Anticoagulation reversal in vitamin K antagonist–associated intracerebral hemorrhage: a systematic review

Darae Ko, Zayd Razouki, James Otis, Erika Marulanda-Londoño, Elaine M. Hylek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The effect of rapid anticoagulation reversal on mortality and functional outcome in vitamin K antagonist–associated intracerebral hemorrhage (VKA–ICH) is uncertain. Given the approval of idarucizumab for dabigatran reversal and pending approval for andexanet alfa for reversal of factor Xa inhibitors, a systematic appraisal of the effectiveness of reversal for VKA–ICH would provide a bench mark for current practice. We performed PubMed searches and reviewed current guidelines. Using pre-specified inclusion and exclusion criteria, studies were reviewed by two physicians independently. Data elements abstracted included study design, sample size, inclusion and exclusion criteria; patient characteristics at presentation; time to presentation and therapy; dose and timing of warfarin reversal agents; functional outcome and mortality. Studies were assessed for risk of bias. Twenty-one studies met the selection criteria. The overall quality of the studies was poor with small sample size for the majority and all studies being either case series or retrospective observational in design. Inclusion criteria were not uniform. Interpretation of the effectiveness of vitamin K antagonist reversal on functional outcome was not feasible due to lack of standard protocols in the management of VKA–ICH including choice, dose, and timing of reversal agent, timing of subsequent INR monitoring, and decision for repeat imaging. Confounding by indication, lack of universal reporting of functional outcome, and use of varied scales for the endpoint further limited a summary interpretation. Despite availability of reversal agents, mortality and morbidity remain high following VKA–ICH. Evidence for improvement in neurological outcome is limited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-237
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Modified Rankin scale
  • Mortality
  • Vitamin K antagonist
  • Warfarin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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