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Background and Objectives: The ULTRA trial showed that ultra-early and short-term tranexamic acid treatment after subarachnoid hemorrhage did not improve clinical outcome at 6 months. An expected proportion of the included patients experienced nonaneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. In this post hoc study, we will investigate whether ultra-early and short-term tranexamic acid treatment in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage improves clinical outcome at 6 months.

Methods: The ULTRA trial is a multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled, open-label trial with blinded outcome assessment, conducted between July 24, 2013, and January 20, 2020. After confirmation of subarachnoid hemorrhage on noncontrast CT, patients were allocated to either ultra-early and short-term tranexamic acid treatment with usual care or usual care only. In this post hoc analysis, we included all ULTRA participants with a confirmed aneurysm on CT angiography and/or digital subtraction angiography. The primary endpoint was clinical outcome at 6 months, assessed by the modified Rankin scale (mRS), dichotomized into good (0-3) and poor (4-6) outcomes.

Results: Of the 813 ULTRA trial patients who experienced an aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, 409 (50%) were assigned to the tranexamic acid group and 404 (50%) to the control group. In the intention-to-treat analysis, 233 of 405 (58%) patients in the tranexamic acid group and 238 of 399 (60%) patients in the control group had a good clinical outcome (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.92; 95% CI 0.69-1.24). None of the secondary outcomes showed significant differences between the treatment groups: excellent clinical outcome (mRS 0-2) (aOR 0.76; 95% CI 0.57-1.03), all-cause mortality at 30 days (aOR 0.91; 95% CI 0.65-1.28), and all-cause mortality at 6 months (aOR 1.10; 95% CI 0.80-1.52).

Discussion: Ultra-early and short-term tranexamic acid treatment did not improve clinical outcomes at 6 months in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and therefore cannot be recommended.

Trial Registration Information: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02684812; submission date February 18, 2016, first patient enrollment on July 24, 2013).

Classification of Evidence: This study provides Class II evidence that tranexamic acid does not improve outcomes in patients presenting with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

(C) 2022 American Academy of Neurology