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Factor VIIa administration in traumatic brain injury: an AAST-MITC propensity score analysis.



Recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) has been used off-label as an adjunct in the reversal of warfarin therapy and management of hemorrhage after trauma. Only a handful of these reports are rigorous studies, from which results regarding safety and effectiveness have been mixed. There remains no clear consensus as to the role of rFVIIa in traumatic brain injury (TBI).


Eleven level 1 trauma centers provided clinical data and head CT scans of patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of ≤13 and radiographic evidence of TBI. A propensity score (PS) to receive rFVIIa in those surviving ≥2 days was calculated for each patient based on patient demographics, comorbidities, physiology, Injury Severity Score, admission GCS score, and treatment center. Patients receiving rFVIIa within 24 hours of admission were matched to patients who did not receive rFVIIa for outcomes assessment. Subgroup analysis evaluated patients with primary head injury with PS matching.


There were 4284 patient observations; 129 received rFVIIa. Groups were comparable after matching. No differences in mortality or morbidity were found. Improvement in GCS score from admission to discharge was less among those receiving rFVIIa (5.5 vs. 2.4; P value 0.001); however, there was no difference in average GCS score at discharge. No significant differences in outcomes were identified in patients with isolated TBI receiving rFVIIa.


rFVIIa in early management of TBI is not associated with a decreased risk of mortality or morbidity, and may negatively impact recovery and functional status at discharge in the severely injured patient with polytrauma.

Level of evidence

Level III.

Study type

Therapeutic/care management.

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