Clinical outcomes in traumatic brain injury patients on preinjury clopidogrel: A prospective analysis

Bellal A Joseph, Viraj Pandit, Hassan Aziz, Narong Kulvatunyou, Ammar Hashmi, Andrew - Tang, Terence S Okeeffe, Julie Wynne, Gary - Vercruysse, Randall S Friese, Peter M Rhee

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31 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Patients receiving antiplatelet medications are considered to be at an increased risk for traumatic intracranial hemorrhage after blunt head trauma. However, most studies have categorized all antiplatelet drugs into one category. The aim of our study was to evaluate clinical outcomes and the requirement of a repeat head computed tomography (RHCT) in patients on preinjury clopidogrel therapy. METHODS: Patients with traumatic brain injury with intracranial hemorrhage on initial head CT were prospectively enrolled. Patients on preinjury clopidogrel were matched with patients exclusive of antiplatelet and anticoagulation therapy using a propensity score in a 1:1 ratio for age, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), head Abbreviated Injury Scale (h-AIS), Injury Severity Score (ISS), neurologic examination, and platelet transfusion. Outcome measures were progression on RHCT scan and need for neurosurgical intervention. RESULTS: A total of 142 patients with intracranial hemorrhage on initial head CT scan (clopidogrel, 71; no clopidogrel, 71) were enrolled. The mean (SD) age was 70.5 (15.1) years, 66% were male, median GCS score was 14 (range, 3-15), and median h-AIS (ISS) was 3 (range, 2-5). The mean (SD) platelet count was 210 (101), and 61% (n = 86) of the patients received platelet transfusion. Patients on preinjury clopidogrel were more likely to have progression on RHCT (odds ratio [OR], 5.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.1-7.1) and RHCT as a result of clinical deterioration (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.8-3.5). The overall rate of neurosurgical intervention was 4.2% (n = 6). Patients on clopidogrel therapy were more likely to require a neurosurgical intervention (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.4-3.1). CONCLUSION: Preinjury clopidogrel therapy is associated with progression of initial insult on RHCT scan and need for neurosurgical intervention. Preinjury clopidogrel therapy as an independent variable should warrant the need for a routine RHCT scan in patients with traumatic brain injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-820
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014



  • Clopidogrel therapy
  • Neurosurgical intervention
  • Progression on repeat head computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery

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