Use of Thromboelastography in the Evaluation and Management of Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Critical care explorations. 2021;3(9):e0526
Traumatic brain injury is associated with coagulopathy that increases mortality risk. Viscoelastic hemostatic assays such as thromboelastography (Haemonetics SA, Signy, Switzerland) provide rapid coagulopathy assessment and may be particularly useful for goal-directed treatment of traumatic brain injury patients. We conducted a systematic review to assess thromboelastography in the evaluation and management of coagulopathy in traumatic brain injury patients. DATA SOURCES MEDLINE, PubMed Central, Embase, and CENTRAL. STUDY SELECTION Clinical studies of adult patients with traumatic brain injury (isolated or polytrauma) who were assessed by either standard thromboelastography or thromboelastography with platelet mapping plus either conventional coagulation assays or platelet function assays from January 1999 to June 2021. DATA EXTRACTION Demographics, injury mechanism and severity, diagnostic, laboratory data, therapies, and outcome data were extracted for analysis and comparison. DATA SYNTHESIS Database search revealed 1,169 sources; eight additional articles were identified by the authors. After review, 31 publications were used for qualitative analysis, and of these, 16 were used for quantitative analysis. Qualitative and quantitative analysis found unique patterns of thromboelastography and thromboelastography with platelet mapping parameters in traumatic brain injury patients. Patterns were distinct compared with healthy controls, nontraumatic brain injury trauma patients, and traumatic brain injury subpopulations including those with severe traumatic brain injury or penetrating traumatic brain injury. Abnormal thromboelastography K-time and adenosine diphosphate % inhibition on thromboelastography with platelet mapping are associated with decreased survival after traumatic brain injury. Subgroup meta-analysis of severe traumatic brain injury patients from two randomized controlled trials demonstrated improved survival when using a viscoelastic hemostatic assay-guided resuscitation strategy (odds ratio, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.17-0.91; p = 0.030). CONCLUSIONS Thromboelastography and thromboelastography with platelet mapping characterize coagulopathy patterns in traumatic brain injury patients. Abnormal thromboelastography profiles are associated with poor outcomes. Conversely, treatment protocols designed to normalize abnormal parameters may be associated with improved traumatic brain injury patient outcomes. Current quality of evidence in this population is low; so future efforts should evaluate viscoelastic hemostatic assay-guided hemostatic resuscitation in larger numbers of traumatic brain injury patients with specific focus on those with traumatic brain injury-associated coagulopathy.
Effect of Out-of-Hospital Tranexamic Acid vs Placebo on 6-Month Functional Neurologic Outcomes in Patients With Moderate or Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
IMPORTANCE Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability due to trauma. Early administration of tranexamic acid may benefit patients with TBI. OBJECTIVE To determine whether tranexamic acid treatment initiated in the out-of-hospital setting within 2 hours of injury improves neurologic outcome in patients with moderate or severe TBI. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Multicenter, double-blinded, randomized clinical trial at 20 trauma centers and 39 emergency medical services agencies in the US and Canada from May 2015 to November 2017. Eligible participants (N = 1280) included out-of-hospital patients with TBI aged 15 years or older with Glasgow Coma Scale score of 12 or less and systolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher. INTERVENTIONS Three interventions were evaluated, with treatment initiated within 2 hours of TBI: out-of-hospital tranexamic acid (1 g) bolus and in-hospital tranexamic acid (1 g) 8-hour infusion (bolus maintenance group; n = 312), out-of-hospital tranexamic acid (2 g) bolus and in-hospital placebo 8-hour infusion (bolus only group; n = 345), and out-of-hospital placebo bolus and in-hospital placebo 8-hour infusion (placebo group; n = 309). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcome was favorable neurologic function at 6 months (Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended score >4 [moderate disability or good recovery]) in the combined tranexamic acid group vs the placebo group. Asymmetric significance thresholds were set at 0.1 for benefit and 0.025 for harm. There were 18 secondary end points, of which 5 are reported in this article: 28-day mortality, 6-month Disability Rating Scale score (range, 0 [no disability] to 30 [death]), progression of intracranial hemorrhage, incidence of seizures, and incidence of thromboembolic events. RESULTS Among 1063 participants, a study drug was not administered to 96 randomized participants and 1 participant was excluded, resulting in 966 participants in the analysis population (mean age, 42 years; 255 [74%] male participants; mean Glasgow Coma Scale score, 8). Of these participants, 819 (84.8%) were available for primary outcome analysis at 6-month follow-up. The primary outcome occurred in 65% of patients in the tranexamic acid groups vs 62% in the placebo group (difference, 3.5%; [90% 1-sided confidence limit for benefit, -0.9%]; P = .16; [97.5% 1-sided confidence limit for harm, 10.2%]; P = .84). There was no statistically significant difference in 28-day mortality between the tranexamic acid groups vs the placebo group (14% vs 17%; difference, -2.9% [95% CI, -7.9% to 2.1%]; P = .26), 6-month Disability Rating Scale score (6.8 vs 7.6; difference, -0.9 [95% CI, -2.5 to 0.7]; P = .29), or progression of intracranial hemorrhage (16% vs 20%; difference, -5.4% [95% CI, -12.8% to 2.1%]; P = .16). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Among patients with moderate to severe TBI, out-of-hospital tranexamic acid administration within 2 hours of injury compared with placebo did not significantly improve 6-month neurologic outcome as measured by the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01990768.
