Oxford University Press, European Heart Journal: Case Reports, 2020
Abstract Background Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is an important cause of cognitive impairment and spontaneous lobar intracerebral haemorrhage in older individuals. When necessary, anticoagulant treatment in these patients comes with two dilemmas; significant intracerebral bleeding risk with treatment vs. high risk of embolic stroke with no treatment. Case summary A 66-year-old female patient presented to the emergency clinic with a ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Her past medical history revealed cognitive problems associated with lobar cerebral microbleeds on magnetic resonance imaging suspect for probable CAA. A primary percutaneous coronary intervention of the left anterior descending artery with implantation of drug eluting stent was performed. Dual antiplatelet treatment was started initially. During hospitalization, an impaired left ventricular (LV) function was observed with an apical aneurysm. Six months after the initial event, LV function remained stable however a LV thrombus was observed. Apixaban 5 mg twice daily was started based on multidisciplinary consensus and on its efficacy and safety profile in patients with atrial fibrillation. Despite treatment, patient suffered a new ischaemic stroke probably from the LV thrombus, for which vitamin K antagonist treatment was initiated and Apixaban discontinued. Discussion Evidence for LV thrombus treatment with direct oral anticoagulants in CAA patients is scarce, however feasible based on its efficacy and safety profile. For CAA patients, the cardinal role of both clinical and radiological characteristics in determining the risk-benefit ratio for anticoagulant initiation in this specific subset of patients, is crucial. The clinical course described highlights the therapeutical dilemma of coexisting CAA and the clinical challenge it creates.