Natural History of Infratentorial Intracerebral Hemorrhages: Two Subgroups with Distinct Presentations and Outcomes

Viren D. Patel*, Roxanna M. Garcia, Dionne E. Swor, Eric M. Liotta, Matthew B. Maas, Andrew Naidech

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background/Objective: Infratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is associated with worse prognosis than supratentorial ICH; however, infratentorial ICH is often excluded or underrepresented in clinical trials of ICH. We sought to evaluate the natural history of infratentorial ICH stratified by brainstem or cerebellar location using a prospective observational study inclusive of all spontaneous ICH. Methods: Using a prospective, single center cohort of patients with spontaneous ICH between 2008-2019, we conducted a descriptive analysis of baseline demographics, severity of injury scores, and long-term functional outcomes of infratentorial ICH stratified by cerebellar or brainstem location. Results: Infratentorial ICH occurred in 82 (13%) of 632 patients in our ICH cohort. Among infratentorial ICH, cerebellar ICH occurred in 45 (55%) and brainstem ICH occurred in 37 (45%). Compared to cerebellar ICH, patients with brainstem ICH had significantly worse severity of injury scores, including lower admission Glasgow Coma Scale (median 14 [7.0 – 15.0] versus 4 [3.0 – 8.0], respectively; P < 0.001) and higher ICH Score (median 2 [1.0 – 3.0] versus 3 [2.75 – 4.0], respectively; P = 0.02). Patients with cerebellar ICH were more likely to be discharged home or to acute rehabilitation (OR 4.8, 95% CI 1.8 – 12.8) but there was no difference in in-hospital mortality (OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.1 – 1.1, P = 0.08) or cause of death (P = 0.5). Modified Rankin Scale scores at 3 months were significantly better in patients with cerebellar ICH compared to brainstem ICH (median 3.5 [1.8 - 6.0] versus median 6 [5.0 - 6.0], P = 0.03). Conclusions: Location of infratentorial ICH is an important determinant of admission severity and clinical outcome in unselected patients with ICH. Patients with cerebellar ICH have less severe symptoms at presentation and more favorable functional outcomes compared to patients with brainstem ICH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104920
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • Intracranial hemorrhages
  • Posterior fossa hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery


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