Out-of-hospital patients with traumatic brain injury aged 15 years or older (n= 1280).
Bolus maintenance group: out-of-hospital tranexamic acid (1 g) bolus and in-hospital tranexamic acid (1 g) 8-hour infusion (n = 312).
Bolus only group: out-of-hospital tranexamic acid (2 g) bolus and in-hospital placebo 8-hour infusion (n = 345). Placebo group: out-of-hospital placebo bolus and in-hospital placebo 8-hour infusion (n = 309).
A total of 819 participants were available for primary outcome analysis at 6-month follow-up. The primary outcome (favorable neurologic function at 6 months) occurred in 65% of patients in the tranexamic acid groups vs 62% in the placebo group. There was no statistically significant difference in 28-day mortality between the tranexamic acid groups vs the placebo group (14% vs 17%); 6-month Disability Rating Scale score (6.8 vs 7.6); or progression of intracranial hemorrhage (16% vs 20%).
TXA Administration in the Field Does Not Affect Admission TEG after Traumatic Brain Injury
The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 2020
BACKGROUND No FDA-approved medication improves outcomes following traumatic brain injury (TBI). A forthcoming clinical trial that evaluated the effects of two prehospital tranexamic acid (TXA) dosing strategies compared with placebo demonstrated no differences in thromboelastography (TEG) values. We proposed to explore the impact of TXA on markers of coagulation and fibrinolysis in patients with moderate to severe TBI. METHODS Data were extracted from a placebo-controlled clinical trial in which patients ≥15 years old with TBI (Glascow Coma Scale 3-12) and systolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg were randomized prehospital to receive placebo bolus/placebo infusion (Placebo), 1 gram (g) TXA bolus/1g TXA infusion (Bolus Maintenance [BM]); or 2g TXA bolus/placebo infusion (Bolus Only [BO]). TEG was performed and coagulation measures including prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), international ratio (INR), fibrinogen, D-dimer, plasmin anti-plasmin (PAP), thrombin anti-thrombin (TAT), tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) were quantified at admission and six hours later. RESULTS Of 966 patients receiving study drug, 700 had labs drawn at admission and six hours later. There were no statistically significant differences in TEG values, including LY30, between groups (p>0.05). No differences between PT, aPTT, INR, fibrinogen, TAT, tPA, and PAI-1 were demonstrated across treatment groups. Concentrations of D-dimer in TXA treatment groups were less than placebo at six hours (p<0.001). Concentrations of PAP were less in TXA treatment groups than placebo on admission (p<0.001) and six hours (p=0.02). No differences in D-dimer and PAP were observed between BM and BO. CONCLUSION While D-dimer and PAP levels reflect a lower degree of fibrinolysis following prehospital administration of TXA when compared to placebo in a large prehospital trial of patients with TBI, TEG obtained on admission and six hours later did not demonstrate any differences in fibrinolysis between the two TXA dosing regimens and placebo. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE III; Diagnostic.
