Objective: To determine if ultra-early (<24 h) venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis was associated with hematoma growth in spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
Background: Patients with ICH have a high risk of VTE. Pharmacological prophylaxis such as unfractionated heparin (UFH) have been demonstrated to reduce VTE. However, published datasets exclude patients with recent ICH out of concern for hematoma enlargement. American Heart/Stroke Association guidelines recommend UFH 1-4 days after hematoma stabilization while the European Stroke Organization has no recommendations on when to begin UFH. Our institutional practice is to obtain stability CT scans at 6 to 24 h and to begin UFH following documented clinical and radiologic stability. We examined the impact of this practice on hematoma expansion.
Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of consecutive ICH patients treated at a single tertiary academic referral center in the US. Demographic and clinical characteristics were abstracted. ICH volume was measured via 3D volumetrics for a CT head done on admission, follow-up stability, and prior to discharge. The primary outcome was analyzed as ≥3 mL hematoma enlargement. Secondary outcomes include hematoma expansion of ≥6mL and ≥ 33%, length of stay (LOS), discharge disposition and mortality.
Results: A total of 163 ICH patients were analyzed. There were 58 (35.6%) patients in the ultra-early UFH group and UFH was initiated on average at 13.8 h from initial scan. There were 105 (64.6%) patients in the standard group who initiated UFH at an average of 46.6 h. The primary outcome of hematoma enlargement ≥3 mL was observed in 2/58(3.4%) patients with ultra-early initiation of UFH and in 7/105(6.7%) in the standard group (p=0.49). Secondary outcomes were not significant including hematoma expansion in the ultra-early group ≥ 6 mL 3/58 (5.2%) and ≥33% 7/58 (12.1%) (p=0.91, 0.61, respectively) as well as mortality or LOS.
Conclusion: Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis started ultra-early (≤24 h) after ICH was not associated with hematoma expansion.
Keywords: Deep venous thrombosis; Intracranial hemorrhage; Ultra-early; Ultra-fractioned heparin; Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis.
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