Introduction: Insular lesions have been described as an independent predictor of death in acute ischemic stroke. This study was undertaken to determine the influence of insular damage on the mortality of patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
Hypothesis: Insular cortex lesions are an independent predictor of death in acute ICH.
Methods: This is an observational study of consecutive patients with spontaneous acute ICH who were admitted to a tertiary care hospital. The following data were collected prospectively: age, sex, traditional vascular risk factors, vital signs, CT findings (secondary intraventricular hemorrhage, hematoma volume), Glasgow Coma Scale score, time and cause of death within hospitalization. The insular cortex damage (right, left or any) was assessed by a blind evaluator using an interactive brain atlas. The association between insular lesions and mortality was investigated by use of logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models.
Results: We included 276 patients whose mean age was 77±14.3 years; 52.7% of them were men. During a median of 7 days (interquartile range 2-15) of hospitalization, 91 (32.9%) deaths were recorded. We observed 72 (26%) patients with insular cortex lesions (right insula=34, left insula=38). Cox regression analysis showed that age (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.02, 95% CI 1.00-1.04; p<0.001), Glasgow Coma Scale (aHR 0.84, 95% CI 0.80-0.89; p<0.001), lesion volume (aHR 1.10, 95% CI 1.06-1.15; p<0.001) and any insular damage (aHR 2.19, 95% CI 1.40-3.42, p=0.002) were significant predictors of death within hospitalization.
Conclusions: In conclusion, insular cortex lesions adversely influence survival after spontaneous ICH. This finding was observed even after adjustment for other well-known predictors of ICH mortality.