Spontaneous Spinal Hematoma in Patients Using Antiplatelets and Anticoagulants: A Systematic Review.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

World Neurosurg


washington; everett


BACKGROUND: Spontaneous spinal hematoma (SSH) is a debilitating complication in patients taking either antiplatelet (AP) or anticoagulation (AC) medications. SSH is rare and, therefore, a systematic review is warranted to re-examine and outline trends, clinical characteristics, and outcomes associated with SSH formation.

METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and Web-of-Science were searched. Studies reporting clinical data of patients with SSH using AC medications were included. In addition, clinical studies meeting our a priori inclusion criteria limited to SSH were further defined in quality through risk bias assessment.

RESULTS: We included 10 studies with 259 patients' pooled data post-screening 3083 abstracts. Within the cohort (n = 259), the prevalence of idiopathic, nontraumatic SSH with concomitant treatment with AC medications was greater 191 (73.75%) compared with AP treatment (27%). The lumbar spine was the most common site of hematoma (41.70%), followed by the cervical (22.01%) and thoracic (8.49%) spine. Most patients had surgical intervention (70.27%), and 29.73% had conservative management. The pooled data suggest that immediate diagnosis and intervention are the best prognostic factors in clinical outcomes. American Spinal Injury Association grading at initial symptom onset and post-treatment showed the greatest efficacy in symptomatic relief (87.64%) and return of motor and sensory symptoms (39.19%).

CONCLUSIONS: Our review suggested that AC medications were related to SSH in most patients (74%), followed by APs (27%) and combined ACs + APs (1.9%). We recommend prompt intervention, a high suspicion for patients with neurologic deficits and diagnostic imaging before intervention to determine a case-specific treatment plan.

Clinical Institute

Cardiovascular (Heart)

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)