PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Warfarin is the most commonly used oral anticoagulant. Intracranial hemorrhage is the most serious complication of anticoagulation and the anticoagulant effect of warfarin has to be urgently reversed in this situation. Traditional methods of reversal of the anticoagulant effect of warfarin involving the use of vitamin K and fresh frozen plasma are slow and relatively ineffective and there is a need for alternative treatment approaches. RECENT FINDINGS: Agents such as prothrombin complex conjugates and recombinant activated factor VII are being increasingly used to emergently correct warfarin-associated coagulopathy. Over the last decade, several small case series have suggested that these agents may lead to more rapid correction of the INR, however, improved clinical outcome is yet to be proven. A recent small prospective trial has also demonstrated the safety of a prothrombin complex conjugate and its efficacy in rapidly correcting an elevated INR in these patients. SUMMARY: There is a need for well designed randomized clinical trials aimed at evaluating the efficacy of these agents in improving the outcome of patients with anticoagulant associated intracranial hemorrhage.
- Intracerebral hemorrhage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine