Clinical outcomes following early versus late pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis in patients with traumatic intracranial hemorrhage: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute, Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) after traumatic brain injury (TBI) with intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) presents a serious yet manageable morbidity and mortality risk. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to pool the current literature to evaluate whether or not pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis (PTP) administered early after traumatic ICH significantly changes incidence of VTE or hemorrhagic progression when compared to late administration. Systematic searches of seven electronic databases from their inception to July 2018 were conducted following the appropriate guidelines. One thousand four hundred ninety articles were identified for screening. Outcomes of interest were pooled as odd ratios (ORs) and analyzed using a random-effects model. Eleven comparative studies satisfied selection criteria, yielding a total of 5036 cases. Overall, mean age was 47.6 years and 36% patients were female. PTP was administered early (≤ 72 h from admission) in 2106 (42%) patients and late (> 72 h from admission) in 2922 (58%) cases. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of hemorrhagic progression (OR, 0.86; P = 0.450) or all-cause mortality (OR, 0.83; P = 0.347) between the early versus late PTP patient groups. However, incidence of VTE was significantly less in the early PTP patient group (OR, 0.58; P = 0.008). The early administration of PTP after traumatic ICH does not appear to confer a worse prognosis in terms of hemorrhagic progression. However, it seems to confer superior VTE prophylaxis, when compared to late PTP administration. We suggest that early PTP should not be prematurely discounted for patients with ICH in TBI on the assumption of aggravating hemorrhagic progression alone.

Document Type


PubMed ID


Link to Full Text