Researchers from the division of acute care surgery, Keck School of Medicine, the University of Southern California (USC), recently sought to validate previous findings of the effects of erythropiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) administration following severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). 

The prospective observational study appears in the Archives of Surgery and reportedly encompassed a total of 566 TBI patients admitted to the facility’s surgical intensive care unit (SICU) from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2011. Researchers note that after matching patients in a one-to-one ratio, 75 matched pairs of patients were analyzed. Propensity scores were reportedly calculated to match patients who received ESA within 30 days after admission to patients who did not receive ESA.

The study indicates that the Glasgow Coma Scale score was used to measure main outcomes in the difference between admission and SICU difference. In-hospital morbidity and mortality were also considered, researchers say.

Researchers add that patients who received ESA and control subjects who were not treated with ESA were of similar age, mechanisms of injury, vital signs on admission, Abbreviated Injury Scale scores, Injury Severity Scores, and specific intracranial injuries. The results suggest that patients who received ESA experienced significantly longer lengths of stay in the SICU and comparable SICU-free days.

The study reports that the results exhibited no statistically difference in the incidence of major in-hospital complications when comparing the 2 study cohorts. The study also indicates that patients who received ESA exhibited a Glasgow Coma Scale mean of 3.0, compared to a 2.4 in patients who did not. Researchers note that in-hospital mortality was significantly lower for patients who received ESA at 9 % compared to 25% of patients who did not receive ESA.

The researchers ultimately concluded that ESA administration exhibits a significant survival advantage without an increase in morbidity in patients with severe TBI.

Source: Archives of Surgery