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The aim of this study was to determine the 30-day mortality and morbidity of intracerebral hemorrhage in a large metropolitan population and to determine the most important predictors of 30-day outcome.We reviewed the medical records and computed tomographic films for all cases of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage in Greater Cincinnati during 1988. Independent predictors of 30-day mortality were determined using univariate and multivariate statistical analyses.The 30-day mortality for the 188 cases of intracerebral hemorrhage was 44%, with half of deaths occurring within the first 2 days of onset. Volume of intracerebral hemorrhage was the strongest predictor of 30-day mortality for all locations of intracerebral hemorrhage. Using three categories of parenchymal hemorrhage volume (0 to 29 cm3,30 to 60 cm3, and 61 cm3 or more), calculated by a quick and easy-to-use ellipsoid method, and two categories of the Glasgow Coma Scale (9 or more and 8 or less), 30-day mortality was predicted correctly with a sensitivity of 96% and a specificity of 98%. Patients with a parenchymal hemorrhage volume of 60 cm3 or more on their initial computed tomogram and a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 8 or less had a predicted 30-day mortality of 91%. Patients with a volume of less than 30 cm3 and a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 9 or more had a predicted 30-day mortality of 19%. Only one of the 71 patients with a volume of parenchymal hemorrhage of 30 cm3 or more could function independently at 30 days.Volume of intracerebral hemorrhage, in combination with the initial Glasgow Coma Scale score, is a powerful and easy-to-use predictor of 30-day mortality and morbidity in patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage.