Anticoagulation in Acute Neurological Disease.
While anticoagulation and its reversal have been of clinical relevance for decades, recent academic and technological advances have expanded the repertoire of its application in neurological disease. The advent of direct oral anticoagulants provides effective, mechanistically elegant, and relatively safer therapeutic options than warfarin for eligible patients at risk for neurological sequelae of prothrombotic states, particularly given the recent availability of corresponding reversal agents. In this review, we examine the provenance, indications, safety, and reversal tools for anticoagulant medications in the context of neurological disease, with specific attention to acute ischemic stroke, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, and intracerebral hemorrhage. We will use specific clinical scenarios to illustrate the complex factors that must be considered in the use of anticoagulation, including intracranial pathology such as intracerebral hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, or malignancy; metabolic complications such as chronic kidney disease; pregnancy; and advanced age.
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