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Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2012 Aug;14(4):351-9. doi: 10.1007/s11883-012-0258-8.

Anticoagulation-related intracranial hemorrhages.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Unfractionated heparin, low molecular weight heparin, and warfarin are often used for patients at high risk of thromboembolism and are associated with increased risk of major and even life threatening hemorrhages. They are in use for a long time and have treatment strategies in place in an event of life threatening intracranial hemorrhage. The advent of newer anticoagulants, direct thrombin inhibitors (dabigatran) and two factor Xa inhibitors (rivaroxaban and apixaban), has increased the options of anticoagulation for patients with atrial fibrillation and venous thrombosis, but at the same time, in the absence of an antidote, they have created a great challenge for treating physicians to manage intracranial bleeding related to these agents. In this paper, we will briefly summarize the state of knowledge regarding the risk of anticoagulation-related ICH, and review basic concepts on anticoagulation reversal and the general management of patients with this complication.

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