A nationwide survey was conducted regarding anticoagulant therapy in patients with acute intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) on warfarin with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF).
A questionnaire on standard therapeutic strategy for warfarin-related ICH in patients with NVAF was mailed to 416 institutes.
A total of 329 physicians (79%) responded with a completed questionnaire. On admission, all respondents stopped warfarin medication and 94% normalized the international normalized ratio (INR) mainly by Vitamin K (63%), followed by fresh frozen plasma (20%), and prothrombin complex concentrate (10%). Afterwards, 91% of the respondents restarted anticoagulation and 3% used antiplatelet for prevention of thromboembolism, but the remaining 6% disagreed with restarting antithrombotic therapy. As contraindications for resuming anticoagulation, recurrent ICH (59%) and poor functional condition (59%) were often chosen. Of those who restarted anticoagulation, the timing was within 4 days in 7%, 5 to 7 days in 21%, 8 to 14 days in 25%, 15 to 28 days in 28% and 29 days or later in 18%. The major key finding on follow-up CT to restart anticoagulation was the absorption tendency of hematomas (47%). When restarting anticoagulation, 76% of the respondents used warfarin alone and 20% used either unfractionated heparin plus warfarin or heparin alone.
A large majority of respondents responsible for ICH management stopped oral warfarin medication and normalized INR on admission, and restarted anticoagulation after acute ICH in patients with NVAF. However, the strategies to normalize INR and to restart anticoagulant therapy varied greatly and depended on each individual physician's decision.
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Published online: August 29, 2011
Accepted: August 8, 2011
Received in revised form: August 4, 2011
Received: June 10, 2011
© 2011 Elsevier B.V. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.