Feasibility of a pilot study on point-of-care biomarkers in spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage in an emergency setting
Background and aims. Stroke is a worldwide leading cause of death and disability and spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) has significant economic and social impact, regardless of recent efforts towards outcome-bettering acute interventions. The aim of the study was to assess the feasibility of a prospective observational research regarding point-of-care (POC) biomarkers in sICH, conducted in a level one emergency department (ED).
Methods. Patients with acute (<8 hours) sICH were enrolled in this study. Patients presenting a Glasgow Coma Scale score <8, secondary causes of intracerebral hemorrhage, seizures, recent ischemic events, known thromboembolic disease, anticoagulant treatment, severe pre-stroke disability, terminal disease, scheduled neurosurgery/ hemostatic treatment were excluded. Feasibility was defined as ED inclusion and follow-up rates, time-to-inclusion, and frequency of missing data. Baseline demographic, imaging and POC biochemical status of the study group were documented, including inflammatory (complete blood count, C-reactive protein), metabolic (glucose, hepatic, and renal function) and cardiovascular markers (cardiac troponin I, D-dimer).
Results. The inclusion rate was 2.16 patients/month with a final sample of 35 patients out of 239 potentially eligible patients. The median time from symptom onset to ED presentation was 128 minutes (IQR 96-239), with 21/35 patients having presented within the first 3 hours from ictus. Median times between symptoms’ onset to Computer Tomography (CT) scan and ED presentation to CT scan were 170 minutes (IQR 126-317) and 25 minutes (IQR 17-62), respectively. The median time from patient’s presentation to CBC result was 12 minutes (IQR 6.5-20), with 21/35 study participants having the results available within 15 minutes from ED arrival. The median cohort age was 72-years, with a 19/16 male/female ratio. Hypertension was the most frequent risk factor (77%), along with ischemic heart disease (31%) and diabetes (29%). One-third of the hypertensive patients did not undergo blood pressure lowering treatment. Median values of POC biomarkers on ED admission were within normal range.
Conclusions. It was feasible to determine point-of-care biomarkers in spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage on admission in ED, despite the urgency of the medical condition.