Outcomes among patients with reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome: A nationwide United States analysis

Smit D. Patel, Karan Topiwala, Fadar Otite Oliver, Hamidreza Saber, Gregory Panza, Gracia Mui, David S. Liebeskind, Jeffrey L. Saver, Mark Alberts, Anne Ducros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) is a well-established cause of stroke, but its demographics and outcomes have not been well delineated. METHODS: Analysis of the United States Nationwide Inpatient Sample database (2016–2017) to characterize the frequency of hospitalizations for RCVS, demographic features, inpatient mortality, and discharge outcomes. RESULTS: During the 2-year study period, 2020 patients with RCVS were admitted to Nationwide Inpatient Sample hospitals, representing 0.02 cases per 100000 national hospitalizations. The mean age at admission was 47.6 years, with 85% under 65 years of age, and 75.5% women. Concomitant neurological diagnoses during hospitalization included ischemic stroke (17.1%), intracerebral hemorrhage (11.0%), subarachnoid hemorrhage (32.7%), seizure disorders (6.7%), and reversible brain edema (13.6%). Overall, 70% of patients were discharged home, 29.7% discharged to a rehabilitation facility or nursing home and 0.3% died before discharge. Patient features independently associated with the poor outcome of discharge to another facility or death were advanced age (odds ratio [OR], 1.04 [95% CI, 1.03–1.04]), being a woman (OR, 2.45 [1.82–3.34]), intracerebral hemorrhage (OR, 2.91 [1.96–4.31]), ischemic stroke (OR, 5.72 [4.32–7.58]), seizure disorders (OR, 2.61 [1.70–4.00]), reversible brain edema (OR, 6.26 [4.41–8.89]), atrial fibrillation (OR, 2.97 [1.83–4.81]), and chronic kidney disease (OR, 3.43 [2.19–5.36]). CONCLUSIONS: Projected to the entire US population, >1000 patients with RCVS are hospitalized each year, with the majority being middle-aged women, and about 300 required at least some rehabilitation or nursing home care after discharge. RCVS-related inpatient mortality is rare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3970-3977
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Postpartum
  • Pregnancy
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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