Earlier time to hemostasis is associated with decreased mortality and rate of complications: Results from the Pragmatic Randomized Optimal Platelet and Plasma Ratio trial
The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 2019;87(2):342-349
BACKDROP Clinicians intuitively recognize that faster time to hemostasis is important in bleeding trauma patients, but these times are rarely reported. METHODS Prospectively collected data from the Pragmatic Randomized Optimal Platelet and Plasma Ratios trial were analyzed. Hemostasis was predefined as no intraoperative bleeding requiring intervention in the surgical field or resolution of contrast blush on interventional radiology (IR). Patients who underwent an emergent (within 90 minutes) operating room (OR) or IR procedure were included. Mixed-effects Poisson regression with robust error variance (controlling for age, Injury Severity Score, treatment arm, injury mechanism, base excess on admission [missing values estimated by multiple imputation], and time to OR/IR as fixed effects and study site as a random effect) with modified Bonferroni corrections tested the hypothesis that decreased time to hemostasis was associated with decreased mortality and decreased incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multiple-organ failure (MOF), sepsis, and venous thromboembolism. RESULTS Of 680 enrolled patients, 468 (69%) underwent an emergent procedure. Patients with decreased time to hemostasis were less severely injured, had less deranged base excess on admission, and lower incidence of blunt trauma (all p < 0.05). In 408 (87%) patients in whom hemostasis was achieved, every 15-minute decrease in time to hemostasis was associated with decreased 30-day mortality (RR, 0.97; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.94-0.99), AKI (RR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96-0.98), ARDS (RR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.97-0.99), MOF (RR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.91-0.97), and sepsis (RR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99), but not venous thromboembolism (RR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.96-1.03). CONCLUSION Earlier time to hemostasis was independently associated with decreased incidence of 30-day mortality, AKI, ARDS, MOF, and sepsis in bleeding trauma patients. Time to hemostasis should be considered as an endpoint in trauma studies and as a potential quality indicator. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Therapeutic/care management, level III.
Platelet transfusions improve hemostasis and survival in a substudy of the prospective, randomized PROPPR trial
Blood Advances. 2018;2((14)):1696-1704.
Transfusing platelets during massive hemorrhage is debated because of a lack of high-quality evidence concerning outcomes in trauma patients. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of platelet transfusions on mortality in severely injured trauma patients. This work analyzed PROPPR (Pragmatic, Randomized Optimal Platelet and Plasma Ratios) trial patients who received only the first cooler of blood products, which either did or did not contain platelets. Primary outcomes were all-cause mortality at 24 hours and 30 days and hemostasis. Secondary outcomes included cause of death, complications, and hospital-, intensive care unit (ICU)-, and ventilator-free days. Continuous variables were compared using Wilcoxon rank sum tests. Categorical variables were compared using Fisher's exact tests. There were 261 PROPPR patients who achieved hemostasis or died before receiving a second cooler of blood products (137 received platelets and 124 did not). Patients who received platelets also received more total plasma (median, 3 vs 2 U; P < .05) by PROPPR intervention design. There were no differences in total red blood cell transfusions between groups. After controlling for plasma volume, patients who received platelets had significantly decreased 24-hour (5.8% vs 16.9%; P < .05) and 30-day mortality (9.5% vs 20.2%; P < .05). More patients in the platelet group achieved hemostasis (94.9% vs 73.4%; P < .01), and fewer died as a result of exsanguination (1.5% vs 12.9%; P < .01). Patients who received platelets had a shorter time on mechanical ventilation (P < .05); however, no differences in hospital- or ICU-free days were observed. In conclusion, early platelet administration is associated with improved hemostasis and reduced mortality in severely injured, bleeding patients. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as # NCT01545232.
The effects of cryopreserved red blood cell transfusion on tissue oxygenation in obese trauma patients
The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 2018;84((1)):104-111.
BACKGROUND Low tissue oxygenation (StO2) is associated with poor outcomes in obese trauma patients. A novel treatment could be the transfusion of cryopreserved packed red blood cells (CPRBCs), which the in vitro biochemical profile favors red blood cell (RBC) function. We hypothesized that CPRBC transfusion improves StO2 in obese trauma patients. METHODS Two hundred forty-three trauma patients at five Level I trauma centers who required RBC transfusion were randomized to receive one to two units of liquid packed RBCs (LPRBCs) or CPRBCs. Demographics, injury severity, StO2, outcomes, and biomarkers of RBC function were compared in nonobese (body mass index [BMI] < 30) and obese (BMI ≥ 30) patients. StO2 was also compared between obese patients with BMI of 30 to 34.9 and BMI ≥ 35. StO2 was normalized and expressed as % change after RBC transfusion. A p value less than 0.05 indicated significance. RESULTS Patients with BMI less than 30 (n = 141) and BMI of 30 or greater (n = 102) had similar Injury Severity Score, Glasgow Coma Scale, and baseline StO2. Plasma levels of free hemoglobin, an index of RBC lysis, were lower in obese patients after CPRBC (125 [72-259] mug/mL) versus LPRBC transfusion (230 [178-388] mug/mL; p < 0.05). StO2 was similar in nonobese patients regardless of transfusion type, but improved in obese patients who received CPRBCs (104 +/- 1%) versus LPRPCs (99 +/- 1%, p < 0.05; 8 hours after transfusion). Subanalysis showed improved StO2 after CPRBC transfusion was specific to BMI of 35 or greater, starting 5 hours after transfusion (p < 0.05 vs. LPRBCs). CPRBCs did not improve clinical outcomes in either group. CONCLUSION CPRBC transfusion is associated with increased StO2 and lower free hemoglobin levels in obese trauma patients, but did not improve clinical outcomes. Future studies are needed to determine if CPRBC transfusion in obese patients attenuates hemolysis to improve StO2. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Therapeutic, level IV.
