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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2017 Mar;26(3):608-617. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2016.11.111. Epub 2016 Dec 29.

Stroke and Etonogestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol Ring (NuvaRing): Clinical, Radiological, and Prognostic Features.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology and Stroke Center, State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York.
2
Department of Neurology and Stroke Center, State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York. Electronic address: steven.levine@downstate.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A recent study found that NuvaRing (a vaginal contraceptive ring containing 15 µg ethinyl estradiol and 120 µg etonogestrel) has 2.5 times increased relative risk of thrombotic stroke compared to nonuse.

OBJECTIVE:

We studied a case series of 19 such patients as well as prior published case reports to clarify clinical, radiological, and prognostic features.

METHODS:

Medical records and imaging for 18 cases were initially systematically reviewed for consultation in a class action lawsuit. One case was seen personally outside of litigation. All 19 cases were entered into a database detailing clinical, radiological, and prognostic features as well as other potential risk factors. A literature search identified 8 additional cases.

RESULTS:

Average age at stroke was 31.7 ± 9.8 years; average duration of NuvaRing use prior to stroke was 11.2 months. Arterial stroke occurred in 10 of 19 (52%); 1 of 10 (10%) was hemorrhagic. Venous sinus thrombosis was present in 11 of 19 (58%) on initial imaging; 6 of 11 (54%) were hemorrhagic. The most common presenting symptom was headache (7 of 19 [37%]) and motor weakness (7 of 19 [37%]). A hypercoagulable condition was present in 3 of 19 (16%); 3 of 19 (16%) had history of hypercoagulable disease in a first-degree relative. Mortality was .5%; 8 of 19 (42%) fully recovered and 3 of 19 (15%) were discharged to rehabilitation.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this largest case series of NuvaRing-associated stroke to date, approximately half of the strokes are venous and half are arterial. Stroke typically occurred within the first year of use, and as soon as 2 weeks after NuvaRing initiation.

KEYWORDS:

NuvaRing; Stroke; cerebral venous thrombosis; contraceptives; hypercoagulable; stroke in young

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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