Hemorrhagic stroke and anticoagulation in COVID-19

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases








Anticoagulation; COVID-19; Hemorrhagic stroke; Intracranial hemorrhage


© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Background and Purpose: Patients with the Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) are at increased risk for thrombotic events and mortality. Various anticoagulation regimens are now being considered for these patients. Anticoagulation is known to increase the risk for adverse bleeding events, of which intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is one of the most feared. We present a retrospective study of 33 patients positive for COVID-19 with neuroimaging-documented ICH and examine anticoagulation use in this population. Methods: Patients over the age of 18 with confirmed COVID-19 and radiographic evidence of ICH were included in this study. Evidence of hemorrhage was confirmed and categorized by a fellowship trained neuroradiologist. Electronic health records were analyzed for patient information including demographic data, medical history, hospital course, laboratory values, and medications. Results: We identified 33 COVID-19 positive patients with ICH, mean age 61.6 years (range 37–83 years), 21.2% of whom were female. Parenchymal hemorrhages with mass effect and herniation occurred in 5 (15.2%) patients, with a 100% mortality rate. Of the remaining 28 patients with ICH, 7 (25%) had punctate hemorrhages, 17 (60.7%) had small- moderate size hemorrhages, and 4 (14.3%) had a large single site of hemorrhage without evidence of herniation. Almost all patients received either therapeutic dose anticoagulation (in 22 [66.7%] patients) or prophylactic dose (in 3 [9.1] patients) prior to ICH discovery. Conclusions: Anticoagulation therapy may be considered in patients with COVID-19 though the risk of ICH should be taken into account when developing a treatment regimen.