Incidence of venous thromboembolism in patients with traumatic brain injury

Am J Surg. 2007 Mar;193(3):380-3; discussion 383-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2006.12.004.


Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be a risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE). This study was designed to review the incidence of VTE in critically injured patients with an isolated TBI using a standardized venous duplex color-flow Doppler imaging program and to compare it with the overall and high-risk trauma populations.

Methods: Trauma patients who underwent lower-extremity surveillance color-flow Doppler imaging for VTE were identified. Analyses included patient demographics, characteristics of TBI, VTE risk factors, prophylaxis, incidence, location, and patient outcome.

Results: A total of 5,787 patients were admitted during the study period. Of these, 539 (9%) were deemed high risk for VTE. The incidence of VTE in patients with isolated TBI (88, 16%) was 25%. All patients and the high-risk population had incidences of 2% and 17%, respectively.

Conclusions: The incidence of VTE in isolated TBI is greatest in patients with intraparenchymal hemorrhage. Early VTE prophylaxis is warranted in TBI patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Injuries / classification
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Lower Extremity / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oklahoma / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Thromboembolism / diagnostic imaging
  • Thromboembolism / epidemiology*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Duplex
  • Upper Extremity / diagnostic imaging
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Venous Thrombosis / epidemiology