Role of rehabilitation in prevention of early thromboembolic complications in hemorrhagic stroke
Hemorrhagic strokes (ICH) affects mainly young active people, with increasing incidence in developing countries. Mortality is high in acute phase, and patients are prone to complications related to stroke itself and to coexisting medical conditions. Patients with ICH are at high risk in developing deep venous thrombosis (DVT) with secondary pulmonary embolism (PE). Prevention of venous thrombotic events in hemorrhagic stroke patients requires intermittent pneumatic compression and preventive doses of low molecular weight heparins (LMWH) in high-risk patients. If DVT and /or PE occurs, the therapeutic management should balance the risk of recurrent cerebral bleeding and the life-threatening risk of PE, making the decision to start anticoagulation challenging. We present a case of a young patient with a large hypertensive capsulo-lenticular hemorrhage, who was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism 21 days after stroke onset. The decision was for anticoagulant treatment initial with LWMH, and switch to direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) after 10 days; strict control of vascular risk factors of the patients (hypertension, diabetes and obesity) was achieved. Rehabilitation treatment, delayed until day 21, was recommended with progressive intensity. Evolution of the patient was favorable, with complete hematoma resorbtion under DOAC treatment at 10 weeks follow-up and important motor recovery. Rehabilitation program was intensive during this interval, and strongly contributive to neurologic improvement.