Mild head trauma: Is antiplatelet therapy a risk factor for hemorrhagic complications?

Gabriele Savioli, Iride Francesca Ceresa, Sabino Luzzi, Alice Giotta Lucifero, Maria Serena Pioli Di Marco, Federica Manzoni, Lorenzo Preda, Giovanni Ricevuti, Maria Antonietta Bressan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and objectives: In patients who receive antiplatelet therapy (APT), the bleeding risk profile after mild head trauma (MHT) still needs clarification. Some studies have demonstrated an association with bleeding risk, whereas others have not. We studied the population of our level II emergency department (ED) trauma center to determine the risk of bleeding in patients receiving APT and whether bleeding results not from antiplatelet agents but rather from age. We assessed the bleeding risk, the incidence of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) that necessitated hospitalization for observation, the need for cranial neurosurgery, the severity of the patient’s condition at discharge, and the frequency of ED revisits for head trauma in patients receiving APT. Materials and Methods: This retrospective single-center study included 483 patients receiving APT who were in the ED for MHT in 2019. The control group consisted of 1443 patients in the ED with MHT over the same period who were not receiving APT or anticoagulant therapy. Our ED diagnostic therapeutic protocol mandates both triage and the medical examination to identify patients with MHT who are taking any anticoagulant or APT. Results: APT was not significantly associated with bleeding risk (p > 0.05); as a risk factor, age was significantly associated with the risk of bleeding, even after adjustment for therapy. Patients receiving APT had a greater need of surgery (1.2% vs. 0.4%; p < 0.0001) and a higher rate of hospitalization (52.9% vs. 37.4%; p < 0.0001), and their clinical condition was more severe (evaluated according to the exit code value on a one-dimensional quantitative five-point numerical scale) at the time of discharge (p = 0.013). The frequency of ED revisits due to head trauma did not differ between the two groups. Conclusions: The risk of bleeding in patients receiving APT who had MHT was no higher than that in the control group. However, the clinical condition of patients receiving APT, including hospital admission for ICH monitoring and cranial neurosurgical interventions, was more severe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number357
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Antiplatelet therapy
  • Bleeding risk
  • Cranial neurosurgical interventions
  • Emergency department
  • Hospital admission
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Mild head trauma
  • Minor head injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Mild head trauma: Is antiplatelet therapy a risk factor for hemorrhagic complications?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this