Lawrence F. Marshall
Jay Jagannathan, David O. Okonkwo, Hian Kwang Yeoh, Aaron S. Dumont, Dwight Saulle, Julie Haizlip, Jeffrey T. Barth, John A. Jane Sr. and John A. Jane Jr.
The management strategies and outcomes in pediatric patients with elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) following severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) are examined in this study.
This study was a retrospective review of a prospectively acquired pediatric trauma database. More than 750 pediatric patients with brain injury were seen over a 10-year period. Records were retrospectively reviewed to determine interventions for correcting ICP, and surviving patients were contacted prospectively to determine functional status and quality of life. Only patients with 2 years of follow-up were included in the study.
Ninety-six pediatric patients (age range 3–18 years) were identified with a Glasgow Coma Scale score < 8 and elevated ICP > 20 mm Hg on presentation. The mean injury severity score was 65 (range 30–100). All patients were treated using a standardized head injury protocol. The mean time course until peak ICP was 69 hours postinjury (range 2–196 hours). Intracranial pressure control was achieved in 82 patients (85%). Methods employed to achieve ICP control included maximal medical therapy (sedation, hyperosmolar therapy, and paralysis) in 34 patients (35%), ventriculostomy in 23 patients (24%), and surgery in 39 patients (41%). Fourteen patients (15%) had refractory ICP despite all interventions, and all of these patients died. Seventy-two patients (75%) were discharged from the hospital, whereas 24 (25%) died during hospitalization. Univariate and multivariate analysis revealed that the presence of vascular injury, refractory ICP, and cisternal effacement at presentation had the highest correlation with subsequent death (p < 0.05). Mean follow-up was 53 months (range 11–126 months). Three patients died during the follow-up period (2 due to infections and 1 committed suicide). The mean 2-year Glasgow Outcome Scale score was 4 (median 4, range 1–5). The mean patient competency rating at follow-up was 4.13 out of 5 (median 4.5, range 1–4.8). Univariate analysis revealed that the extent of intracranial and systemic injuries had the highest correlation with long-term quality of life (p < 0.05).
Controlling elevated ICP is an important factor in patient survival following severe pediatric TBI. The modality used for ICP control appears to be less important. Long-term follow-up is essential to determine neurocognitive sequelae associated with TBI.
Jay Jagannathan, David O. Okonkwo, Aaron S. Dumont, Hazem Ahmed, Abbas Bahari, Daniel M. Prevedello, John A. Jane Sr. and John A. Jane Jr.
The authors examine the indications for and outcomes following decompressive craniectomy in a single-center pediatric patient population with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
A retrospective review of data was performed using a prospectively acquired database of patients who underwent decompressive craniectomy at the authors' institution between January 1995 and April 2006. The patients' neuroimages were examined to evaluate the extent of intracranial injury, and the patients' records were reviewed to determine the admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, the extent of systemic injuries, the time to craniectomy, and the indications for craniectomy. Long-term functional outcome and independence levels were evaluated using the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) and a Likert patient quality-of-life rating scale.
Twenty-three craniectomies were performed in children during the study period. The mean patient age at craniectomy was 11.9 years (range 2–19 years). In all patients, the computed tomography scans obtained at presentation revealed pathological findings, with diffuse axonal injury and traumatic contusions being the most common abnormalities. The median presenting GCS score was 4.6 (range 3–9). Nineteen patients (83%) suffered from other systemic injuries. One patient (4%) died intraoperatively and six patients (26%) died postoperatively. Postoperative intracranial pressure (ICP) control was obtained in 19 patients (83%); an ICP greater than 20 mm Hg was found to have the strongest correlation with subsequent brain death (p = 0.001). The mean follow-up duration was 63 months (range 11–126 months, median 49 months). The mean GOS score at the 2-year follow-up examination was 4.2 (median 5). At the most recent follow-up examination, 13 (81%) of 16 survivors had returned to school and only three survivors (18%) were dependent on caregivers.
Although the mortality rate for children with severe TBI remains high, decompressive craniectomy is effective in reducing ICP and is associated with good outcomes in surviving patients.