Influence of Antiplatelet and Anticoagulant Drug Use on Outcomes after Chronic Subdural Hematoma Drainage

Michael T.C. Poon*, Catherine Rea, Angelos G. Kolias, Paul M. Brennan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We aim to describe the outcomes after chronic subdural hematoma drainage (CSDH) management in a large cohort of patients on antithrombotic drugs, either antiplatelets or anticoagulants, at presentation and to inform clinical decision making on the timing of surgery and recommencement of these drugs. We used data from a previous UK-based multi-center, prospective cohort study. Outcomes included recurrence within 60 days, functional outcome at discharge, and thromboembolic event during hospital stay. We performed Cox regression on recurrence and multiple logistic regression on functional outcome. There were 817 patients included in the analysis, of which 353 (43.2%) were on an antithrombotic drug at presentation. We observed a gradual reduction in risk of recurrence for patients during the 6 weeks post-CSDH surgery. Neither antiplatelet nor anticoagulant drug use influenced risk of CSDH recurrence (hazard ratio, 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.58-1.48; p = 0.76) or persistent/worse functional impairment (odds ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.76-1.55; p = 0.66). Delaying surgery after cessation of antiplatelet drug did not affect risk of bleed recurrence. There were 15 in-hospital thromboembolic events recorded. Events were more common in the group pre-treated with antithrombotic drugs (3.3%) compared to the non-antithrombotic group (0.9%). Patients on an antithrombotic drug pre-operatively were at higher risk of thromboembolic events with no excess risk of bleed recurrence or worse functional outcome after CSDH drainage. The data did not support delaying surgery in patients on antithrombotic therapy. In the absence of a randomized controlled trial, early surgery and early antithrombotic recommencement should be considered in those at high risk of thromboembolic events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1184
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number8
Early online date10 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2021


  • anticoagulant
  • antiplatelet
  • chronic subdural hematoma
  • functional outcome
  • recurrence


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