Neurosurgery Department, University General Hospital of Alicante, Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research in the Valencian Region (FISABIO), Alicante, Spain
Rivaroxaban (BAY 59-7939) is an oral anticoagulant invented and manufactured by Bayer; in a number of countries it is marketed as Xarelto. In the United States, it is marketed by Janssen Pharmaceutica.
It is the first available orally active direct factor Xa inhibitor. Rivaroxaban is well absorbed from the gut and maximum inhibition of factor Xa occurs four hours after a dose. The effects last approximately 8–12 hours, but factor Xa activity does not return to normal within 24 hours so once-daily dosing is possible 1).
Results in fifty-three spontaneous hypertensive rats, suggest that even at therapeutic plasma concentrations, rivaroxaban may increase the risk of hemorrhagic transformation (HT) after thrombolysis in some conditions, such as hypertension and/or a prolonged ischemic period.
Izuma et al., from the Department of Neurosurgery, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine, Ube, Japan, performed transient middle cerebral artery occlusion for 270 minutes. Placebo, 10 mg/kg or 20 mg/kg rivaroxaban were administered via a stomach tube 180 minutes after induction of ischemia, and rtPA (10 mg/kg) was administered just before reperfusion. Ninety minutes after rivaroxaban administration we measured the rivaroxaban plasma concentration and prothrombin time (PT). HT volume was assessed by hemoglobin spectrophotometry. Additionally, infarct volume, IgG leakage volume, and neurological outcome were assessed.
Rivaroxaban plasma concentration and PT increased in a dose dependent manner but were lower than human peak levels after a once-daily dose of 20 mg rivaroxaban. HT volume increased after treatment with 20 mg/kg rivaroxaban compared with placebo treated controls or those treated with 10 mg/kg rivaroxaban (26.5 ± 5.4, 26.8 ± 8.7, and 41.4 ± 12.6 μL in placebo, 10 mg/kg, and 20 mg/kg treated groups, respectively; P < .05). 3).
Direct factor Xa inhibitors rivaroxaban and apixaban are efficacious alternatives to warfarin and confer a lower risk of spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage (ICH).
Despite several advantages rivaroxaban compared with vitamin K antagonists (VKA), its lack of specific antidotes to reverse anticoagulant effects may increase the risk profile of patients with bleeding complications.
In a multicenter registry based study (Novel-Oral-Anticoagulants-In-Stroke-Patients collaboration;NOACISP;ClinicalTrials.gov:NCT02353585) of patients with stroke while taking rivaroxaban, we compared Rivaroxaban plasma levels (RivLev) in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Seiffge et al. determined how many AIS-patients had RivLev≤100ng/ml, indicating possible eligibility for thrombolysis and how many ICH-patients had RivLev≥75ng/ml, possibly eligible for the use of specific reversal agents. We explored factors associated with RivLev (Spearman correlation; regression models) and studied the sensitivity and specificity of INR-thresholds to substitute RivLevs using cross tables and ROC curves.
Among 241 patients (median age 80 years[IQR73-84], median time-from-onset-to-admission 2 hours[IQR1-4.5hours], median RivLev 89ng/ml[31-194]), 190 had AIS and 51 had ICH. RivLev were similar in AIS-patients (82ng/ml[IQR30-202] and ICH-patients (102ng/ml[IQR 51-165]; p=0.24). Trough RivLev(≤137ng/ml) occurred in 126/190 (66.3%) AIS- and 34/51 (66.7%) ICH-patients. Among AIS-patients, 108/190 (56.8%) had RivLev≤100ng/ml. In ICH-patients 33/51(64.7%) had RivLev≥75ng/ml. RivLev were associated with rivaroxaban dosage, inversely with renal function and time-since-last-intake (each p<.05). INR≤1.0 had a specificity of 98.9% and a sensitivity of 25.7% to predict RivLev≤100ng/ml. INR≥1.4 had a sensitivity of 59.3% and specificity of 90.1% to predict RivLev≥75ng/ml.
