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Intracranial haemorrhage among a population of haemophilic patients in Brazil


Dr Sandra Vallin Antunes, R. Napoleão de Barros, 611, 04024-002 São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Tel.: + 55 11 5539-6829; fax: + 55 11 5539-6829;


Intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in haemophilic patients. The overall incidence of ICH has been reported to range from 2.2% to 7.5% in patients with haemophilia. From 1987 to 2001, 401 haemophilic patients from the Serviço de Hemofilia, Disciplina de Hematologia e Hemoterapia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo were evaluated. The episodes of ICH were documented by CT scan and the anatomic location, clinical presentation, relationship to trauma and clinical factors, including the presence of HIV infection and the presence of inhibitor, were reviewed. Among 401 haemophilic patients, 45 ICH episodes in 35 (8.7%) patients with age ranging from 4 days to 49 years (mean 10.6 years) were observed. A history of recent trauma was documented in 24 (53.3%) cases. Seventeen (37.8%) episodes occurred in more than one site of bleeding, 12 (26.7%) were subdural, seven (15.5%) subarachnoid, four (8.9%) epidural, two (4.4%) intracerebral and one (2.2%) intraventricular. The most frequent symptoms were headache and drowsiness. All patients were submitted to replacement therapy and neurosurgical intervention was performed in eight (17.8%) patients. Despite the treatment, three (8.6%) haemophilia A patients died due to the ICH event and three presented late sequelae. The most important aspect of ICH management is the early replacement therapy in haemophilic patients. This prompt treatment will increase the chances of a better prognosis. Another impact measure consists in the administration of the deficient coagulation factor after every head trauma, even when considered minor.