Judith Marcoux, Daniel ROY and Michel W. Bojanowski
Alexander Winkler-Schwartz, José A. Correa and Judith Marcoux
Clival fracture (CF) is rare among head traumas. The aim of this study was to explore how radiological features observed in CF reflect the clinical picture and mechanism of injury in such cases.
Radiological data for patients with skull base fracture admitted to the Montreal General Hospital between February 2002 and October 2012 were obtained from the Quebec Trauma Registry and reviewed for CF. Identified CF was categorized by orientation and quality. Injury mechanism, clinical presentation, and follow-up outcome were obtained through retrospective chart review.
Of the 1738 patients with skull base fractures, 65 exhibited CF, representing 1.2% of the 5416 patients with traumatic brain injuries admitted during the period studied. Thirty-nine (60%) of the 65 CFs were obliquely oriented, 17 (26.2%) were longitudinal, and 9 (14%) were transverse. Twenty-nine (45%) of the 65 patients demonstrated linear fracture, 17 (26%) hairline, 10 (15%) diastatic, and 9 (14%) displaced. Cranial nerve deficits and vascular injury occurred in 13.8% and 7.7% of cases, respectively. Twenty-five patients (38.5%) died in hospital. The long-term Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale score was significantly lower in transverse compared with longitudinal and oblique fractures (p = 0.03 and 0.03, respectively) and lower in diastatic compared with displaced fractures (p = 0.05).
This study provides information on the largest CF population studied to date, expands the current CF classification to include fracture quality as well as orientation, and underscores the existence of significant differences in pathogenesis and clinical presentation of CF subtypes.
Tugay Atalay and Hakan Ak
Judith Marcoux, David Bracco and Rajeet S. Saluja
The Brain Trauma Foundation recommendation regarding the timing of surgical evacuation of epidural hematomas and subdural hematomas is to perform the procedure as soon as possible. Indeed, faster evacuation is associated with better outcome. However, to the authors' knowledge, no study has looked at where delays in intrahospital care occurred for patients suffering from traumatic intracranial mass lesions. The goals of this study were as follows: 1) to characterize the performance of a Level 1 trauma center in terms of delays for emergency trauma craniotomies, 2) to review step by step where delays occurred in patient care, and 3) to propose ways to improve performance.
A retrospective review was conducted covering a 5-year period of all emergency trauma craniotomies. Demographic data, injury severity, neurological status, and functional outcome data were collected. The time elapsed between emergency department (ED) arrival and CT imaging, between CT imaging and arrival at the operating room (OR), between ED arrival and OR arrival, between OR arrival and skin incision, and between ED arrival and skin incision were calculated. Patients were also subcategorized as either having immediate life-threatening emergencies (E0) or life-threatening emergencies (E1). The operative technique was also reviewed (standard craniotomy opening vs immediate bur hole decompression followed by craniotomy).
The study included 166 patients. Of these, 58 (35%) were classified into the E0 group and 108 (64.2%) into the E1 group. The median ED-to-CT delay was 54 minutes with no significant difference between the E0 and the E1 groups. The median CT-to-OR time delay was 57 minutes. The median delay for the E0 group was 39 minutes and that for the E1 group was 70 minutes (p = 0.002). The median delay from ED to OR arrival for patients with a CT scanning done at an outside hospital was 75 minutes. The median delay from ED to OR arrival was 85 minutes for the E0 group and 127 minutes for the E1 group (p < 0.0001). The median delay from OR arrival to skin incision was 35 minutes (E0: median 27 minutes; E1: median 39 minutes; p < 0.0001). The median total time elapsed between ED arrival and skin incision was 150 minutes (E0: median 131 minutes; E1: median 180 minutes). Overall, only 17% of patients underwent immediate bur hole decompression, but the proportion climbed to 41% in the E0 group. A lower Glasgow Coma Scale score was associated with a shorter delay (p = 0.0004).
A long delay until surgery still exists for patients requiring urgent mass lesion evacuation. Many factors contribute to this delay, including performing imaging and transfer to and preparation in the OR. Strategies can be implemented to reduce delays and improve the delivery of care.
