Objective: To evaluate the risk of recurrent intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) in patients on vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) after a first episode of ICH.
Methods: The Cerebral Haemorrhage in patients Restarting Oral Anticoagulant Therapy (CHIRONE) Study collected data of patients eligible for the study from the database of 27 centers affiliated with the Italian Federation of Anticoagulation Clinics.
Results: We enrolled 267 patients (163 male, median age 73.9 years) who had received VKA anticoagulation after an ICH event. During the total period of follow-up (778 patient-years), ICH recurred in 20 patients (7.5%; rate 2.56 × 100 patient-years) at a median time of 16.5 months, and was fatal in 5 patients (25%; rate 0.4 × 100 patient-years). Male sex, hypertension, prosthetic valves, previous ischemic stroke, renal failure, cancer, and spontaneous events were associated with the risk of recurrence, though none of them in isolation reached statistical significance. More than one-third of spontaneous recurrences occurred in patients with a posttraumatic index event.
Conclusions: Our results show that patients with a history of ICH carry a significant risk of recurrent ICH when treated with VKA anticoagulation. The risk is also present, though to a lower degree, in patients with previous posttraumatic events. All patients with a history of ICH require a careful evaluation of their thromboembolic risk to estimate the net clinical benefit of (re)starting anticoagulation with VKAs.