Leukocytosis and C-Reactive Protein May Predict Development of Secondary Cerebral Vasospasm in Patients with Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Ieva Buce-Satoba (Coresponding Author), Daina Rozkalne, Biruta Mamaja, Gaida Krumina, Agnese Ozolina

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Background and Objectives: Secondary cerebral vasospasm (CV) with subsequent delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) remains an unpredictable pathology. The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the association between inflammatory parameters, white blood cell (WBC) count, and C-reactive protein plasma levels (CRP) and the occurrence of secondary CV in patients with aSAH. Materials and Methods: The medical records of 201 Intensive Care Unit patients in Riga East University Hospital with aSAH were retrospectively reviewed in a 24-month period. WBC count and CRP values were observed at admission to the hospital and on the third day. According to the inclusion criteria, 117 (48 males) participants were enrolled for further analysis, with average age of 56 ± 15 years (mean ± SD). In total, secondary CV was diagnosed in 21.4% of cases, and DCI in 22.4% of cases. The patients were classified into three groups: SAH-CV group (n = 25), SAH-DCI group (n = 12), and SAH or control group (n = 80), for comparative analysis. Results: We found that SAH-CV patients demonstrated notably higher inflammatory parameters compared to controls: WBC 13.2 ± 3.3 × 109 /L vs. 11.2 ± 3.7 × 109 /L; p = 0.01 and CRP median 9.3 mg/L vs. 1.9 mg/L; p <0.001, respectively. We found that the odds of developing CV increased by 5% for each CRP increase of 1 mg/L at admission (OR, 1.05; CI, 1.014–1.087; p = 0.006). Concomitantly, the odds increased by 16% for every rise in WBC count of 1 × 109 /L (OR, 1.16; CI, 1.02–1.32; p = 0.02). WBC count was associated with the occurrence of CV with 96% sensitivity and 40% specificity, with a cut off level of 10.015 × 109 /L and AUC 0.683; p = 0.006. CRP displayed 54% sensitivity and 90% specificity with a cut off value of 8.9 mg/L and AUC 0.751; p < 0.001. Moreover, higher values of inflammatory parameters at admission correlated with a longer stay in ICU (r = 0.3, p = 0.002 for WBC count and r = 0.305, p = 0.002 for CRP values), and poor outcome (death) was significantly associated with higher CRP values at admission and on the third day (16.1. vs. 2.2. and 57.4. vs. 11.1, p < 0.001, respectively). Higher mortality was detected in SAH-CV patients (32%) compared to controls (6.3%; p < 0.001). Conclusions: Inflammatory parameters such as WBC count and CRP values at admission might be helpful to predict the development of secondary CV.

Original languageEnglish
Article number323
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2022


  • Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • C-reactive protein
  • Delayed cerebral ischemia
  • Leukocytosis
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Secondary cerebral vasospasm

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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