JOURNAL ARTICLE

Management of blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) in the multisystem injury patient with contraindications to immediate anti-thrombotic therapy

Michelle K McNutt, A Cozette Kale, Ryan S Kitagawa, Ali H Turkmani, David W Fields, Sarah Baraniuk, Brijesh S Gill, Bryan A Cotton, Laura J Moore, Charles E Wade, Arthur Day, John B Holcomb
Injury 2018, 49 (1): 67-74
28789779

INTRODUCTION: Practice management guidelines for screening and treatment of patients with blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) have been associated with a decreased risk of ischemic stroke.

TREATMENT: of patients with BCVI and multisystem injuries that delays immediate antithrombotic therapy remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to determine the timing of BCVI treatment initiation, the incidence of stroke, and bleeding complications as a result of antithrombotic therapy in patients with isolated BCVI in comparison to those with BCVI complicated by multisystem injuries.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was a retrospective review of all adult blunt trauma patients admitted to a level 1 trauma center from 2009 to 2014 with a diagnosis of BCVI.

RESULTS: A total of 28,305 blunt trauma patients were admitted during the study period. Of these, 323 (1.1%) had 481 BCEVIs and were separated into two groups. Isolated BCVI was reported in 111 (34.4%) patients and 212 (65.6%) patients had accompanying multisystem injuries (traumatic brain injury (TBI), solid organ injury, or spinal cord injury) that contraindicated immediate antithrombotic therapy.

TREATMENT: started in patients with isolated BCVI at a median time of 30.3 (15, 52) hours after injury in contrast to 62.4 (38, 97) hours for those with multisystem injuries (p<0.001). The incidence of stroke was identical (9.9%) between groups and no bleeding complications related to antithrombotic therapy were identified.

CONCLUSION: The lack of bleeding complications and equivalent stroke rates between groups suggests that the presence of TBI, solid organ injury, and spinal cord injury are not contraindications to anti-thrombotic therapy for stroke prevention in patients with BCVI.

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