Objective

To compare the clinical characteristics and outcomes of primary intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) with and without methamphetamine exposure.

Methods

We performed a retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with spontaneous, nontraumatic ICH over a 3-year period between January 2013 and December 2016. Demographics, clinical measures, and outcomes were compared between ICH patients with positive methamphetamine toxicology tests vs those with negative methamphetamine toxicology tests.

Results

Methamphetamine-positive ICH patients were younger than methamphetamine-negative ICH patients (52 vs 67 years, p < 0.001). Patients with methamphetamine-positive ICH had higher diastolic blood pressure (115 vs 101, p = 0.003), higher mean arterial pressure (144 vs 129, p = 0.01), longer lengths of hospital (18 vs 8 days, p < 0.001) and intensive care unit (ICU) stay (10 vs 5 days, p < 0.001), required more days of IV antihypertensive medications (5 vs 3 days, p = 0.02), and had more subcortical hemorrhages (63% vs 46%, p = 0.05). The methamphetamine-positive group had better premorbid modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores (p < 0.001) and a greater change in functional ability as measured by mRS at the time of hospital discharge (p = 0.001). In multivariate analyses, methamphetamine use predicted both hospital length of stay (risk ratio [RR] 1.54, confidence interval [CI] 1.39–1.70, p < 0.001) and ICU length of stay (RR 1.36, CI 1.18–1.56, p < 0.001), but did not predict poor outcome (mRS 4–6).

Conclusions

Methamphetamine use is associated with earlier age at onset of ICH, longer hospital stays, and greater change in functional ability, but did not predict outcome.

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