In a nutshell
This study investigated the effects of antiplatelet therapy (APT) on patients with hemorrhagic stroke. Researchers suggested that there is a small increase in the risk of a second stroke.
A hemorrhagic stroke happens when blood from an artery bleeds into the brain. Pressure from the leaked blood damages brain cells. The abilities controlled by these cells are lost leaving patients with symptoms such as one side paralysis.
Patients with this type of stroke often have a history of heart disease or ischemic stroke (due to blood clots). These patients are often treated with APT. APT stops blood clots to get formed and prevents strokes. However, APT is associated with a higher risk of bleeding events.
Prior studies found a balance of the benefits and risks of APT in the prevention of a second stroke. However, the benefits of APT in hemorrhagic stroke patients remains unclear.
Methods & findings
This study included 537 patients who had a haemorrhagic stroke. 268 received APT and 269 did not. Participants were followed-up for 2 years.
12 patients (4%) in the APT group and 23 (9%) in the non-APT group had another brain bleeding event. Patients not receiving APT had a 49% decrease in the odds of an improved outcome. 18 patients (7%) in the APT group had a major bleeding event compared with 25 (9%) of patients in the non-APT group. 39 (15%) patients in the APT group had a major heart attack or stroke when compared to 38 (14%) patients in the non-APT group.
The bottom line
This study concluded that there was a small risk to the use of APT but it does not outweigh its benefits in patients with a hemorrhagic stroke.
The fine print
This study included a limited number of participants. Further studies, with a bigger population, are needed.
Published By :
Lancet (London, England)
May 23, 2019