Early Versus Delayed Initiation of Pharmacological Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis After an Intracranial Hemorrhage

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Abstract

Background:

Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) accounts for up to 20% of all strokes with and carries an approximate 50% 30-day mortality. The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is markedly higher in patients with ICH compared with ischemic strokes, but the optimal time to initiate pharmacological prophylaxis is ill-defined.

Design:

Retrospective analysis.

Setting:

University-affiliated, tertiary care center.

Patients:

Patients admitted for a nontraumatic ICH who received pharmacological VTE prophylaxis during their first 30 hospital days.

Results:

Of the 793 patients evaluated, 400 were included [142 (35.5%) early]. Rebleeding event rates were similar for early versus late [8 (5.6%) vs. 13 (5.0%), P=0.80] and rates of hospital-acquired VTEs were not statistically different [1 (0.7%) vs. 8 (3.1%), P=0.17]. The median time from admission to the first dose of pharmacological prophylaxis was similar in patients who experienced rebleeding versus those that did not [74 h (range, 38 to 110.5 h) vs. 63 h (range, 45 to 90.5 h), P=0.69]. There was a longer median time from admission to the first dose of pharmacological prophylaxis in patients who developed a VTE during the initial hospitalization versus those who did not [108 h (range, 73.3 to 187 h) vs. 63 h (range, 44.5 to 90 h), P=0.005].

Conclusions:

Initiation of early pharmacological prophylaxis in ICH patients did not appear to increase the risk of rebleeding nor decrease the risk of VTE. Among those patients who did develop VTE during hospitalization, there was a longer median time from admission to the first dose of pharmacological prophylaxis.

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