Prognostication after intracerebral hemorrhage: a review

Document Type
Issue Date
Issue Year
Witsch, Jens
Siegerink, Bob
Nolte, Christian H.
Sprügel, Maximilian
Steiner, Thorsten
Endres, Matthias
Huttner, Hagen B.


Approximately half of patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) die within 1 year. Prognostication in this context is of great importance, to guide goals of care discussions, clinical decision-making, and risk stratification. However, available prognostic scores are hardly used in clinical practice. The purpose of this review article is to identify existing outcome prediction scores for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) discuss their shortcomings, and to suggest how to create and validate more useful scores. Main text

Through a literature review this article identifies existing ICH outcome prediction models. Using the Essen-ICH-score as an example, we demonstrate a complete score validation including discrimination, calibration and net benefit calculations. Score performance is illustrated in the Erlangen UKER-ICH-cohort (NCT03183167). We identified 19 prediction scores, half of which used mortality as endpoint, the remainder used disability, typically the dichotomized modified Rankin score assessed at variable time points after the index ICH. Complete score validation by our criteria was only available for the max-ICH score. Our validation of the Essen-ICH-score regarding prediction of unfavorable outcome showed good discrimination (area under the curve 0.87), fair calibration (calibration intercept 1.0, slope 0.84), and an overall net benefit of using the score as a decision tool. We discuss methodological pitfalls of prediction scores, e.g. the withdrawal of care (WOC) bias, physiological predictor variables that are often neglected by authors of clinical scores, and incomplete score validation. Future scores need to integrate new predictor variables, patient-reported outcome measures, and reduce the WOC bias. Validation needs to be standardized and thorough. Lastly, we discuss the integration of current ICH scoring systems in clinical practice with the awareness of their shortcomings. Conclusion

Presently available prognostic scores for ICH do not fulfill essential quality standards. Novel prognostic scores need to be developed to inform the design of research studies and improve clinical care in patients with ICH.

Journal Title
Neurological Research and Practice
Neurological Research and Practice 3 (2021): 22. <>