Increased body mass index (BMI) may be protective against cerebral ischemia in certain clinical contexts.
To investigate whether increased BMI was associated with delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) and subsequent infarction after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH).
We retrospectively reviewed the clinical course of patients presenting to our institution for management of aSAH. Patient were segregated according to BMI< or ≥29.4, a value determined by Classification and Regression Tree analysis. Predictors of DCI and delayed infarction were identified using stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis.
There were 161 patients included for analysis. Average BMI within our patient cohort was 28.9, with 67 patients presenting with a BMI of ≥29.4 on admission. DCI occurred in 50 patients (31.1%) and was complicated by delayed infarction in 15 patients (9.3%). On stepwise multivariate analysis, BMI ≥ 29.4 was independently associated with reduced likelihood of DCI (odds ratio [OR] 0.42, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.18-0.92) and delayed infarction (OR 0.13, 95% CI 0.02-0.61; P = .008). Increasing maximum flow velocity on transcranial Doppler ultrasound was independently associated with increased odds of both DCI (Unit OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.09-1.30; P < .001) and delayed infarction (Unit OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.13-1.56; P < .001), while intracerebral hemorrhage was independently associated with increased odds of delayed infarction (OR 6.99, 95% CI 1.82-30.25; P = .005).
We report an association between elevated BMI and reduced incidence of DCI and delayed infarction, suggesting a protective effect of increasing BMI on the risk of ischemic complications after aSAH.