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Background and Purpose-Antiplatelet medicines are commonly perceived as contraindicated after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Many ICH patients have or will have indications for antiplatelet therapy. This observational study describes the level of antiplatelet prescribing and rate of subsequent events after ICH in Tayside, Scotland.
Methods-This study used record-linkage of an existing stroke cohort with antiplatelet prescribing data from 1994 to 2005. Patients were followed-up from discharge after index event. The primary outcome was recurrent ICH. Other outcomes were subsequent ischemic stroke and a composite of ischemic stroke or myocardial infarction. Event rates were calculated as the number of events divided by patient-years of exposure. Univariate hazard ratios associated with antiplatelet exposure were derived from a Cox model using a time-dependent covariate.
Results-There were 417 ICH patients who survived to discharge. Of these, 120 patients were prescribed subsequent antiplatelet medicines (28.8%). The median time from discharge to antiplatelet use was 14.8 months (range, 2 days-7.5 years). Among all survivors, there were 14 recurrent ICH (rate, 9.7 per 1000 patient-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5.3-16.4), 29 subsequent ischemic strokes (rate, 20.6; 95% CI, 13.8-29.6), and 40 subsequent ischemic strokes or myocardial infarctions (rate, 28.7; 95% CI, 20.5-39.0). Hazard ratios associated with antiplatelet exposure were 1.07 (95% CI, 0.24-4.84) for recurrent ICH, 0.23 (95% CI, 0.03-1.68) for ischemic stroke, and 0.72 (95% CI, 0.25-2.02) for ischemic strokes or myocardial infarction.
Conclusions-Antiplatelet prescribing was common after ICH. Subsequent ischemic strokes or myocardial infarctions were more common than recurrent ICH. Antiplatelet prescribing did not appear to have a clinically significant impact on outcomes measured. Despite being contraindicated, antiplatelet use was not a major hazard for recurrent ICH. (Stroke. 2010;41:2606-2611.)