Between Scylla and Charybdis: risks of early therapeutic anticoagulation for venous thromboembolism after acute intracranial hemorrhage.

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OBJECTIVE: To assess the risk of hematoma expansion in patients with acute intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) requiring therapeutic anticoagulation for the treatment of venous thromboembolism.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all patients at our institution between 2014 and 2019 who were therapeutically anticoagulated for venous thromboembolism within 4 weeks after ICH. We included subtypes of traumatic ICH and spontaneous intraparenchymal hemorrhage. Our main outcome was the incidence of hematoma expansion within 14 days from initiating therapeutic anticoagulation. Hematoma expansion was defined as (1) radiographically proven expansion leading to cessation of therapeutic anticoagulation or (2) death due to hematoma expansion. Secondary outcomes included mortality due to hematoma expansion and characteristics associated with hematoma expansion.

RESULTS: Fifty patients met inclusion criteria (mean age: 54 years, 80% male, 76% Caucasian); 24% had undergone a neurosurgical procedure prior to therapeutic anticoagulation. Median time from ICH to therapeutic anticoagulation initiation was 9.5 days (IQR 4-17), 40% received therapeutic anticoagulation in (12%) developed hematoma expansion, of whom two (4%) died. While not statistically significant, patients with hematoma expansion tended to be older (57.8 vs. 53.5 years), were anticoagulated sooner (4 vs. 10 days), presented with lower GCS (50% vs. 39% with GCS30 cc), and higher SDH diameter (16 mm vs. 8.35 mm). There was a trend towards greater risk of hematoma expansion for patients undergoing endoscopic ICH evacuation (16% vs. 2%,

CONCLUSIONS: Our study is among the first to explore characteristics associated with hematoma expansion in patients undergoing therapeutic anticoagulation after acute ICH. Larger studies in different ICH subtypes are needed to identify determinants of hematoma expansion in this high-acuity population.

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Anticoagulants; Cerebral Hemorrhage; Female; Hematoma; Humans; Intracranial Hemorrhages; Male; Middle Aged; Retrospective Studies; Venous Thromboembolism

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British journal of neurosurgery







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