Efficacy of platelet transfusion in the management of acute subdural hematoma

John Ogunlade, James G Wiginton, Hammad Ghanchi, Zein Al-Atrache, Margaret Wacker, Rosalinda Menoni, Dan Miulli
Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery 2018, 174: 163-166

OBJECTIVE: Oral Antithrombotic Therapy has become a well documented predisposing risk factor in the development of traumatic intracranial hemorrhage. Currently, a reversal protocol for antiplatelet therapy remains ill-defined in the management of non-surgical traumatic subdural hematoma and there is no evidence to suggest a clear benefit of platelet transfusion to mitigate the effect of antiplatelet agents. This study aims to establish parameters in which platelet transfusion would be of benefit in patients with non-surgical traumatic subdural hematoma with preinjury antiplatelet therapy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This study is a retrospective chart review of patents from 2015 to 2018 at two Level II trauma centers identifying consecutive patients with non-surgical acute traumatic subdural hematomas. Patients with use of aspirin and/or clopidogrel were categorized into subgroups based on transfusion of platelets for antiplatelet reversal therapy, and were compared to a control group. The primary outcome measure was the presence of subdural hematoma expansion.

RESULTS: A total of 72 patients met the criteria for inclusion in this study. The average age of the cohort was 75.4 with a median of 77.5. There were 40 males and 32 females. Chi-square analysis was performed which demonstrated statistical significance for difference between the aspirin and clopidogrel group for percent of hematoma expansion (p = 0.0284). Patients on antiplatelet therapy (n = 36) were grouped together and compared to patients without antiplatelet therapy (n = 36), this demonstrated that the transfusion of platelets for patients on antiplatelet agents (n = 19/36) still resulted in a significant hematoma expansion in (n = 7/19, 36.8%) compared to patients not on antiplatelet therapy (n = 3/36, 8.3%) (p = 0.0001).

CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that patients with non-surgical traumatic subdural hematomas on presentation are less likely to expand, however the risk of expansion is greater when the patient is on antiplatelet therapy. There is no clear benefit in the use of platelet transfusion as a reversal agent to mitigate the effects of antiplatelet therapy in the setting of non-surgical traumatic subdural hematomas.

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