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Ann Surg Open


BACKGROUND: Beta-adrenergic receptor blocker (BB) administration has been shown to improve survival after traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, studies to date that observe a benefit did not distinguish between continuation of preinjury BB versus de novo initiation of BB.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of continuation of preinjury BB and de novo initiation of BB on risk-adjusted mortality and complications for patients with TBI.

METHODS: Trauma quality collaborative data (2016-2021) were analyzed. Patients were excluded with hospitalization <48 >hours, direct admission, or penetrating injury. Severe TBI was identified as a head abbreviated injury scale (AIS) value of 3 to 5. Patients were placed into 4 groups based on the preinjury BB use and administration of BB during hospitalization. Propensity score matching was used to create 1:1 matched cohorts of patients for comparisons. Odd ratios of mortality accounting for hospital clustering were calculated. A sensitivity analysis was performed excluding patients with AIS >2 injuries in all other body regions to create a cohort of isolated TBI patients.

RESULTS: A total of 15,153 patients treated at 35 trauma centers were available for analysis. Patients were divided into 4 cohort groupings related to preinjury BB use and postinjury receipt of BB. The odds of mortality was significantly reduced for patients with a TBI on a preinjury BB who had the medication continued in the acute setting (as compared with patients on preinjury BB who did not) (odds ratio [OR], 0.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54-0.98; P = 0.04). Patients with a TBI who were not on preinjury BB did not benefit from de novo initiation of BB with regard to mortality (OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.64-1.08; P = 0.2). In the sensitivity analysis, excluding polytrauma patients, patients on preinjury BB who had BB continued had a reduction in mortality when compared with patients in which BB was stopped following a TBI (OR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.47-0.91; P = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Continuing BB is associated with reduced odds of mortality in patients with a TBI on preinjury BB. We were unable to demonstrate benefit from instituting beta blockade in patients who are not on a BB preinjury.

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