Incidence and mortality rates of intracranial hemorrhage in hemophilia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Blood. 2021 Dec 30;138(26):2853-2873. doi: 10.1182/blood.2021011849.


Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is a severe complication that is relatively common among patients with hemophilia. This systematic review aimed to obtain more precise estimates of ICH incidence and mortality in hemophilia, which may be important for patients, caregivers, researchers, and health policy makers. PubMed and EMBASE were systematically searched using terms related to "hemophilia" and "intracranial hemorrhage" or "mortality." Studies that allowed calculation of ICH incidence or mortality rates in a hemophilia population ≥50 patients were included. We summarized evidence on ICH incidence and calculated pooled ICH incidence and mortality in 3 age groups: persons of all ages with hemophilia, children and young adults younger than age 25 years with hemophilia, and neonates with hemophilia. Incidence and mortality were pooled with a Poisson-Normal model or a Binomial-Normal model. We included 45 studies that represented 54 470 patients, 809 151 person-years, and 5326 live births of patients with hemophilia. In persons of all ages, the pooled ICH incidence and mortality rates were 2.3 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-4.8) and 0.8 (95% CI 0.5-1.2) per 1000 person-years, respectively. In children and young adults, the pooled ICH incidence and mortality rates were 7.4 (95% CI, 4.9-11.1) and 0.5 (95% CI, 0.3-0.9) per 1000 person-years, respectively. In neonates, the pooled cumulative ICH incidence was 2.1% (95% CI, 1.5-2.8) per 100 live births. ICH was classified as spontaneous in 35% to 58% of cases. Our findings suggest that ICH is an important problem in hemophilia that occurs among all ages, requiring adequate preventive strategies.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Hemophilia A / complications*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / etiology*
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / mortality
  • Mortality