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Bizhan Aarabi, Melvin Alexander, Stuart E. Mirvis, Kathirkamanathan Shanmuganathan, David Chesler, Christopher Maulucci, Mark Iguchi, Carla Aresco and Tiffany Blacklock

Object

The objective of this study was to elucidate the relationship between admission demographic data, validated injury severity measures on imaging studies, and clinical indicators on the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) motor score, Functional Independence Measure (FIM), manual dexterity, and dysesthetic pain at least 12 months after surgery for acute traumatic central cord syndrome (ATCCS) due to spinal stenosis.

Methods

Over a 100-month period (January 2000 to April 2008), of 211 patients treated for ATCCS, 59 cases were due to spinal stenosis, and these patients underwent surgical decompression. Five of these patients died, 2 were lost to follow-up, 10 were not eligible for the study, and the remaining 42 were followed for at least 12 months.

Results

In the cohort of 42 patients, mean age was 58.3 years, 83% of the patients were men, and 52.4% of the accidents were due to falls. Mean admission ASIA motor score was 63.8 (upper extremities score, 25.8 and lower extremities score, 39.8), the spinal cord was most frequently compressed at skeletal segments C3–4 and C4–5 (71%), mean midsagittal diameter at the point of maximum compression was 5.6 mm, maximum canal compromise (MCC) was 50.5%, maximum spinal cord compression was 16.5%, and length of parenchymal damage on T2-weighted MR imaging was 29.4 mm. Time after injury until surgery was within 24 hours in 9 patients, 24–48 hours in 10 patients, and more than 48 hours in 23 patients. At the 1-year follow-up, the mean ASIA motor score was 94.1 (upper extremities score, 45.7 and lower extremities score, 47.6), FIM was 111.1, manual dexterity was 64.4% of baseline, and pain level was 3.5. Stepwise regression analysis of 10 independent variables indicated significant relationships between ASIA motor score at follow-up and admission ASIA motor score (p = 0.003), MCC (p = 0.02), and midsagittal diameter (p = 0.02); FIM and admission ASIA motor score (p = 0.03), MCC (p = 0.02), and age (p = 0.02); manual dexterity and admission ASIA motor score (p = 0.0002) and length of parenchymal damage on T2-weighted MR imaging (p = 0.002); and pain level and age (p = 0.02) and length of parenchymal lesion on T2-weighted MR imaging (p = 0.04).

Conclusions

The main indicators of long-term ASIA motor score, FIM, manual dexterity, and dysesthetic pain were admission ASIA motor score, midsagittal diameter, MCC, length of parenchymal damage on T2-weighted MR imaging, and age, but different domains of outcome were determined by different predictors.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010

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Anthony A. Figaji, A. Graham Fieggen and Jonathan C. Peter

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M. Sean Grady

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Bizhan Aarabi, Dale C. Hesdorffer, Edward S. Ahn, Carla Aresco, Thomas M. Scalea and Howard M. Eisenberg

Object

The aim of this study was to assess outcome following decompressive craniectomy for malignant brain swelling due to closed traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Methods

During a 48-month period (March 2000–March 2004), 50 of 967 consecutive patients with closed TBI experienced diffuse brain swelling and underwent decompressive craniectomy, without removal of clots or contusion, to control intracranial pressure (ICP) or to reverse dangerous brain shifts. Diffuse injury was demonstrated in 44 patients, an evacuated mass lesion in four in whom decompressive craniectomy had been performed as a separate procedure, and a nonevacuated mass lesion in two. Decompressive craniectomy was performed urgently in 10 patients before ICP monitoring; in 40 patients the procedure was performed after ICP had become unresponsive to conventional medical management as outlined in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons guidelines. Survivors were followed up for at least 3 months posttreatment to determine their Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score.

Decompressive craniectomy lowered ICP to less than 20 mm Hg in 85% of patients. In the 40 patients who had undergone ICP monitoring before decompression, ICP decreased from a mean of 23.9 to 14.4 mm Hg (p < 0.001). Fourteen of 50 patients died, and 16 either remained in a vegetative state (seven patients) or were severely disabled (nine patients). Twenty patients had a good outcome (GOS Score 4–5). Among 30-day survivors, good outcome occurred in 17, 67, and 67% of patients with postresuscitation Glasgow Coma Scale scores of 3 to 5, 6 to 8, and 9 to 15, respectively (p < 0.05). Outcome was unaffected by abnormal pupillary response to light, timing of decompressive craniectomy, brain shift as demonstrated on computerized tomography scanning, and patient age, possibly because of the small number of patients in each of the subsets. Complications included hydrocephalus (five patients), hemorrhagic swelling ipsilateral to the craniectomy site (eight patients), and subdural hygroma (25 patients).

Conclusions

Decompressive craniectomy was associated with a better-than-expected functional outcome in patients with medically uncontrollable ICP and/or brain herniation, compared with outcomes in other control cohorts reported on in the literature.