Dabigatran, intracranial hemorrhage, and the neurosurgeon hemorrhage

Ahmed J. Awad, Brian P. Walcott, Christopher J. Stapleton, Vija Yanamadala, Brian V. Nahed, Jean Valery Coumans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Dabigatran etexilate (Pradaxa) is a novel oral anticoagulant that has gained FDA approval for the prevention of ischemic stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. In randomized trials, the incidence of hemorrhagic events has been demonstrated to be lower in patients treated with dabigatran compared with the traditional anticoagulant warfarin. However, dabigatran does not have reliable laboratory tests to measure levels of anticoagulation and there is no pharmacological antidote. These drawbacks are challenging in the setting of intracerebral hemorrhage. In this article, the authors provide background information on dabigatran, review the existing anecdotal experiences with treating intracerebral hemorrhage related to dabigatran therapy, present a case study of intracranial hemorrhage in a patient being treated with dabigatran, and suggest clinical management strategies. The development of reversal agents is urgently needed given the growing number of patients treated with this medication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE7
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Dabigatran etexilate
  • Decompressive craniectomy
  • Fatal outcome
  • Pradaxa
  • Stroke
  • Tracheostomy
  • Warfarin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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