Satellite sign: A poor outcome predictor in intracerebral hemorrhage

Yoshiteru Shimoda, Satoru Ohtomo, Hiroaki Arai, Ken Okada, Teiji Tominaga

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The presence of high-density starry dots around the intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), which we termed as a satellite sign, is occasionally observed in CT. The relationship between ICH with a satellite sign and its functional outcome has not been identified. This study aimed to determine whether the presence of a satellite sign could be an independent prognostic factor for patients with ICH. Methods: Patients with acute spontaneous ICH were retrospectively identified and their initial CT scans were reviewed. A satellite sign was defined as scattered high-density lesions completely separate from the main hemorrhage in at least the single axial slice. Functional outcome was evaluated using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at discharge. Poor functional outcome was defined as mRS scores of 3-6. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were applied to assess the presence of a satellite sign and its association with poor functional outcome. Results: A total of 241 patients with ICH were enrolled in the study. Of these, 98 (40.7%) had a satellite sign. Patients with a satellite sign had a significantly higher rate of poor functional outcome (95.9%) than those without a satellite sign (55.9%, p < 0.0001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that higher age (OR 1.06; 95% CI 1.03-1.10; p = 0.00016), large hemorrhage size (OR 1.06; 95% CI 1.03-1.11; p = 0.00015), and ICH with a satellite sign (OR 13.5; 95% CI 4.42-53.4; p < 0.0001) were significantly related to poor outcome. A satellite sign was significantly related with higher systolic blood pressure (p = 0.0014), higher diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.0117), shorter activated partial thromboplastin time (p = 0.0427), higher rate of intraventricular bleeding (p < 0.0001), and larger main hemorrhage (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: The presence of a satellite sign in the initial CT scan is associated with a significantly worse functional outcome in ICH patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalCerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1


  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Computed tomography
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Stroke


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