Cardiac complications are common after spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). In this study we intended to investigate factors associated with higher alterations in heart rate and their impact on outcome.
Eighty-eight ICH patients were included. A simplified approach to calculate heart rate variability (HRSD) in analogy to systolic blood pressure variability (SBPSD) with daily standard deviations of HR in the acute (first 24 h) and subacute phase (day1-day7) was used. Using multivariable regression, factors associated with higher HRSD and the association between higher HRSD and poor 3-month outcome (modified Rankin Scale > 3) were analyzed. All models were adjusted for age, atrial fibrillation, mechanical ventilation, vasopressor administration, and mean HR.
Patients were 71 (IQR = 60–79) years old and presented with an admission ICH-Score of 2 (IQR = 1–3). In multivariable analysis, intraventricular hemorrhage (adjOR = 8.66, 95%-CI = 1.89–39.60, p = 0.005), a QRS complex >120 ms (adjOR = 19.02; 95%-CI = 2.08–175.05, p = 0.009) and female sex (adjOR = 4.24; 95%-CI = 1.08–16.64, p = 0.038) were associated with higher HRSD in the acute phase. A higher HRSD (adjOR = 1.29, 95%-CI = 1.01–1.66, p = 0.045) in the acute but not in the subacute phase (p = 0.764) was associated with poor 3-month outcome.
The study suggests that a higher variation in heart rate in the early phase after ICH may discriminate patients with poor outcome.