The impact of hypothermia on outcomes in massively transfused patients
The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 2018
BACKGROUND Hypothermia is associated with poor outcomes after injury. The relationship between hypothermia during contemporary large volume resuscitation and blood product consumption is unknown. We evaluated this association, and the predictive value of hypothermia on mortality. METHODS Patients predicted to receive massive transfusion at 12 Level-1 trauma centers, randomized in the PROPPR trial, were grouped into those who were hypothermic (<36 degrees Celsius) or normothermic (36-38.5 degrees Celsius) within the first 6 hours of Emergency department arrival. The impact of hypothermia or normothermia on the volume of blood product required during the first 24 hours was determined via negative binomial regression, adjusting for treatment arm, injury severity score, mechanism, demographics, pre-emergency department fluid volume, blood administered prior to becoming hypothermic, pulse and systolic blood pressure on arrival and the time exposed to hypothermic or normothermic temperatures. RESULTS Of 680 patients, 590 had a temperature measured during the first 6 hours in hospital, and 399 experienced hypothermia. The mean number of red blood cell units given to all patients in the first 24 hours of admission was 8.8 (95% CI 7.9-9.6). In multivariable analysis, every one-degree decrease in temperature below 36.0 degrees was associated with a 10% increase (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0.90; 95% CI 0.89-0.92; p<0.00) in consumption of red blood cells during the first 24 hours of admission. There was no association between red blood cell administration and a temperature above 36 degrees. Hypothermia on arrival was an independent predictor of mortality, with an adjusted odds ratio of 2.7 (95% CI 1.7-4.5; p<0.00) for 24-hour and 1.8 (95% CI 1.3-2.4; p<0.00) for 30-day mortality. CONCLUSION Hypothermia is associated with increased in blood product consumption and mortality. These findings support the maintenance of normothermia in trauma patients, and suggests that further investigation on the impact of cooling or rewarming during massive transfusion is warranted. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE III Prognostic.
A comparison of resuscitation intensity (RI) and critical administration threshold (CAT) in predicting early mortality among bleeding patients: a multicenter validation in 680 major transfusion patients
The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 2018;85((4):):691-696
BACKGROUND To address deficiencies associated with the classic definition of massive transfusion, Critical Administration Threshold and Resuscitation Intensity were developed to better quantify the overall severity of illness and predict the need for transfusions and early mortality. We sought to evaluate these as more appropriate replacements for MT in defining mortality risk in patients undergoing major transfusions. METHODS Patients predicted to receive MT at 12 Level-1 trauma centers were randomized in the PROPPR trial. MT: ≥10U RBC in 24 hours; CAT+: ≥3U RBC in the first hour; and RI: total products in the first 30 minutes (1U RBC, 1U plasma, 1000mL crystalloid, 500mL colloid each valued at 1U). RI was evaluated as a continuous variable and dichotomized as RI4+, where RI≥4 U. Each metric was evaluated for its ability to predict mortality at 3, 6, and 24 hours, and at 30 days. RESULTS Of the 680 patients, 301 patients met MT definition, 521 were CAT+, and 445 were RI4+. Of those that died, 23% never reached MT threshold, but all were captured by CAT+ and RI4+. The 3-hr (9 vs. 9%), 6-hr (14 vs. 14%), 24-hr (17 vs. 18%), and 30-day mortality rates (28 vs. 29%) were similar between CAT+ and RI4+ patients. When RI was evaluated as a continuous variable, each unit increase was associated with a 20% increase in hemorrhage-related mortality (OR 1.20, 95% CI [1.15-1.29], p<0.05).CONCLUSIONBoth RI and CAT are valid surrogates for early mortality in patients undergoing major transfusion, capturing patients omitted by the MT definition. CAT+ showed the best sensitivity; RI4+ demonstrated better specificity and good PPV and NPV. While CAT+ may be suited for patients receiving a RBC-dominant resuscitation, RI4+ is more comprehensive. RI can also be used as a continuous variable to provide quantitative as well qualitative risk of death.LEVEL OF EVIDENCELevel III, Prognostic.
