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Stroke. 2011 Mar;42(3):705-9. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.600593. Epub 2011 Jan 21.

Pharmacological deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis does not lead to hematoma expansion in intracerebral hemorrhage with intraventricular extension.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, The University of Texas-Houston Medical School, 6431 Fannin Street Suite, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



Patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) are at high risk for development of deep venous thrombosis. Current guidelines state that low-dose subcutaneous low molecular weight heparin or unfractionated heparin may be considered at 3 to 4 days from onset. However, insufficient data exist on hematoma volume in patients with ICH before and after pharmacological deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis, leaving physicians with uncertainty regarding the safety of this practice.


We identified patients from our stroke registry (June 2003 to December 2007) who presented with ICH only or ICH+intraventricular hemorrhage and received either low molecular weight heparin subcutaneously or unfractionated heparin within 7 days of admission and had a repeat CT scan performed within 4 days of starting deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis. We calculated the change in hematoma volume from the admission and posttreatment CTs. Hematoma volume was calculated using the ABC/2 method and intraventricular hemorrhage volumes were calculated using a published method of hand drawn regions of interest.


We identified 73 patients with a mean age of 63 years and median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score 11.5. The mean baseline total hematoma volume was 25.8 mL±23.2 mL. There was an absolute change in hematoma volume from pre- and posttreatment CT of -4.3 mL±11.0 mL. Two patients developed hematoma growth. Repeat analysis of patients given pharmacological deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis within 2 or 4 days after ICH found no increase in hematoma size.


Pharmacological deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis given subcutaneously in patients with ICH and/or intraventricular hemorrhage in the subacute period is generally not associated with hematoma growth.

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