Functional outcome of individuals with traumatic brain injury and lower extremity deep venous thrombosis

R H Wagner, D X Cifu, L Keyser-Marcus
Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 1999, 14 (6): 558-66

OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of acute lower extremity (LE) deep venous thrombosis (DVT) on functional outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI).

SETTING: Tertiary university medical center rehabilitation unit.

SUBJECTS: Ninety-two TBI rehabilitation patients (46 patients with DVT and 46 patients without DVT). Forty-six TBI patients with a diagnosis of LE DVT were 1:1 matched with non-DVT TBI patients. Matching criteria included: primary diagnosis of TBI, admission Functional Independence Measure (FIM), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), and age.

OUTCOME MEASURES: FIM (admission, discharge, change, and efficiency), FIM subscores (activities of daily living [ADL], mobility, cognition), length of stay ([LOS] acute and rehabilitation), and discharge living disposition.

DESIGN: Cohort study utilizing prospectively collected data. DVT diagnoses were made upon rehabilitation admission using color flow duplex Doppler ultrasonography. Descriptive statistics were run on demographic variables. Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were performed on the sample with regard to outcome measures, including FIM scores, FIM subscores, and LOS (acute and rehabilitation).

RESULTS: No significant between-group differences were found concerning LOS, rehabilitation costs, FIM total, or FIM subgroup scores. Chi-squared analyses revealed significant differences between groups with regard to discharge living disposition (chi(2) = 4.7, P <.03).

CONCLUSION: Lower extremity DVT does not appear to interfere with functional outcome after TBI. The data suggest that this patient population is appropriate for admission or continued participation in acute inpatient rehabilitation, despite the presence of LE DVT.

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