Reversal of warfarin associated coagulopathy with 4-factor prothrombin complex concentrate in traumatic brain injury and intracranial hemorrhage

Vijay Yanamadala, Brian P Walcott, Peter E Fecci, Peter Rozman, Jay I Kumar, Brian V Nahed, Brooke Swearingen
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience: Official Journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia 2014, 21 (11): 1881-4
Warfarin-associated intracranial hemorrhage is associated with a high mortality rate. Ongoing coagulopathy increases the likelihood of hematoma expansion and can result in catastrophic hemorrhage if surgery is performed without reversal. The current standard of care for emergency reversal of warfarin is with fresh frozen plasma (FFP). In April 2013, the USA Food and Drug Administration approved a new reversal agent, 4-factor prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC), which has the potential to more rapidly correct coagulopathy. We sought to determine the feasibility and outcomes of using PCC for neurosurgical patients. A prospective, observational study of all patients undergoing coagulopathy reversal for intracranial hemorrhage from April 2013 to December 2013 at a single, tertiary care center was undertaken. Thirty three patients underwent emergent reversal of coagulopathy using either FFP or PCC at the discretion of the treating physician. Intracranial hemorrhage included subdural hematoma, intraparenchymal hematoma, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. FFP was used in 28 patients and PCC was used in five patients. International normalized ratio at presentation was similar between groups (FFP 2.9, PCC 3.1, p=0.89). The time to reversal was significantly shorter in the PCC group (FFP 256 minutes, PCC 65 minutes, p<0.05). When operations were performed, the time delay to perform operations was also significantly shorter in the PCC group (FFP 307 minutes, PCC 159 minutes, p<0.05). In this preliminary experience, PCC appears to provide a rapid reversal of coagulopathy. Normalization of coagulation parameters may prevent further intracranial hematoma expansion and facilitate rapid surgical evacuation, thereby improving neurological outcomes.

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