Reinitiating warfarin sodium therapy in a patient with a recent warfarin-related intracerebral hemorrhage (WAICH) is a difficult clinical decision. Therefore, it is important to assess the outcome of resumption or discontinuation of warfarin therapy after WAICH.
To compare patients who survived an episode of WAICH and restarted warfarin therapy with a group of WAICH patients who did not resume warfarin therapy.
Design, Setting, and Patients
We conducted a follow-up study from November 1, 2001, through December 31, 2005, in a cohort from a single center. Long-term outcome was assessed at last clinical follow-up or via questionnaire.
Main Outcome Measures
Recurrent WAICH and thromboembolic events.
Fifty-two patients were discharged from the hospital after a diagnosis of WAICH. Four patients were lost to follow-up. Mean follow-up among all patients was 43 (range, 1-108) months. Of the 23 patients who restarted warfarin therapy, 1 had a recurrent nontraumatic WAICH, 2 had traumatic intracerebral hemorrhages, and 2 had major extracranial hemorrhages. Of the 25 patients who did not restart warfarin therapy, 3 had a thromboembolic stroke, 1 had a pulmonary embolus, and 1 had a distal arterial embolus.
Restarting warfarin therapy in patients with a recent WAICH is associated with a low risk of recurrence, but patients are subjected to known, substantial risks of warfarin use. Withholding warfarin therapy is associated with a risk of thromboembolization.