hematoma or acute hydrocephalus are at high risk for neurologic deterioration. These patients should be carefully monitored and are more likely to require consideration for neurosurgical intervention.

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