Neurocritical Care

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 403–413

Prothrombin Complex Concentrates for Oral Anticoagulant Therapy-Related Intracranial Hemorrhage: A Review of the Literature

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12028-009-9310-0

Cite this article as:
Bershad, E.M. & Suarez, J.I. Neurocrit Care (2010) 12: 403. doi:10.1007/s12028-009-9310-0


Warfarin-related intracranial hemorrhage carries a high mortality and poor neurological outcome. Rapid reversal of coagulopathy is a cornerstone of medical therapy to halt bleeding progression; however the optimal approach remains undefined. Prothrombin complex concentrates have promising features that may rapidly reverse coagulopathy, but remain relatively unstudied. We aim to review the literature regarding the use of prothrombin complex concentrates in patients with warfarin-related intracranial hemorrhage. A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted using PUBMED and Google Scholar databases to identify the use of PCC in patients with warfarin-related intracranial hemorrhage. The characteristics abstracted included the type of PCC, dosing, study design, type of intracranial hemorrhage, changes in the INR, and adverse effects. Prothrombin complex concentrates are heterogenous in regards to factor concentration. PCC consistently reversed the INR in patients with intracranial hemorrhage. There is some evidence that PCC may reverse the INR more rapidly compared to fresh frozen plasma. Serious adverse effects were uncommon and included mainly thromboembolism. PCC has features which make it a promising therapy for patients with warfarin-related intracranial hemorrhage, and deserves more rigorous study in prospective-randomized controlled trials.


Prothrombin complex concentrates Oral anticoagulation Vitamin K antagonists Intracranial hemorrhage Intracerebral hemorrhage Coagulopathy Intracranial bleeding Warfarin 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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