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Ronni Mikkelsen, Thorkil Anker-Møller, Anne-Mette Hvas, Niels Sunde
(Department of Neurosurgery, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark)
Am J Case Rep 2017; 18:995-999
Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is a common neurosurgical condition that is treated using a cranial burr hole evacuation procedure, but recurrence is common. The use of anticoagulant therapy can increase the risk of developing a recurrent subdural hematoma. We present a challenging case of a patient on long-term anticoagulant therapy following previous aortic and aortic valve surgery who had CSDH with multiple recurrences and was ultimately treated with tranexamic acid as an adjunct to surgery.
CASE REPORT: A male patient in his mid-sixties presented with a headache and bilateral CSDH. Apart from a mechanical heart valve, he was otherwise healthy. A standard burr hole evacuation was performed, but the left hematoma and symptoms recurred after three months, and he presented with additional symptoms of aphasia and right-hand weakness. He had an additional three procedures followed by recurrences over a period of six weeks. Following his fifth and final surgical procedure, he was given postoperative intravenous tranexamic acid 10 mg/kg four times during the first 24 hours with dalteparin sodium 9,500 international units (IU) twice daily. His symptoms resolved, and after nine months he had no residual hematoma, and no thromboembolic complications occurred.
CONCLUSIONS: This case has demonstrated that tranexamic acid can be used as an adjunctive treatment to surgery when dealing with recurring CSDH, even in patients who require concomitant anticoagulant therapy. Although clinical trials are underway to evaluate tranexamic acid as a medical treatment for CSDH, this case report may support further studies that include patients with risk factors for thromboembolic disease.