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Antifibrinolytic therapy in the management of aneurismal subarachnoid hemorrhage revisited. A meta-analysis


Thomas Gaberel, Cristian Magheru, Evelyne Emery and Jean-Michel Derlon

ACTA NEUROCHIRURGICA 154:1:1-9, 2012. DOI: 10.1007/s00701-011-1179-y


To reassess the use of antifibrinolytics (AF) in the management of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) in the setting of present-day treatment strategies.


The authors conducted a systematic review of the literature and a meta-analysis. They reviewed the PubMed database and conducted a manual review of article bibliographies.


Using a pre-specified search strategy, 17 relevant studies involving a total of 2,872 patients with SAH at baseline, from which data of 1,380 patients having received AF, were included in a meta-analysis. Pooled odds ratios of the impact of AF on functional outcomes, rebleeding, and cerebral infarction were calculated. Short-term use of AF (72 h or less) associated with medical prevention of ischemic deficit seems to yield better results on functional outcome than long-term use of AF, especially if not associated with a medical prevention of ischemic deficit. The risk of cerebral infarction is not increased by the short-term use of AF and the risk of rebleeding is decreased independently of the length of AF use.


The use of AF should be reconsidered in the setting of modern-era treatment strategies, as the short-term use associated with medical prevention of ischemic deficit decreases the rate of rebleeding and does not increase the risk of cerebral infarction, thus potentially yielding better protection against poor functional outcome.

Keywords: Subarachnoid hemorrhage – Antifibrinolytic agents – Cerebral infarction – Meta-analysis

Comments (1)Add Comment

Rebleeding rate decreases with AF therapy
written by Thomas S, January 12, 2012
This meta-analysis by Gaberel et al deals with the use of antifibrinolytics in the management aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

The authors conclude that short-term use of antifibrinolytic therapy (before aneurysm exclusion, always less than 3 days) associated with calcium channel blocker and hypervolemic therapies in the management of aneurysmal SAH diminishes rebleeding rate and does not augment the risk of cerebral infarction.

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