Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2021; 25 (7): 3066-3073

DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202104_25560

Delayed intracranial hemorrhage after mild traumatic brain injury in patients on oral anticoagulants: is the juice worth the squeeze?

M. Covino, A. Manno, G.M. Della Pepa, A. Piccioni, G. Tullo, M. Petrucci, S. Navarra, F. Sardeo, E. Torelli, R. Nicolò, B. Simeoni, L. Carbone, S. Gaudino, F. Franceschi

Emergency Medicine, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli, IRCCS, Rome, Italy. macovino@gmail.com


OBJECTIVE: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) in anticoagulated patients is a common challenge for Emergency Department (ED) Physicians. Anticoagulation is considered a risk factor for developing delayed intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) after MTBI. The occurrence of this event in patients on Vitamin K Antagonists (VKA) or Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs) remains unclear. Primary endpoint: to analyze the role of anticoagulants as risk factors for developing delayed ICH after MTBI and evaluate the indications to repeat a cranial computed tomography (CT) after a period of observation. Secondary endpoint: to assess the difference in the prevalence rate of delayed ICH in patients on VKA versus those on DOACs.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We evaluated all consecutive patients admitted to our ED for MTBI, which had a control CT for late ICH after a negative CT at admission. We used a propensity score match (PSM) on factors affecting the need for oral anticoagulation to adjust the comparison between anticoagulated vs. non-anticoagulated patients for the baseline clinical characteristics.

RESULTS: Among 685 patients enrolled, 15 (2.2%) developed ICH at control CT. After PSM, the incidence of ICH, although slightly higher, was not statistically different in anticoagulated patients vs. non-anticoagulated (2.3% vs. 0.6%, p=0.371). Among the 111 patients on VKA, 5 (4.5%) had a late ICH, compared to 4 out of 99 (4.0%) on DOACs; the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.868).

CONCLUSIONS: The risk of developing delayed ICH after MTBI in patients on anticoagulation therapy is low. After correction for baseline covariates, the risk does not appear higher compared to non-anticoagulated patients. Thus, a routine control CT scan seems advisable only for patients presenting a clinical deterioration. Larger, prospective trials are required to clarify the safety profile of DOACs vs. VKA in MTBI.

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M. Covino, A. Manno, G.M. Della Pepa, A. Piccioni, G. Tullo, M. Petrucci, S. Navarra, F. Sardeo, E. Torelli, R. Nicolò, B. Simeoni, L. Carbone, S. Gaudino, F. Franceschi
Delayed intracranial hemorrhage after mild traumatic brain injury in patients on oral anticoagulants: is the juice worth the squeeze?

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2021
Vol. 25 - N. 7
Pages: 3066-3073
DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202104_25560