Leukoaraiosis is an independent predictor of intracranial hemorrhage in patients with atrial fibrillation

  • F. CrostaEmail author
  • G. Desideri
  • C. Marini


We evaluated the predictive value of several clinical, radiological and laboratory parameters on the risk of predict intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). We conducted a case-control study on a consecutive hospital based series of patients with AF and ICH. A random sample of subjects with AF without ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke was selected from the same hospital in the same period to perform as the control group, with a ratio of two controls per case. All patients underwent the same evaluation protocol. Patients without neuroimaging exams were excluded. During the study period we identified 37 subjects with AF and ICH. 74 subjects without stroke events were randomly chosen among subjects with AF. Among cases 56.8% were female; mean age was 83.1 years. Patients with ICH were more often on anticoagulant therapy (75.7%), compared with controls (45.9%; p = 0.0002). On CT scans, cases had a greater severity of leukoaraiosis at the Blennow scale (p < 0.0001) and a higher frequency of lacunar infarcts (p = 0.006). No significant association was found between MRI parameters or the HAS-BLED score and the occurrence of ICH. CT scan is more useful than MRI and HAS-BLED score to predict ICH in patients with AF on antithrombotic therapy.


Atrial fibrillation Intracranial hemorrhage Leukoaraiosis Lacunar infarcts Antithrombotic therapy 



None reported.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Life, Health & Environmental SciencesUniversity of L’AquilaCoppito- L’AquilaItaly
  2. 2.Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular MedicineTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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