Safety of withholding anticoagulation in patients with mechanical prosthetic valves and intracranial haemorrhage

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Abstract:

Abstract

Patients with prosthetic heart valves require lifelong anticoagulation to prevent thromboembolism. When they have intracranial haemorrhage, anticoagulation has to be withheld. This study was aimed to identify safety duration and complications of anticoagulation withholding in patients with prosthetic heart valves and intracranial haemorrhage. This was a retrospective descriptive study in 26 prosthetic heart valve patients hospitalised in Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University because of intracranial haemorrhage from 2003 to 2008. Range of anticoagulation withholding was 1 to 26 days with mean 8.5 ± 7.7 days. Most patients (84.6%) were withheld anticoagulation for less than 14 days. There were five in‐hospital deaths mostly within 3 days of admission from severe intracranial haemorrhage. No data of reintroduction of anticoagulation was found in three patients because they were lost to follow up. One patient had right basal ganglia infarction after 7 days of anticoagulation withholding. Prosthetic heart valve dysfunction was suspected in one patient who withheld anticoagulant for 76 days. Discontinuation of anticoagulation in patients with prosthetic heart valves and intracranial haemorrhage for less than 7 days was associated with low thromboembolic risk and there was no clinical evidence of prosthetic heart valve dysfunction when anticoagulation was withheld for less than 14 days.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1445-5994.2011.02579.x

Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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