Fibrinolytic Activation in Patients with Progressive Intracranial Hemorrhage after Traumatic Brain Injury

Kelly A. Fair, David H. Farrell, Belinda H. McCully, Elizabeth A. Rick, Elizabeth N. Dewey, Cole Hilliard, Rondi Dean, Amber Lin, Holly Hinson, Ronald Barbosa, Martin A. Schreiber, Susan E. Rowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Progression of intracranial hemorrhage (PICH) is a significant cause of secondary brain injury in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Previous studies have implicated a variety of mediators that contribute to PICH. We hypothesized that patients with PICH would display either a hypocoagulable state, hyperfibrinolysis, or both. We conducted a prospective study of adult trauma patients with isolated TBI. Blood was obtained for routine coagulation assays, platelet count, fibrinogen, thrombelastography, markers of thrombin generation, and markers of fibrinolysis at admission and 6, 12, 24, and 48 h. Univariate analyses were performed to compare baseline characteristics between groups. Linear regression models were created, adjusting for baseline differences, to determine the relationship between individual assays and PICH. One hundred forty-one patients met entry criteria, of whom 71 had hemorrhage progression. Patients with PICH had a higher Injury Severity Score and Abbreviated Injury Scale score (head), a lower Glasgow Coma Scale score, and lower plasma sodium on admission. Patients with PICH had higher D-dimers on admission. After adjusting for baseline differences, elevated D-dimers remained significantly associated with PICH compared to patients without PICH at admission. Hypocoagulation was not significantly associated with PICH in these patients. The association between PICH and elevated D-dimers early after injury suggests that fibrinolytic activation may contribute to PICH in patients with TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)960-966
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2021


  • coagulopathy
  • fibrinolysis
  • thrombelastography
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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