Background: Timing and type of chemoprophylaxis (CP) that should be used in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains unclear. We reviewed our institutions experience with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) and unfractionated heparin (UFH) in TBI. Methods: The charts of all TBI patients with a head abbreviated injury severity score >2 (HAIS) and an intensive care unit length of stay >48 hours admitted during a 42-month period between 2006 and 2009 were reviewed. CP was initiated after intracranial hemorrhage was considered stable. We reviewed all operative notes and radiologic reports in these patients to analyze the rate of significant intracranial hemorrhagic complications, deep venous thrombosis, or pulmonary embolus. Results: A total of 386 patients with TBI were identified; 158 were treated with LMWH and 171 were treated with UFH. HAIS was significantly different between the LMWH (3.8 ± 0.7) and UFH (4.1 ± 0.7) groups; the time to initiation of CP was not. The UFH group had a significantly higher rate of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolus. Progression of ICH that occurred after the initiation of CP was significantly higher in the UFH-treated patients (59%) when compared with those treated with LMWH (40%). Two patients in the UFH group required craniotomy after the initiation of CP. Conclusion: LMWH is an effective method of CP in patients with TBI, providing a lower rate of venous thromboembolic and hemorrhagic complications when compared with UFH. A large, prospective, randomized study would better evaluate the safety and efficacy of LMWH in patients suffering blunt traumatic brain injury.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2011|
- Intracranial hemorrhage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine