AIM: To determine whether anticoagulation therapy (ACT) in the treatment of neonatal cerebral sinovenous thrombosis (CSVT) improves outcomes, in the presence or absence of pre-existing intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH).
METHOD: We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, the Web of Science, and clinical trial databases. We considered data from retrospective and prospective cohort studies, case series, and randomized controlled studies evaluating outcomes of CSVT treated with anticoagulation or no anticoagulation. Studies were included if they involved infants either younger than 28 days of age or younger than 44 weeks postmenstrual age at the time of diagnosis of CSVT in which ACT was considered.
RESULTS: Seven non-randomized studies were included in meta-analysis. ACT had no significant effect on mortality before discharge either in the presence or absence of pre-existing ICH, nor on the incidence of extension of pre-existing ICH. ACT was associated with a reduced risk of propagation of thrombus (risk ratio 0.14, 95% confidence interval 0.03-0.72).
INTERPRETATION: There are no randomized trials assessing the safety and efficacy of ACT in the treatment of neonatal CSVT. The results of this meta-analysis would justify a position of equipoise and support the need for well-designed randomized controlled trials of ACT in this population.
WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: No randomized studies have evaluated anticoagulation therapy (ACT) in neonatal cerebral sinovenous thrombosis. ACT may reduce thrombus propagation. No evidence of increased morbidity or mortality with ACT was demonstrated. A position of equipoise is justified, supporting the need for placebo-controlled randomized trials.