Assessment of Platelet Function in Traumatic Brain Injury-A Retrospective Observational Study in the Neuro-Critical Care Setting.

28 Jun 2018

Background: Despite seemingly functional coagulation, hemorrhagic lesion progression is a common and devastating condition following traumatic brain injury (TBI), stressing the need for new diagnostic techniques. Multiple electrode aggregometry (MEA) measures platelet function and could aid in coagulopathy assessment following TBI. The aims of this study were to evaluate MEA temporal dynamics, influence of concomitant therapy, and its capabilities to predict lesion progression and clinical outcome in a TBI cohort. Material and methods: Adult TBI patients in a neurointensive care unit that underwent MEA sampling were retrospectively included. MEA was sampled if the patient was treated with antiplatelet therapy, bled heavily during surgery, or had abnormal baseline coagulation values. We assessed platelet activation pathways involving the arachidonic acid receptor (ASPI), P2Y12 receptor, and thrombin receptor (TRAP). ASPI was the primary focus of analysis. If several samples were obtained, they were included. Retrospective data were extracted from hospital charts. Outcome variables were radiologic hemorrhagic progression and Glasgow Outcome Scale assessed prospectively at 12 months posttrauma. MEA levels were compared between patients on antiplatelet therapy. Linear mixed effect models and uni-/multivariable regression models were used to study longitudinal dynamics, hemorrhagic progression and outcome, respectively. Results: In total, 178 patients were included (48% unfavorable outcome). ASPI levels increased from initially low values in a time-dependent fashion (p < 0.001). Patients on cyclooxygenase inhibitors demonstrated low ASPI levels (p < 0.001), while platelet transfusion increased them (p < 0.001). The first ASPI (p = 0.039) and TRAP (p = 0.009) were significant predictors of outcome, but not lesion progression, in univariate analyses. In multivariable analysis, MEA values were not independently correlated with outcome. Conclusion: A general longitudinal trend of MEA is identified in this TBI cohort, even in patients without known antiplatelet therapies. Values appear also affected by platelet inhibitory treatment and by platelet transfusions. While significant in univariate models to predict outcome, MEA values did not independently correlate to outcome or lesion progression in multivariable analyses. Further prospective studies to monitor coagulation in TBI patients are warranted, in particular the interpretation of pathological MEA values in patients without antiplatelet therapies.