Early Rivaroxaban Use After Cardioembolic Stroke May Not Result in Hemorrhagic Transformation
A Prospective Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study
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Background and Purpose—Early anticoagulation after cardioembolic stroke remains controversial because of the potential for hemorrhagic transformation (HT). We tested the safety and feasibility of initiating rivaroxaban ≤14 days after cardioembolic stroke/transient ischemic attack.
Methods—A prospective, open-label study of patients with atrial fibrillation treated with rivaroxaban ≤14 days of transient ischemic attack or ischemic stroke (National Institute of Health Stroke Scale <9). All patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging <24 hours of rivaroxaban initiation and day 7. The primary end point was symptomatic HT at day 7.
Results—Sixty patients (mean±SD age 71±19 years, 82% stroke/18% transient ischemic attack) were enrolled. Median (interquartile range) time from onset to rivaroxaban was 3 (5) days. At treatment initiation, median National Institute of Health Stroke Scale was 2 (4), and median diffusion-weighted imaging volume was 7.9 (13.7) mL. At baseline, HT was present in 25 (42%) patients (hemorrhagic infarct [HI]1=19, HI2=6). On follow-up magnetic resonance imaging, no patients developed symptomatic HT. New asymptomatic HI1 developed in 3 patients, and asymptomatic progression from HI1 to HI2 occurred in 5 patients; otherwise, HT remained unchanged at day 7.
Conclusions—These data support the safety of rivaroxaban initiation ≤14 days of mild–moderate cardioembolic stroke/transient ischemic attack. Magnetic resonance imaging evidence of petechial HT, which is common, does not appear to increase the risk of symptomatic HT.
- Received March 21, 2016.
- Revision received May 4, 2016.
- Accepted May 6, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.