Intracranial Haemorrhage in Patients on Antithrombotics: Clinical Presentation and Determinants of Outcome in a Prospective Multicentric Study in Italian Emergency Departments
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BACKGROUND: Intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) is the type of stroke associated with the highest death rate, and about 30% of ICH occurs in patients on antithrombotic treatment. This study relates clinical presentations and outcome of ICH patients on oral anticoagulant (OA) or antiplatelet (AP) therapy admitted to 33 Italian emergency departments (ED). METHODS: Consecutive patients were enrolled after cranial computed tomography (CT). Primary outcome was the Modified Rankin Scale (MRS) score at 3 months of follow-up. Common descriptive statistics were computed after stratification for traumatic or spontaneous ICH and identification of the anatomical location of bleeding. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess predictors of death. RESULTS: We recruited 434 patients on AP therapy and 232 on OA. There were 432 spontaneous and 234 traumatic ICH patients. The proportions of AP and OA patients undergoing neurosurgery were 21.8 and 19.4%, respectively, while < 30% underwent procoagulant medical treatment. At the 3-month follow-up, the case fatality rate was 42.0%, while disability or death (MRS 3-6) was 68.1%. The odds ratio for death in OA versus AP patients was 2.63 (95% CI 1.73-4.00) in the whole population and 2.80 (95% CI 1.77-4.41) in intraparenchymal event patients. Glasgow Coma Scale, age, spontaneous event and anticoagulant use were found to be predictors of death both in traumatic and spontaneous events. CONCLUSION: This study confirms the high prevalence of death or disability in OA and AP patients with ICH. As far as the determinants of mortality and disability are concerned, the results of this study might be useful in the clinical management and allocation of resources in the ED setting. The observed low use of procoagulant therapy highlights the need for ED educational programmes to heighten the awareness of available and effective haemostatic treatments.
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