Background We have shown that early administration of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) reduces the size of brain lesions 6 hours after injury in a large animal model of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and hemorrhagic shock (HS). To examine long-term outcomes, we hypothesized that early treatment with FFP would result in faster neurologic recovery and better long-term outcomes in a combined TBI and HS model. Study Design Anesthetized Yorkshire swine underwent combined TBI and volume-controlled hemorrhage (40% blood volume). After 2 hours of shock, animals were randomized (n = 5/group) to normal saline (3× shed blood) or FFP (1× shed blood) treatment. A neurologic severity score was assessed for 30 days. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain was performed at days 3, 10, and 24. Cognitive function was tested by training animals to retrieve food from color-coded boxes. Results Neurologic impairment was lower and speed of recovery was considerably faster in the FFP-treated animals. There was a trend toward a smaller lesion size in FFP-treated animal at days 3 and 10, but this did not reach statistical significance. Both groups reached baseline performance on the cognitive testing; however, FFP-treated animals were able to participate, on average, 8 days earlier due to quicker recovery. Conclusions This is the first study to demonstrate the beneficial effects of FFP treatment in a long-term survival model of combined TBI and HS. Our data show that early treatment with FFP substantially attenuates the degree of neurologic impairment, improves the rate of recovery, and preserves the cognitive functions.
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