Background and importance: Dabigatran is a direct thrombin inhibitor gaining popularity as a stroke prevention agent in patients with atrial fibrillation. In comparison with warfarin, dabigatran showed superiority in stroke prevention, but lower rates of major hemorrhage and intracerebral hemorrhage. Although warfarin has a well-established reversal strategy, there is far less experience reversing dabigatran.
Clinical presentation: We present our experience with 3 patients who experienced an intracranial hemorrhage either spontaneously or after low-energy cranial trauma and review the available literature describing dabigatran use in patients with traumatic brain injury.
Conclusion: Intracranial hemorrhage in patients taking anticoagulants and/or antiplatelets can have either a benign or malignant clinical course. At this time, there is little experience with dabigatran reversal; however, several strategies for rapid reversal have been proposed. All patients with intracranial hemorrhage taking dabigatran should be admitted for close neurological monitoring and serial imaging.