Delayed intracranial hemorrhage after head trauma seems rare and rarely needs intervention—even in antiplatelet or anticoagulation therapy

Henrik Bergenfeldt, Jakob Lundager Forberg, Riikka Lehtinen, Ebba Anefjäll, Tomas Vedin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Traumatic brain injury causes morbidity, mortality, and at least 2,500,000 yearly emergency department visits in the USA. Computerized tomography of the head is the gold standard to detect traumatic intracranial hemorrhage. Some are not diagnosed at the first scan, and they are denoted “delayed intracranial hemorrhages. ” To detect these delayed hemorrhages, current guidelines for head trauma recommend observation and/or rescanning for patients on anticoagulation therapy but not for patients on antiplatelet therapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and need for interventions of delayed intracranial hemorrhage after head trauma. Methods: The study was a retrospective review of medical records of adult patients with isolated head trauma presenting at Helsingborg General Hospital between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Univariate statistical analyses were performed. Results: In total, 1627 patients were included and four (0.25%, 95% confidence interval 0.06–0.60%) patients had delayed intracranial hemorrhage. One of these patients was diagnosed within 24 h and three within 2–30 days. The patient was diagnosed within 24 h, and one of the patients diagnosed within 2–30 days was on antiplatelet therapy. None of these four patients was prescribed anticoagulation therapy, and no intensive care, no neurosurgical operations, or deaths were recorded. Conclusion: Traumatic delayed intracranial hemorrhage is rare and consequences mild and antiplatelet and anticoagulation therapy might confer similar risk. Because serious complications appear rare, observing, and/or rescanning all patients with either of these medications can be debated. Risk stratification of these patients might have the potential to identify the patients at risk while safely reducing observation times and rescanning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number54
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery

Free keywords

  • Brain injuries
  • MESH
  • Traumatic anticoagulant tomography
  • Traumatic intracranial hemorrhages
  • X-ray computed


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