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J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2013 Dec;75(6):990-4. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3182a96591.

A prospective evaluation of platelet function in patients on antiplatelet therapy with traumatic intracranial hemorrhage.

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  • 1From the Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, Critical Care, and Burns, Department of Surgery, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.



Platelet transfusion is increasingly used in patients with traumatic intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) on aspirin therapy to minimize the progression of ICH. We hypothesized (null) that platelet transfusion in this cohort of patients does not improve platelet function.


We performed a prospective interventional trail on patients with traumatic ICH on daily high-dose (325 mg) aspirin therapy. All patients received one pack of apheresis platelets. Blood samples were collected before and 1 hour after platelet transfusion. Platelet function was assessed using Verify Now Platelet Function Assay, and a cutoff of greater than 550 aspirin reaction units was used to define functioning platelets (FP).


Twenty-eight patients were enrolled in the study. On presentation, 79% (22 of 28) of the patients had nonfunctioning platelets (NFPs), and transfusion of platelets did not improve platelet function as 81% (18 of 22) still had NFP. Of the 22 patients, 4 converted from NFP to FP after transfusion. There was no difference in the progression of ICH (37.5% vs. 30%, p = 0.7) or neurosurgical intervention (12.5% vs. 15%, p = 0.86) between patients with FP and NFP after platelet transfusion.


Administration of one pack of apheresis platelet did not improve platelet function. In our study, progression of ICH and the need for neurosurgical intervention were independent of platelet function. Further randomized clinical trials are required to assess both the dose dependence effect and role of platelet transfusion in patients on antiplatelet therapy with traumatic ICH.


Therapeutic study, level III.

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