Current primary intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) treatments focus on limiting hematoma volume by lowering blood pressure, reversing anticoagulation, or hematoma evacuation. Nevertheless, there is no effective strategy to protect the brain from secondary injury due to ICH. Excess heme and iron as by-products of lysing clots in ICH might contribute to this secondary injury by triggering perihematomal edema. We present a clinical situation of an ICH case where iron-chelating therapy might be beneficial, as supported by scientific evidence. We looked through four databases (Pubmed, Cochrane, Embase, and Google Scholar) to find studies assessing the efficacy of iron-chelating therapy in ICH patients. Validity, importance, and applicability (VIA) of the included articles were appraised using worksheets from the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. Two out of five eligible studies were valid, important, and applicable to our patient. Both studies showed the positive effects of iron-chelating therapy on neurological outcome, as measured by National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score and modified Rankin Score (mRS). The beneficial effects of deferoxamine were demonstrated within the moderate volume (10–30 mL) subgroup, with a positive relative risk reduction (RRR) and low number needed to treat (six persons). Based on our appraisal, we considered iron-chelating therapy as an additional therapy for ICH patients, given its benefits and adverse effects. More specific studies using a larger sample size, focusing on moderate-volume ICH, and using standardized neurological outcomes are encouraged.
- intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH)
- iron-chelating therapy
- modified Rankin Scale (mRS)
- National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS)