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Keywords:

  • anticoagulants;
  • low molecular weight heparin;
  • stroke;
  • thrombolysis

Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) administered immediately after intravenous thrombolysis (IT) may reduce the risk of arterial re-occlusion. Its benefit, however, may not outweigh the risk of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). We sought preliminary data regarding safety of this combined therapy in an open-label, non-randomized study. The patients received either a standard anticoagulation (AC) starting 24 h after IT (the standard AC group) or AC with 2850 IU of nadroparin, given every 12 h immediately after IT (the early AC group). Sixty patients received IT treatment: 25 in the standard AC group [mean age 66, median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) 13, 64% men] and 35 in the early AC group (mean age 68, median NIHSS 13, 69% men). Symptomatic ICH occurred in one patient (4%) in the standard AC group and three patients (8.6%) in the early AC group [odds ratio (OR) 1.8; 95%CI 0.2–12.8]. At 3 months, nine patients in the standard AC group (36%) and 16 patients in the early AC group (45.7%) achieved a modified Rankin scale 0 or 1 (OR 1.2; 95%CI 0.5–3.2). Our study suggests that treatment with LMWH could be associated with higher odds of ICH, although it may not necessarily lead to a worse outcome. This justifies larger clinical trials.