Risk factors for the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome following hemorrhage
Shock (Augusta, Ga.). 2017;50((3):):258-264
BACKGROUND The Pragmatic Randomized Optimal Platelet and Plasma Ratios (PROPPR) study evaluated the effects of plasma and platelets on hemostasis and mortality after hemorrhage. The pulmonary consequences of resuscitation strategies that mimic whole blood, remain unknown. METHODS A secondary analysis of the PROPPR study was performed. Injured patients predicted to receive a massive transfusion were randomized to 1:1:1 vs. 1:1:2 plasma-platelet-RBC ratios at 12 Level I North American trauma centers. Patients with survival >24 hours, an ICU stay, and a recorded PaO2/FiO2 (P/F) ratio were included. ARDS was defined as a P/F ratio < 200, with bilateral pulmonary infiltrates, and adjudicated by investigators. RESULTS 454 patients were reviewed (230 received 1:1:1, 224 1:1:2). Age, sex, injury mechanism, and regional abbreviated injury scale (AIS) scores did not differ between cohorts. Tidal volume, PEEP, and lowest P/F ratio did not differ. No significant differences in ARDS rates (14.8 vs. 18.4%), ventilator-free (24 vs. 24) or ICU-free days (17.5 vs. 18), hospital length of stay (22 vs. 18 days), or 30-day mortality were found (28 vs. 28%). ARDS was associated with blunt injury (OR 3.61 [1.53-8.81] p < 0.01) and increasing chest AIS (OR 1.40 [1.15-1.71] p < 0.01). Each 500 mL of crystalloid infused during hours 0-6 was associated with a 9% increase in the rate of ARDS (OR 1.09 [1.04-1.14] p < 0.01). Blood given at 0-6 or 7-24 hours were not risk factors for lung injury. CONCLUSION Acute crystalloid exposure, but not blood products, is a potentially modifiable risk factor for the prevention of ARDS following hemorrhage.
Damage control resuscitation in patients with severe traumatic hemorrhage: a practice management guideline from the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma
The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 2017;82((3)):605-617.
BACKGROUND The resuscitation of severely injured bleeding patients has evolved into a multi-modal strategy termed damage control resuscitation (DCR). This guideline evaluates several aspects of DCR including the role of massive transfusion (MT) protocols, the optimal target ratio of plasma (PLAS) and platelets (PLT) to red blood cells (RBC) during DCR, and the role of recombinant activated factor VII (rVIIa) and tranexamic acid (TXA). METHODS Using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology, a subcommittee of the Practice Management Guidelines (PMG) Section of EAST conducted a systematic review using MEDLINE and EMBASE. Articles in English from1985 through 2015 were considered in evaluating four PICO questions relevant to DCR. RESULT A total of 37 studies were identified for analysis, of which 31 met criteria for quantitative meta-analysis. In these studies, mortality decreased with use of an MT/DCR protocol vs. no protocol (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.43-0.87, p = 0.006) and with a high ratio of PLASRBC and PLT:RBC (relatively more PLAS and PLT) vs. a low ratio (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.46-0.77, p < 0.0001; OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.28-0.71, p = 0.0003). Mortality and blood product use were no different with either rVIIa vs. no rVIIa or with TXA vs. no TXA. CONCLUSION DCR can significantly improve outcomes in severely injured bleeding patients. After a review of the best available evidence, we recommend the use of a MT/DCR protocol in hospitals that manage such patients and recommend that the protocol target a high ratio of PLAS and PLT to RBC. This is best achieved by transfusing equal amounts of RBC, PLAS, and PLT during the early, empiric phase of resuscitation. We cannot recommend for or against the use of rVIIa based on the available evidence. Finally, we conditionally recommend the in-hospital use of TXA early in the management of severely injured bleeding patients.