Early Rivaroxaban Use After Cardioembolic Stroke May Not Result in Hemorrhagic Transformation
A Prospective Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study
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.