We will include studies using in vivo animal models with acute cerebral lesions limited to traumatic brain injury (all types) or stroke (ischemic or hemorrhagic) comparing outcome in injured animals treated with a specific RBC transfusion strategy (restrictive or liberal) with outcome in injured animals treated with a different RBC transfusion strategy or no treatment or any other intervention. In our study, the hemorrhagic stroke group refers to animal models of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) or subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Both animal models of focal and global brain ischemia will be included. There will be no restrictions in terms of species and comorbidities of models. We will consider studies regardless of their primary outcomes of interest. There will be no restriction applied to date or language of publication. We will consult translators for publications not written in English or French. Our structured research question and our study eligibility criteria are presented in Tables 1 and 2, respectively.

Structured question

An alternative red blood cell transfusion strategy (hemoglobin threshold/target) or

No transfusion or

Any other intervention

All-cause mortality

Infarct size

Intracranial pressure

Cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP)

Cerebral blood flow (CBF)

Brain tissue oxygen tension (PbtO2)

ICH intracerebral hemorrhage, SAH subarachnoid hemorrhage

Eligibility criteria

TBI traumatic brain injury, ICH intracerebral hemorrhage, SAH subarachnoid hemorrhage, RBC red blood cell

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