Intracerebral Hemorrhagic Expansion Occurs in Patients Using Non-Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants Comparable with Patients Using Warfarin

Kara R Melmed, Patrick Lyden, Norman Gellada, Asma Moheet
Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases: the Official Journal of National Stroke Association 2017, 26 (8): 1874-1882

BACKGROUND: Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC) use has significantly reduced intracerebral hemorrhagic (ICH) risk compared with standard anticoagulant treatment. Hematoma expansion (HE) is a known predictor of mortality in warfarin-associated ICH. Little is known about HE in patients using NOACs.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients with ICH admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from October 2010 to June 2016. We identified patients with concomitant administration of an oral anticoagulant and collected data including evidence of HE on imaging and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at discharge. We defined HE as relative (≥33% increase) or absolute expansion (≥12 mL). We compared outcomes of patients with and without HE.

RESULTS: Out of 814 patients with ICH who were admitted, we identified 9 patients with recent NOAC use and 18 intentionally matched controls on warfarin. We found no significant differences in National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale or ICH score on presentation (median [interquartile range] 15 [5,21] versus 7 [1.25,19.5] [P = .41] and 2 [1,4] versus 1 [1,3] [P = .33]) between patients on NOACs and those on warfarin. Four out of the 9 patients on NOAC and 5 of the 18 patients on warfarin demonstrated HE, with no significant difference (P = .42). There were no significant differences in mRS on discharge between groups (P = .52).

CONCLUSIONS: In our coagulopathic NOAC patient population, HE occurs within 6 hours in 44% of patients. This case series did not have sufficient statistical power to detect significant differences between the groups. To our knowledge, this is one of the largest case series reporting on HE with concomitant NOAC use.

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