Rates of intracranial hemorrhage in mild head trauma patients presenting to emergency department and their management: A comparison of direct oral anticoagulant drugs with vitamin K antagonists

Gabriele Savioli, Iride Francesca Ceresa, Sabino Luzzi, Cristian Gragnaniello, Alice Giotta Lucifero, Mattia Del Maestro, Stefano Marasco, Federica Manzoni, Luca Ciceri, Elia Gelfi, Giovanni Ricevuti, Maria Antonietta Bressan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background and objectives: Anticoagulants are thought to increase the risks of traumatic intracranial injury and poor clinical outcomes after blunt head trauma. The safety of using direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) compared to vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) after intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is unclear. This study aims to compare the incidence of post-traumatic ICH following mild head injury (MHI) and to assess the need for surgery, mortality rates, emergency department (ED) revisit rates, and the volume of ICH. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective, single-center observational study on all patients admitted to our emergency department for mild head trauma from 1 January 2016, to 31 December 2018. We enrolled 234 anticoagulated patients, of which 156 were on VKAs and 78 on DOACs. Patients underwent computed tomography (CT) scans on arrival (T0) and after 24 h (T24). The control group consisted of patients not taking anticoagulants, had no clotting disorders, and who reported an MHI in the same period. About 54% in the control group had CTs performed. Results: The anticoagulated groups were comparable in baseline parameters. Patients on VKA developed ICH more frequently than patients on DOACs and the control group at 17%, 5.13%, and 7.5%, respectively. No significant difference between the two groups was noted in terms of surgery, intrahospital mortality rates, ED revisit rates, and the volume of ICH. Conclusions: Patients with mild head trauma on DOAC therapy had a similar prevalence of ICH to that of the control group. Meanwhile, patients on VKA therapy had about twice the ICH prevalence than that on the control group or patients on DOAC, which remained after correcting for age. No significant difference in the need for surgery was determined; however, this result must take into account the very small number of patients needing surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number308
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Volume56
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Anticoagulated patients
  • Computed tomography
  • Direct anticoagulant drugs
  • DOAC
  • ED revisit rates
  • Emergency department
  • Hemorrhage
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Intrahospital mortality
  • Mild head injury
  • Mild head trauma
  • Minor head injury
  • Minor head trauma
  • New anticoagulant drugs
  • NOAC
  • Observation
  • Risk management
  • Surgery
  • Vitamin K antagonist anticoagulants
  • VKAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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