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J Am Coll Surg. 2016 Oct;223(4):621-631.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2016.06.382. Epub 2016 Jul 21.

Timing of Pharmacologic Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis in Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A Propensity-Matched Cohort Study.

Author information

1
Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Clinical Epidemiology Program, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Division of General Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address: jpbyrne@gmail.com.
2
Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Clinical Epidemiology Program, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Division of General Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
3
Division of General Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4
Trauma Quality Improvement Program, American College of Surgeons, Chicago, IL.
5
Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Trauma Quality Improvement Program, American College of Surgeons, Chicago, IL.
6
Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Surgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
7
Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Clinical Epidemiology Program, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Division of General Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Surgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Trauma Quality Improvement Program, American College of Surgeons, Chicago, IL.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients with severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI) are at high risk for developing venous thromboembolism (VTE). Nonetheless, pharmacologic VTE prophylaxis is often delayed out of concern for precipitating extension of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of early vs late VTE prophylaxis in patients with sTBI, and to characterize the risk of subsequent ICH-related complication.

STUDY DESIGN:

Adults with isolated sTBI (head Abbreviated Injury Scale score ≥3 and total Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤8) who received VTE prophylaxis with low-molecular-weight or unfractionated heparin were derived from the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program (2012 to 2014). Patients were divided into EP (<72 hours) or LP (≥72 hours) groups. Propensity score matching was used to minimize selection bias. The primary end point was VTE (pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis). Secondary outcomes were defined as late neurosurgical intervention (≥72 hours) or death.

RESULTS:

We identified 3,634 patients with sTBI. Early prophylaxis was given in 43% of patients. Higher head injury severity, presence of ICH, and early neurosurgery were associated with late prophylaxis. Propensity score matching yielded a well-balanced cohort of 2,468 patients. Early prophylaxis was associated with lower rates of both pulmonary embolism (odds ratio = 0.48; 95% CI, 0.25-0.91) and deep vein thrombosis (odds ratio = 0.51; 95% CI, 0.36-0.72), but no increase in risk of late neurosurgical intervention or death.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this observational study of patients with sTBI, early initiation of VTE prophylaxis was associated with decreased risk of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis, but no increase in risk of late neurosurgical intervention or death. Early prophylaxis may be safe and should be the goal for each patient in the context of appropriate risk stratification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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