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Thromboembolic events and anticoagulation-associated bleeding events represent frequent complications following cardiac mechanical valve replacement. Management guidelines regarding the timing for resuming anticoagulation therapy following a surgically treated subdural hematoma (SDH) in patients with mechanical valves remains to be determined.To determine optimal anticoagulation management in patients with mechanical heart valves following treatment of SDH.Outcomes were retrospectively reviewed for 12 patients on anticoagulation therapy for thromboembolic prophylaxis for mechanical cardiac valves who underwent surgical intervention for a SDH at the Johns Hopkins Hospital between 1995 and 2010.The mean age at admission was 71 years. All patients had St. Jude's mechanical heart valves and were receiving anticoagulation therapy. All patients had their anticoagulation reversed with vitamin K and fresh frozen plasma and underwent surgical evacuation. Anticoagulation was withheld for a mean of 14 days upon admission and a mean of 9 days postoperatively. The average length of stay was 19 days. No deaths or thromboembolic events occurred during the hospitalization. Average follow-up time was 50 months, during which two patients had a recurrent SDH. No other associated morbidities occurred during follow-up.Interruptions in anticoagulation therapy for up to 3 weeks pose minimal thromboembolic risk in patients with mechanical heart valves. Close follow-up after discharge is highly recommended, as recurrent hemorrhages can occur several weeks after the resumption of anticoagulation.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s12028-012-9704-2
View details for Web of Science ID 000322140000014
View details for PubMedID 22528281
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4613758