Background: Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) having a history of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) were excluded from the pivotal randomized trials comparing direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) and warfarin. We aimed to compare the effectiveness and safety of DOACs and warfarin among AF patients having a history of ICH.
Method: A total of 4,540 AF patients having a CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥1 for males and ≥2 for females who had a history of ICH and received oral anticoagulants (DOACs in 3,493 and warfarin in 1,047) were identified from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. A propensity matching analysis was performed to balance the baseline differences, and 973 patients were finally identified in each groups.
Results: The risk of ischemic stroke did not differ significantly between warfarin and DOACs (4.41%/yr vs 4.87%/yr; HR 0.985, p=0.927). The risks of bleeding events were lower with DOACs compared to warfarin with a HR (95% CI) of 0.752 (0.573–0.986, p=0.040) for major bleeding and 0.614 (0.379–0.995, p 0.048) for ICH. The risk of mortality was also lower in patients treated with DOACs (HR = 0.539; 95% CI = 0.453–0.642, p<0.001). The cumulative incidence curves of each events for 2 groups are shown in Figure.
Conclusion: Compared to warfarin, DOACs were associated with a similar risk of ischemic stroke and better safety profiles among AF patient with a history of ICH.