Cerebral Microbleeds Predict Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Hemodialysis Patients
Background and Purpose—In hemodialysis patients, previous reports have described a high prevalence of cerebral microbleeds (CMBs), but no longitudinal studies have been performed to determine the clinical significance of CMBs in these patients. In this study, we investigated whether the presence of CMBs was a predictor of future strokes in hemodialysis patients.
Methods—Cranial MRI, including T2*-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, was performed on 179 hemodialysis patients with no past history of cerebrovascular events. The patients were followed prospectively until death or renal transplantation. We used the Cox proportional hazards model with inverse probability of treatment weighting using the propensity score to compare the event-free survivals of patients with/without CMBs. For sensitivity analyses, stratification by propensity score quintile and regression adjustment were used.
Results—CMBs were detected in 45 of the 179 patients. During a median follow-up period of 5.0 years, stroke occurred in 24 patients, including 12 with intracerebral hemorrhage and 12 with cerebral infarctions. Cox proportional hazards analysis with inverse probability of treatment weighting using the propensity score revealed that the presence of CMBs was a strong and significant predictor of intracerebral hemorrhage (hazard ratio, 26.53; 95% confidence interval, 2.88–244.90) but not cerebral infarction (hazard ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.25–3.34). Sensitivity analyses yielded similar results.
Conclusions—This study showed that the presence of CMBs was an independent and strong predictor of intracerebral hemorrhage in stroke-free hemodialysis patients, indicating that hemodialysis patients with CMBs should be carefully monitored for future onset of intracerebral hemorrhage.
- Received March 4, 2015.
- Revision received May 17, 2015.
- Accepted May 21, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.