Platelet Transfusion After Traumatic Intracranial Hemorrhage in Patients on Antiplatelet Agents

Adil M. Lokhandwala, Samer Asmar, Muhammad Khurrum, Mohamad Chehab, Letitia Bible, Lourdes Castanon, Michael Ditillo, Bellal Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: With an aging population, the number of patients on antiplatelet medications and traumatic brain injury (TBI) is increasing. Our study aimed to evaluate the role of platelet transfusion on outcomes after traumatic intracranial bleeding (IB) in these patients. Methods: We analyzed our prospectively maintained TBI database from 2014 to 2016. We included all isolated TBI patients with an IB, who were on preinjury antiplatelet agents and excluded patients taking anticoagulants. Outcome measures included the progression of IB, neurosurgical intervention, and mortality. Regression analysis was performed. Results: A total of 343 patients met the inclusion criteria. Mean age was 58 ± 11 y, 58% were men, and median injury severity score was 15 (10-24). Distribution of antiplatelet agents was as follows: aspirin (60%) and clopidogrel (35%). Overall, 74% patients received platelet transfusion after admission with a median number of two platelet units. After controlling for confounders, patients who received one unit of pooled platelets had no difference in progression of IB (odds ratio [OR]: 0.98, [0.6-1.9], P = 0.41), need for neurosurgical intervention (OR: 1.09, [0.7-2.5], P = 0.53), and mortality (OR: 0.84, [0.6-1.8], P = 0.51). However, patients who received two units of pooled platelets had lower rate of progression of IB (OR: 0.69, [0.4-0.8], P = 0.02), the need for neurosurgical intervention (OR: 0.81, [0.3-0.9], P = 0.03), and mortality (OR: 0.84, [0.5-0.9], P = 0.04). Both groups were compared with those who did not receive platelet transfusion. Conclusions: The use of two units of platelet may decrease the risk of IB progression, neurosurgical intervention, and mortality in patients on preinjury antiplatelet agents and TBI. Further studies should focus on developing protocols for platelet transfusion to improve outcomes in these patients. Level of evidence: Level III prognostic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Antiplatelet agents
  • Intracranial bleeding
  • Platelet transfusion
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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