In this study the authors sought to investigate the sex differences in the risk of delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI), delayed cerebral infarction, and the role of hormonal status.
Ten studies included in the SAHIT (SAH International Trialists) repository were analyzed using a fitting logistic regression model. Heterogeneity between the studies was tested using I2 statistics, and the results were pooled using a random-effects model. Multivariable analysis was adjusted for the effects of neurological status and fixed effect of study. An additional model was examined in which women and men were split into groups according to an age cut point of 55 years, as a surrogate to define hormonal status.
A pooled cohort of 6713 patients was analyzed. The risk of DCI was statistically significantly higher in women than in men (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.12–1.48); no difference was found with respect to cerebral infarction (OR 1.17, 95% CI 0.98–1.40). No difference was found in the risk of DCI when comparing women ≤ 55 and > 55 years (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.74–1.02; p = 0.08) or when comparing men ≤ 55 and > 55 years (p = 0.38). Independent predictors of DCI were World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) grade, Fisher grade, age, and sex. Independent predictors of infarction included WFNS grade, Fisher grade, and aneurysm size.
Female sex is associated with a higher risk of DCI. Sex differences may play a role in the pathogenesis of DCI but are not associated with menopausal status. The predictors of DCI and cerebral infarction were identified in a very large cohort and reflect experience from multiple institutions.