ICH: Recent NOAC use associated with lower risk of in-hospital mortality, compared with warfarin


Background: Previous studies comparing NOACs with warfarin have demonstrated a lower incidence of ICH in patients receiving NOACs. Data have been limited, though, regarding ICH with recent anticoagulant use and in-hospital mortality.

Study design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: More than 1,600 U.S. hospitals that participate in the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke national registry.

Synopsis: Of 141,311 patients admitted with ICH, 10.6% were receiving warfarin and 3.5% were receiving NOACs prior to hospitalization. Prior use of warfarin or NOACs, compared with no anticoagulant use, was associated with higher in-hospital mortality. However, use of NOACs, compared with use of warfarin, was associated with lower in-hospital mortality risk (adjusted risk difference, –5.7%; adjusted odds ratio, 0.75). Among patients with prior NOAC use, 54% of them were using rivaroxaban.

A limitation to this study is that reversal strategies, such as the use of vitamin K, fresh frozen plasma, or intravenous factor concentrates, were not available in the database. In addition, since rivaroxaban accounted for more than half the NOACs used, it may be difficult to apply the overall findings to all other available NOACs.

Bottom line: In patients admitted for ICH, prior use of NOACs, compared with warfarin, was associated with lower risk of in-hospital mortality.

Citation: Inohara T et al. Association of intracerebral hemorrhage among patients taking non–vitamin K antagonist vs. vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants with in-hospital mortality. JAMA. 2018 Feb 6;319(5):463-73.

Dr. Farkhondehpour is a hospitalist at UC San Diego Health and an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego.

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