Acute Management of Hemostasis in Patients With Neurological Injury

M. Irem Baharoglu, Anneke Brand, Maria M. Koopman, Marinus Vermeulen, Yvo B. W. E. M. Roos

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Neurological injuries can be divided into those with traumatic and nontraumatic causes. The largest groups are traumatic brain injury (TBI) and nontraumatic stroke. TBI patients may present with intracranial hemorrhages (contusions, or subdural or epidural hematomas). Strokes are ischemic or hemorrhagic. In all these disorders, thrombosis and hemostasis play a major role. Treatment aims to either cease bleeding and/or restore perfusion. We reviewed hemostatic and thrombolytic therapies in patients with neurological injuries by MEDLINE and EMBASE search using various key words for neurological disorders and hemostatic therapies restricted to English language and human adults. Review of articles fulfilling inclusion criteria and relevant references revealed that, in patients with ischemic stroke, intravenous thrombolytic therapy with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator within 4.5-5 hours after onset of symptoms improves clinical outcome. In contrast, there are no hemostatic therapies that are proven to improve clinical outcome of patients with hemorrhagic stroke or TBI. In patients with hemorrhagic stroke who use vitamin K antagonist or direct oral anticoagulants, there is evidence that specific reversal therapies improve hemostatic laboratory parameters but without an effect on clinical recovery. In patients with hemorrhagic stroke or TBI who use concomitant antiplatelet therapy, there is evidence for harm of platelet transfusion. In patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, tranexamic acid was shown to reduce rebleeding rate without improving cinical outcome. The effects of tranexamic acid in patients with TBI are still under investigation. We conclude that, in patients with ischemic stroke, thrombolytic therapy improves outcome when given within 45-5 hours. In hemorrhagic stroke and TB!, most hemostatic therapies improved or corrected laboratory parameters but not clinical outcome. Currently, in several trials, the effects of tranexamic acid are being studied of which the results are eagerly awaited. Because improving clinical outcome should be the goal of new therapies, we encourage to use clinical outcome scales as the primary outcome measure in trials that investigate effects of hemostatic therapies in patients with neurological injury. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-244
JournalTransfusion medicine reviews
Issue number4
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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