Antithrombotic Treatment Following Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Patients With and Without Atrial Fibrillation
Background and Purpose—Patients who survive intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) often have compelling indications for anticoagulant and antiplatelet medication. This nationwide observational study aimed to determine the extent and predictors of antithrombotic treatment after ICH in Sweden.
Methods—Patients with a first-ever ICH in the Swedish Stroke Register (Riksstroke) 2005 to 2012 who survived hospital discharge were included. Riksstroke data were individually linked with other national registers to determine comorbid conditions and dispensed prescriptions of antithrombotic agents.
Results—Among the 2777 patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), the proportion with a dispensed prescription of antithrombotic agents was 8.5% (anticoagulants) and 36.6% (antiplatelet agents) within 6 months and 11.1% (anticoagulants) and 43.6% (antiplatelet agents) within 1 year. Among the 11 268 patients without AF, the corresponding figures were 1.6% (anticoagulants) and 13.8% (antiplatelet agents) within 6 months and 2.0% (anticoagulants) and 17.5% (antiplatelet agents) within 1 year. In patients with AF, predictors of anticoagulant treatment were less severe ICH, younger age, previous anticoagulation, valvular disease, and previous ischemic stroke. High CHA2DS2-VASc (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age, diabetes mellitus, stroke [doubled], vascular disease, age, and sex category [female]) scores did not correlate with anticoagulant treatment. There was a positive correlation between high CHA2DS2-VASc and HAS-BLED (hypertension, abnormal renal/liver function, stroke, bleeding history or predisposition, labile international normalized ratio, elderly, drugs/alcohol) scores (rs=0.590, P<0.001).
Conclusions—In majority of patients who receive antithrombotic agents, treatment is initiated within 6 months of ICH. Still, many patients with compelling indications for antithrombotic treatment are not prescribed antithrombotic agents. Factors other than high risk of embolic stroke by CHA2DS2-VASc in ICH survivors with concurrent AF are used to guide the anticoagulant treatment decision in Swedish clinical practice.
- Received March 2, 2015.
- Revision received June 12, 2015.
- Accepted June 15, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.