The Role of Desmopressin on Hematoma Expansion in Patients with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Prescribed Pre-injury Antiplatelet Medications

NCJ_cover.jpgBy Jeffrey F. Barletta, Diana Abdul-Rahman, Scott T. Hall, Alicia J. Mangram, James K. Dzandu, Jennifer A. Frontera, Victor Zach

First Online: 02 January 2020

Desmopressin (DDAVP) has been suggested for antiplatelet medication reversal in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) but there are limited data describing its effect on clinical outcomes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of DDAVP on hematoma expansion and thrombosis in patients with TBI who were prescribed pre-injury antiplatelet medications.

Consecutive adult patients who were admitted to our level I trauma center and prescribed pre-injury antiplatelet medications between July, 2012, and May, 2018, were retrospectively identified. Patients were excluded if their hospital length of stay was < 24 h, if DDAVP was administered by any route other than intravenous, if they received a DDAVP dose < 0.3 mcg/kg or there was no evidence of brain hemorrhage on computed tomography (CT) scan. Patients were stratified based on the use of DDAVP, and the incidence of hematoma expansion was compared between groups. Thrombotic events were reviewed as a secondary outcome. Multivariate analysis was utilized to control for confounding variables.

Of 202 patients included in analysis, 158 (78%) received DDAVP. The mean age was 76 ± 12 years; the most common injury mechanism was falls (76%); 69% had acute subdural hematoma, and 49% had multi-compartmental hemorrhage. Initial Glasgow coma score was between 13 and 15 for 91% of patients. Aspirin was the most common antiplatelet regimen prescribed (N = 151, 75%), followed by dual antiplatelet regimens (N = 26, 13%) and adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-receptor inhibitors (N = 25, 12%). The incidence of hematoma expansion was 14% and 30% for patients who did and did not receive DDAVP, respectively (p = 0.015). After controlling for age, injury severity score, multi-compartmental hemorrhage, and receipt of pre-injury high-dose aspirin (> 81 mg), ADP-receptor inhibitors, oral anticoagulants, prothrombin complex concentrates or platelets in a multivariate analysis, the association between DDAVP and hematoma expansion remained significant (adjusted OR 0.259 [95% CI 0.103–0.646], p = 0.004). Thrombotic events were similar between the two groups (DDAVP, 2.5%, no DDAVP, 4.5%; p = 0.613).

DDAVP was associated with a lower incidence of hematoma expansion in patients with mild TBI who were prescribed pre-injury antiplatelet medications. These results justify a randomized controlled trial to further evaluate the role of DDAVP for this indication.

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