Background: Patients with primary intracerebral hemorrhage (pICH) are at risk of airway compromise and commonly undergo intubation. Poor outcomes have been reported for these patients. Factors predicting intubation prior to admission (PTA), and after admission are unknown. These factors may be helpful in predicting which pICH patients require intubation, and its optimal timing.
Methods: Patients with pICH directly admitted or transferred from another facility to our center were included. Patients with SAH, SDH, epidural hemorrhage, underlying lesions, or infarct with hemorrhagic transformation were excluded. Intubation note from medical chart was used to determine the timing of intubation. Demographic and clinical data were recorded. The primary outcome was a discharge mRS (dmRS) of 4-6.
Results: A total of 370 patients were included. Patients intubated PTA had a lower average GCS (6 vs. 9; p=0.0003) and a higher average NIHSS (26 vs. 18; p=0.0007) than those intubated after admission. Higher incidences of hematoma expansion (30.9% vs. 16.3%; p=0.0253), tracheostomies performed (17.5% vs. 4.8%; p=0.0004), ICH volumes > 30cc (40% vs. 25.5%; p=0.0352), and pneumonia (35.1% vs. 5.4%; p<0.0001) were seen in patients intubation after admission, when compared to other patients. Patients requiring intubation at any time had statistically non-significant higher incidences of cortical and brainstem hemorrhage (see Table 1), compared to patients not intubated. After adjusting for pneumonia and ICH score, intubation is significantly associated with a dmRS of 4-6 (OR 4.87, 95%CI 1.27-18.7, p=0.0208).
Conclusions: Lower GCS and higher NIHSS significantly predict intubation in pICH patients PTA. ICH volumes > 30cc, hematoma expansion and pneumonia significantly predict intubation after admission. Intubation is significantly associated with poor functional outcomes independent of ICH score and pneumonia. Location of ICH does not predict intubation.