Paul Bajsarowicz, Ipshita Prakash, Julie Lamoureux, Rajeet Singh Saluja, Mitra Feyz, Mohammad Maleki and Judith Marcoux
The Brain Trauma Foundation has published guidelines on the surgical management of traumatic subdural hematoma (SDH). However, no data exist on the proportion of patients with SDH that can be selected for conservative management and what is the outcome of these patients. The goals of this study were as follows: 1) to establish what proportion of patients are initially treated conservatively; 2) to determine what proportion of patients will deteriorate and require surgical evacuation; and 3) to identify risk factors associated with deterioration and delayed surgery.
All cases of acute traumatic SDH (869 when inclusion criteria were met) presenting over a 4-year period were reviewed. For all conservatively treated SDH, the proportion of delayed surgical intervention and the Glasgow Outcome Scale score were taken as outcome measures. Multiple factors were compared between patients who required delayed surgery and patients without surgery.
Of the 869 patients with acute traumatic SDH, 646 (74.3%) were initially treated conservatively. A good outcome was achieved in 76.7% of the patients. Only 6.5% eventually required delayed surgery, and the median delay for surgery was 9.5 days. Factors associated with deterioration were as follows: 1) thicker SDH (p < 0.001); 2) greater midline shift (p < 0.001); 3) location at the convexity (p = 0.001); 4) alcohol abuse (p = 0.0260); and 5) history of falls (p = 0.018). There was no significant difference in regard to age, sex, Glasgow Coma Scale score, Injury Severity Score, abnormal coagulation, use of blood thinners, and presence of cerebral atrophy or white matter disease.
The majority of patients with SDH are treated conservatively. Of those, only 6.5% later required surgery, for raised intracranial pressure or SDH progression. Patients at risk can be identified and followed more carefully.
Pasquale Scotti, Chantal Séguin, Benjamin W. Y. Lo, Elaine de Guise, Jean-Marc Troquet and Judith Marcoux
Among the elderly, use of antithrombotics (ATs), antiplatelets (APs; aspirin, clopidogrel), and/or anticoagulants (ACs; warfarin, direct oral ACs [DOACs; dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban]) to prevent thromboembolic events must be carefully weighed against the risk of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) with trauma. The goal of this study was to assess the risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI), ICH, and poorer outcomes in relation to AT use among all patients 65 years or older presenting to a single institution with head trauma.
Data were collected from all head trauma patients 65 years or older presenting to the authors’ supraregional tertiary trauma center over a 24-month period and included age, sex, injury mechanism, medical history, international normalized ratio, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, ICH presence and type, hospital admission, reversal therapy, surgery, discharge destination, Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSE) score at discharge, and mortality.
A total of 1365 head trauma patients 65 years or older were included; 724 were on AT therapy (413 on APs, 151 on ACs, 59 on DOACs, 48 on 2 APs, 38 on AP+AC, and 15 on AP+DOAC) and 641 were not. Among all head trauma patients, the risk of sustaining a TBI was associated with AP use after adjusting for covariates. Of the 731 TBI patients, those using ATs had higher rates of ICH (p <0.0001), functional dependency at discharge (GOSE score ≤ 4; p < 0.0001), and mortality (p < 0.0001). Elevated rates of ICH progression on follow-up CT scanning were observed in patients in the warfarin monotherapy (OR 5.30, p < 0.0001) and warfarin + AP (OR 6.15, p = 0.0011). Risk of mortality was not associated with single antiplatelet use but was notably high with 2 APs (OR 4.66, p = 0.0056), warfarin (OR 5.18, p = 0.0003), and DOAC use (OR 5.09, p = 0.0149).
Elderly trauma patients on ATs, especially combination therapy, are at elevated risk of ICH and poor outcomes compared with those not on AT therapy. While both AP and warfarin use alone and in combination were associated with significantly elevated odds of sustaining an ICH among TBI patients, only warfarin use was a predictor of hemorrhage progression on follow-up scans. The use of a single AP was not associated with mortality; however, the combination of both aspirin and clopidogrel was. Warfarin and DOAC users had comparable mortality rates; however, DOAC users had lower rates of ICH progression, and fewer survivors were functionally dependent at discharge than were warfarin users. DOACs are an overall safer alternative to warfarin for patients at high risk of falls.