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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(2):CD001245.

Antifibrinolytic therapy for aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage.

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1
Dept. of Neurology, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 9, Amsterdam, Netherlands. y.b.roos@amc.uva.nl

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Rebleeding is an important cause of death and disability in people with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage. Rebleeding is probably due to dissolution of the clot by natural fibrinolytic activity.

OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this review was to assess the effect of antifibrinolytic treatment in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Medline and Embase (last searched June 2002) and reference lists of articles. We also contacted drug companies.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomised trials comparing oral or intravenous antifibrinolytic drugs (tranexamic acid, epsilon amino-caproic acid or an equivalent) with control in people with confirmed subarachnoid haemorrhage.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Two reviewers independently selected trials for inclusion and extracted the data. All five reviewers assessed trial quality.

MAIN RESULTS:

Nine trials involving 1399 patients were included. Based on 1041 patients in three trials, antifibrinolytic treatment did not show any evidence of benefit for poor outcome (death, vegetative state or severe disability) with an odds ratio of 1.12, 95% confidence interval 0.88 to 1.43. Death from all causes was not significantly influenced by treatment across all nine trials (odds ratio 0.99, 95% confidence interval 0.79 to 1.24). Antifibrinolytic treatment reduced the risk of re-bleeding reported at the end of follow-up, with some heterogeneity between the trials (odds ratio 0.55, 95% confidence interval 0.42 to 0.71). Treatment increased the risk of cerebral ischaemia in five trials (odds ratio 1.39, 95% confidence interval 1.07 to 1.82) with considerable heterogeneity between the most recent study (Roos 2000), in which specific treatments to prevent cerebral ischemia were used, and the four older studies. Antifibrinolytic treatment showed no effect on the reported rate of hydrocephalus in five trials (odds ratio 1.14, 95% confidence interval 0.86 to 1.51).

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

Treatment does not improve clinical outcome because the benefit is offset by an increase in poor outcome caused by cerebral ischemia as a result of treatment with antifibrinolytics. These data do not support the routine use of antifibrinolytic drugs in the treatment of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage.

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PMID:
12804399
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD001245
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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