Mediation effects of mean Hounsfield unit on relationship between hemoglobin and expansion of intracerebral hemorrhage

Yong Soo Kim, Han Gil Jeong, Hee Yun Chae, Beom Joon Kim, Jihoon Kang, Jun Yup Kim, Tackeun Kim, Jae Seung Bang, Hee Joon Bae, Chang Wan Oh, Moon Ku Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Low hemoglobin levels are known to be associated with hematoma expansion (HE) and poor functional outcome in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). However, it is not yet known whether low hemoglobin itself causes HE directly or is merely a confounder. Thus, we investigated the mediation effect of the mean Hounsfield unit (HU) of hematoma on the relationship between low hemoglobin and expansion of ICH. Overall, 232 consecutive patients with ICH who underwent non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT) within 12 h since onset were included. The mean HU and hematoma volume on NCCT were investigated using semi-automated planimetry. HE was defined as an increase in hematoma volume > 33% or 6 mL. The respective associations among the hemoglobin level, mean HU, and HE were analyzed using multivariable regression analysis, adjusting for age, sex, and known HE predictors. Mediation analysis was performed to examine the potential causal association among the three. HE occurred in 34.5% of patients; hemoglobin levels were inversely associated with HE occurrence (adjusted odds ratio, 0.90; p = 0.03). The mean HU of the hematoma was lower in patients with HE than in patients without HE (58.5 ± 3.3 vs. 56.8 ± 3.0; p < 0.01). Hemoglobin levels on admission were linearly related to the mean HU (adjusted β, 0.33; p < 0.01) after adjusting for known HE predictors (time from onset to CT, antithrombotic use, hematoma volume). Causal mediation analysis showed a significant mediation effect of the mean HU on the association between hemoglobin levels and HE (p = 0.04). The proportion of indirect effect through the mean HU among the total effect was 19% (p = 0.05). The mediation effect became nonsignificant in the when the multivariable model was adjusted with additional covariates (baseline systolic blood pressure and hematoma location). The mean HU of the hematoma mediated the association between hemoglobin levels and HE occurrence. Therefore, the mean HU of the hematoma may be a potential marker of impaired hemostasis in patients with ICH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17236
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

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