Abstract 3681: Early Anticoagulation Is Not Associated With Hemorrhagic Transformation Of Ischemic Stroke In Patients With Atrial Fibrillation
Purpose: Hemorrhagic transformation (HT) is a common and potentially devastating complication of ischemic stroke, however its prevalence, predictors, and outcome remain unclear. Early anticoagulation is thought to be a risk factor for HT which raises the clinical question when to (re)start anticoagulation in ischemic stroke patients who have a compelling indication, such as atrial fibrillation. We conducted a prospective cohort study to address this question and to identify association of hemorrhagic transformation with outcome measures in patients with atrial fibrillation in the setting of acute ischemic stroke.
Materials and Methods: We performed a prospective study which enrolled consecutive patients admitted with acute ischemic stroke presenting to a single center over a three-year period. As part of the observational study, baseline clinical data and stroke characteristics as well as 3 month functional outcome were collected. For this sub-study, we restricted the analysis to subjects diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. CT and MRI scans were reviewed by experienced readers, blinded to clinical data, to assess for hemorrhagic transformation (using ECASS 2 criteria), microbleeds and infarct volumes in both admission and follow-up scans. Clinical and outcome data were analyzed for association with hemorrhagic transformation.
Results: Of 94 patients, 63 had a history of atrial fibrillation (67.0%) and 31 had newly discovered atrial fibrillation (33.0%). We identified HT in 3 of 94 baseline scans (3.2%) and 22 of 48 follow-up scans (45.8%) obtained a median of 3 days post-stroke. In-hospital initiation of either anti-platelet (n = 36; OR 0.34 [95% CI 0.10-1.16], p-value = 0.09) or anticoagulation with unfractionated intravenous heparin or low molecular weight heparin (n = 72; OR 0.25 [95% CI 0.06-1.15], p-value = 0.08) was not associated with HT. Initial NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score (median 13.0 [IQR 15.0] vs. 7.0 [IQR 10.0], p-value = 0.029) and baseline infarct volume (median 17 [IQR 42.03] vs. 5 [IQR 10.95], p-value = 0.011) were significantly higher in patients with HT compared to those without. Hemorrhagic transformation was associated with a significantly higher 48-hour median NIHSS score (20 [IQR 3.0] vs. 2 [IQR 3.25], p-value = 0.007) and larger final infarct volume (81.40 [IQR 82.75] vs. 9.95 [IQR 19.73], p-value < 0.001). Finally, we found a trend towards poorer 3-month modified Rankin Scale scores in subjects with HT (OR 11.25 [95% CI 0.97-130.22], p-value = 0.05).
Conclusion: In patients with atrial fibrillation, initial NIHSS score and baseline infarct volume are associated with hemorrhagic transformation in acute ischemic stroke. Early initiation of antithrombotic therapy was not associated with hemorrhagic transformation. Patients with hemorrhagic transformation were found to have a poorer short and long term outcome and larger final infarct volumes.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.