RivLev did not differ between patients with AIS and ICH. Half of the patients with AIS under Rivaroxaban had RivLev low enough to consider thrombolysis. In ICH-patients, 2/3 had RivLev high enough to meet the eligibility for the use of a specific reversal agent. INR-thresholds perform poor to inform treatment decisions in individual patients 6).
A total of 70 patients with traumatic intracranial hemorrhage (tICH) after mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) were included in a retrospective analysis and were categorized into three groups: group A (no antithrombotics n=37), group B (antiplatelet medication n=22, VKA=5), and group C (rivaroxaban n=6). Medical charts were reviewed for baseline characteristics, laboratory values, intracranial haemorrhage, repeated computed tomography (CT) scans, re-haemorrhage, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores and in-hospital mortality.
No significant differences were observed for baseline characteristics. The rate of re-haemorrhage was significantly higher in group C (50%) than in group A (11%) (p<0.05). Two patients died and both had been treated with rivaroxaban which resulted in a significantly higher mortality rate of 33% in group C compared with groups A (0%) and B (0%). No significant differences were observed for GCS at discharge and length of hospital stay between survivors of groups A-C.
Despite major limitations of retrospective design and small patient numbers, the results suggest that rivaroxaban may exacerbate intracranial hemorrhage in patients with mild TBI. Further studies are needed to characterize the risk profile of this drug in patients with tICH 7).
First case described in the literature of spontaneous intracranial epidural hematoma secondary to the use of Xareltor. Spontaneous intracranial epidural hematomas are rarely described in the literature. They are associated with infectious diseases of the skull, coagulation disorders, vascular malformations of the dura mater and metastasis to the skull. Long-term post-marketing monitoring and independent reports will probably detect the full spectrum of hemorrhagic complications of the use of rivaroxaban 8).
The clinical and radiologic findings and follow-up of an 80-year-old male patient with intracerebral hemorrhage who uses rivaroxaban for anticoagulation are presented in the article of Çalışkan et al. 9).
Ishihara et al. report an acute stroke patient taking rivaroxaban who received intravenous thrombolysis with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA). An 80-year-old man with a history of nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, who had been receiving 10 mg of rivaroxaban showed abrupt onset of aphasia and right hemiparesis. National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 10. Onset of neurologic deficits occurred 4 hours after the last dose of rivaroxaban. Clinical data on admission were as follows: blood pressure, 170/90 mm Hg; prothrombin time (PT), 22.6 seconds (control, 12.9 seconds); international normalized ratio, 2.03; activated partial thromboplastin time, 46 seconds (normal, 23-32 seconds); and creatinine level, 1.11 mg/dL. Magnetic resonance angiography revealed occlusion of the superior trunk of the left middle cerebral artery. Intravenous infusion of .6 mg/kg of rt-PA (total dose, 36 mg) was performed 6 hours after the last rivaroxaban administration with informed consent. The neurologic deficit improved during infusion of rt-PA. Repeat brain computed tomography showed left frontal cortical infarction without hemorrhagic changes. In the case of rivaroxaban, it is difficult to accurately determine the drug activity. As the anticoagulant activity of rivaroxaban can be estimated from its pharmacokinetics and PT, it is clinically important to obtain accurate information about the timing of medication and blood sampling 10).
A 83-year-old woman had a medical history with ischemic stroke due to paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and was then administered 10 mg of rivaroxaban daily. Although she took rivaroxaban in the morning, ischemic stroke recurred at midnight of that day. Soon after transferring to the hospital, Kimura et al. confirmed right middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion in the patient and then initiated treatment with intravenous rt-PA. Although no hemorrhagic complication occurred, recovery of her symptoms was not seen, and endovascular thrombectomy was performed. Although the inferior branch of the MCA was recanalized, an infarct was seen in her left frontal lobe. Hemorrhagic transformation was not observed during or after these combined treatments 11).