Cardioembolic Stroke Risk and Recovery After Anticoagulation-Related Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Stroke. 2018 Nov;49(11):2652-2658. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.021799.


Background and Purpose- Whether to resume oral anticoagulation treatment after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) remains an unresolved question. Previous studies focused primarily on recurrent stroke after ICH. We sought to investigate the association between cardioembolic stroke risk, oral anticoagulation therapy resumption, and functional recovery among ICH survivors in the absence of recurrent stroke. Methods- We conducted a joint analysis of 3 observational studies: (1) the multicenter RETRACE study (German-Wide Multicenter Analysis of Oral Anticoagulation Associated Intracerebral Hemorrhage); (2) the Massachusetts General Hospital ICH study (n=166); and (3) the ERICH study (Ethnic/Racial Variations of Intracerebral Hemorrhage; n=131). We included 941 survivors of ICH in the setting of active oral anticoagulation therapy for prevention of cardioembolic stroke because of nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and without evidence of ischemic stroke and recurrent ICH at 1 year from the index event. We created univariable and multivariable models to explore associations between cardioembolic stroke risk (based on CHA2DS2-VASc scores) and functional recovery after ICH, defined as achieving modified Rankin Scale score of ≤3 at 1 year for participants with modified Rankin Scale score of >3 at discharge. Results- In multivariable analyses, the CHA2DS2-VASc score was associated with a decreased likelihood of functional recovery (odds ratio, 0.83 per 1 point increase; 95% CI, 0.79-0.86) at 1 year. Anticoagulation resumption was independently associated with a higher likelihood of recovery, regardless of CHA2DS2-VASc score (odds ratio, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.32-2.70). We found an interaction between CHA2DS2-VASc score and anticoagulation resumption in terms of association with increased likelihood of functional recovery (interaction P=0.011). Conclusions- Increasing cardioembolic stroke risk is associated with a decreased likelihood of functional recovery at 1 year after ICH, but this association was weaker among participants resuming oral anticoagulation therapy. These findings support, including recovery metrics, in future studies of anticoagulation resumption after ICH.

Keywords: anticoagulation; atrial fibrillation; hemorrhage; mortality; risk; stroke.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects*
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation / complications
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / chemically induced*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Embolism / epidemiology*
  • Intracranial Embolism / etiology
  • Intracranial Embolism / prevention & control
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Recovery of Function
  • Risk Assessment
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / prevention & control


  • Anticoagulants