Stroke Unit Care Benefits Patients With Intracerebral Hemorrhage
Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Background and Purpose—Patients with any type of stroke managed in organized inpatient (stroke unit) care are more likely to survive, return home, and regain independence. However, it is uncertain whether these benefits apply equally to patients with intracerebral hemorrhage and ischemic stroke.
Methods—We conducted a secondary analysis of a systematic review of controlled clinical trials comparing stroke unit care with general ward care, including only trials published after 1990 that could separately report outcomes for patients with intracerebral hemorrhage and ischemic stroke. We performed random-effects meta-analyses and tested for subgroup interactions by stroke type.
Results—We identified 13 trials (3570 patients) of modern stroke unit care that recruited patients with intracerebral hemorrhage and ischemic stroke, of which 8 trials provided data on 2657 patients. Stroke unit care reduced death or dependency (risk ratio [RR], 0.81; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.471–0.92; P=0.0009; I2 =60%) with no difference in benefits for patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (RR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.61–1.00) than patients with ischemic stroke (RR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.70–0.97; Pinteraction=0.77). Stroke unit care reduced death (RR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.64–0.97; P=0.02; I2 =49%) to a greater extent for patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (RR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.54–0.97) than patients with ischemic stroke (RR, 0.82; 95%, CI 0.61–1.09), but this difference was not statistically significant (Pinteraction=0.58).
Conclusions—Patients with intracerebral hemorrhage seem to benefit at least as much as patients with ischemic stroke from organized inpatient (stroke unit) care.
- Received March 21, 2013.
- Accepted August 15, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.