Successful management of an acute subdural hematoma in a patient dependent on continuous treprostinil infusion therapy

Case report

Mina SafainDepartment of Neurosurgery, Tufts Medical Center, and
Department of Neurosurgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts

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Matthew ShepardDepartment of Neurosurgery, Tufts Medical Center, and
Department of Neurosurgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts

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Jason RahalDepartment of Neurosurgery, Tufts Medical Center, and
Department of Neurosurgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts

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James KryzanskiDepartment of Neurosurgery, Tufts Medical Center, and
Department of Neurosurgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts

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Steven HwangDepartment of Neurosurgery, Tufts Medical Center, and
Department of Neurosurgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts

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Marie RoguskiDepartment of Neurosurgery, Tufts Medical Center, and
Department of Neurosurgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts

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Ron I. RiesenburgerDepartment of Neurosurgery, Tufts Medical Center, and
Department of Neurosurgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts

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Treprostinil is a synthetic analog of prostacyclin, which is used for treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Continuous subcutaneous administration of treprostinil has been proven in randomized controlled trials to improve quality of life, hemodynamics, and 5-year survival in patients with PAH. The efficacy of treprostinil has been attributed to its vasodilatory and antiplatelet effects. Unfortunately, the efficacy of treprostinil in the treatment of PAH is rapidly reversed upon cessation of the continuous infusion. Furthermore, cases of patients rapidly declining or succumbing to disease progression upon cessation of treprostinil have raised significant concern regarding discontinuation of this medication. To date, there are no reports of emergency craniotomies performed in the setting of continuous subcutaneous infusion of treprostinil. The authors report a case of a patient with PAH, treated with continuous administration of subcutaneous treprostinil as well as warfarin, who developed an acute subdural hematoma (SDH). Despite adequate INR (international normalized ratio) correction, the patient eventually underwent an emergency craniotomy for evacuation of the SDH while on continuous treprostinil administration. This case highlights the neurosurgical dilemma regarding the appropriate management of acute SDHs in patients receiving continuous treprostinil infusion.

Abbreviations used in this paper:

INR = international normalized ratio; PAH = pulmonary arterial hypertension; SDH = subdural hematoma.
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