Low body temperature associated with severe ischemic stroke within 6 hours of onset: The Bergen NORSTROKE Study
Christopher E Kvistad, Lars Thomassen, Ulrike Waje-Andreassen, Halvor Naess
Department of Neurology, Haukeland University Hospital, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Background: Hypothermia is considered neuroprotective and a potential treatment in cerebral ischemia. Some studies suggest that hyperthermia may promote clot lysis. We hypothesized that low body temperature would prolong time to spontaneous clot lysis resulting in an association between low body temperature and severe neurological deficits in the early phase of ischemic stroke.
Methods: In this prospective study, patients (n = 516) exhibiting ischemic stroke with symptom onset within 6 hours were included. Body temperature and National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score were registered on admission. Because low body temperature on admission may be secondary to immobilization due to large stroke, separate analyses were performed on patients with cerebral hemorrhage admitted within 6 hours (n = 85).
Results: Linear regression showed that low body temperature on admission was independently associated with a high NIHSS score within 6 hours of stroke onset in patients with ischemic stroke (P < 0.001). The association persisted when NIHSS was measured at 24 hours after admission. No such associations were found in patients with cerebral hemorrhage admitted within 6 hours of stroke onset.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that low body temperature within 6 hours of symptom onset is associated with severe ischemic stroke. This is in support of our hypothesis, although other contributing mechanisms cannot be excluded.
Keywords: body temperature, cerebral infarction, cerebral hemorrhage, clot lysis
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