Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the author's final published version in Journal of the American Heart Association, Volume 13, Issue 6, March 2024, Article number e032910.

The published version is available at

Copyright © 2024 The Authors


BACKGROUND: Cerebral cavernous malformations are complex vascular anomalies in the central nervous system associated with a risk of intracranial hemorrhage. Traditional guidelines have been cautious about the use of antithrombotic therapy in this patient group, citing concerns about potential bleeding risk. However, recent research posits that antithrombotic therapy may actually be beneficial. This study aims to clarify the association between antithrombotic therapy, including antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications, and the risk of intracranial hemorrhage in patients with cerebral cavernous malformations.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A comprehensive literature search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus databases, following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Nine single-center, nonrandomized cohort studies involving 2709 patients were included. Outcomes were analyzed using random-effects model, and a network meta-analysis was conducted for further insight. Of the 2709 patients studied, 388 were on antithrombotic therapy. Patients on antithrombotic therapy had a lower risk of presenting with intracranial hemorrhage (odds ratio [OR], 0.56 [95% CI, 0.45-0.7];

CONCLUSIONS: Our study explores the potential benefits of antithrombotic therapy in cerebral cavernous malformations. Although the analysis suggests a possible role for antithrombotic agents, it is critical to note that the evidence remains preliminary. Fundamental biases in study design, such as ascertainment and assignment bias, limit the weight of our conclusions. Therefore, our findings should be considered hypothesis-generating and not definitive for clinical practice change.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

PubMed ID




Included in

Neurosurgery Commons