Traumatic and spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage in atrial fibrillation patients on warfarin

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Abstract

Background

Intracranial hemorrhage is the most devastating complication in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) receiving oral anticoagulation (OAC). It can be either spontaneous or caused by head trauma. We sought to address the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and prognosis of traumatic and spontaneous intracranial hemorrhages in AF patients on OAC.

Methods

Multicenter FibStroke registry of 5,629 patients identified 592 intracranial hemorrhages during warfarin treatment between 2003 and 2012.

Results

A large proportion (40%) of intracranial hemorrhages were traumatic. Of these, 64% were subdural hemorrhages (SDHs) and 20% intracerebral hemorrhages (ICHs). With respect to the spontaneous hemorrhages, 25% were SDHs and 67% ICHs. Patients with traumatic hemorrhage were older (81 vs 78 years, p = 0.01) and more often had congestive heart failure (30% vs 16%, p < 0.01) and anemia (7% vs 3%, p = 0.03) compared to patients with spontaneous hemorrhage. Admission international normalized ratio (INR) values (2.7 vs 2.7, p = 0.79), as well as CHA2DS2-VASc (median 4 vs 4, p = 0.08) and HAS-BLED (median 2 vs 2, p = 0.05) scores, were similar between the groups. The 30-day mortality after traumatic hemorrhage was significantly lower than after spontaneous hemorrhage (25% vs 36%, p < 0.01).

Conclusions

A significant proportion of intracranial hemorrhages in anticoagulated AF patients were traumatic. Traumatic hemorrhages were predominantly SDHs and less often fatal when compared to spontaneous hemorrhages, which were mainly ICHs. Admission INR values as well as CHA2DS2-VASc and HAS-BLED scores were similar in patients with spontaneous and traumatic intracranial hemorrhage.

Clinicaltrials.gov identifier

NCT02146040.

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