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.