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Aurore Sellier, Nathan Beucler, Christophe Joubert, Nicolas Desse, and Arnaud Dagain

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Nathan Beucler, Aurore Sellier, Nicolas Desse, Christophe Joubert, and Arnaud Dagain

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Arnaud Dagain, Olivier Aoun, Aurore Sellier, Nicolas Desse, Christophe Joubert, Nathan Beucler, Cédric Bernard, Mathilde Fouet, Jean-Marc Delmas, and Renaud Dulou

This article aims to describe the French concept regarding combat casualty neurosurgical care from the theater of operations to a homeland hospital. French military neurosurgeons are not routinely deployed to all combat zones. As a consequence, general surgeons initially treat neurosurgical wounds. The principle of this medical support is based on damage control. It is aimed at controlling intracranial hypertension spikes when neuromonitoring is lacking in resource-limited settings. Neurosurgical damage control permits a medevac that is as safe as can be expected from a conflict zone to a homeland medical treatment facility. French military neurosurgeons can occasionally be deployed within an airborne team to treat a military casualty or to complete a neurosurgical procedure performed by a general surgeon in theaters of operation. All surgeons regardless of their specialty must know neurosurgical damage control. General surgeons must undergo the required training in order for them to perform this neurosurgical technique.

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Pierre Esnault, Mickaël Cardinale, Henry Boret, Erwan D'Aranda, Ambroise Montcriol, Julien Bordes, Bertrand Prunet, Christophe Joubert, Arnaud Dagain, Philippe Goutorbe, Eric Kaiser, and Eric Meaudre

OBJECTIVE

Blunt cerebrovascular injuries (BCVIs) affect approximately 1% of patients with blunt trauma. An antithrombotic or anticoagulation therapy is recommended to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of neurovascular events. This treatment has to be carefully considered after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), due to the risk of intracranial hemorrhage expansion. Thus, the physician in charge of the patient is confronted with a hemorrhagic and ischemic risk. The main objective of this study was to determine the incidence of BCVI after severe TBI.

METHODS

The authors conducted a prospective, observational, single-center study including all patients with severe TBI admitted in the trauma center. Diagnosis of BCVI was performed using a 64-channel multidetector CT. Characteristics of the patients, CT scan results, and outcomes were collected. A multivariate logistic regression model was developed to determine the risk factors of BCVI. Patients in whom BCVI was diagnosed were treated with systemic anticoagulation.

RESULTS

In total, 228 patients with severe TBI who were treated over a period of 7 years were included. The incidence of BCVI was 9.2%. The main risk factors were as follows: motorcycle crash (OR 8.2, 95% CI 1.9–34.8), fracture involving the carotid canal (OR 11.7, 95% CI 1.7–80.9), cervical spine injury (OR 13.5, 95% CI 3.1–59.4), thoracic trauma (OR 7.3, 95% CI 1.1–51.2), and hepatic lesion (OR 13.3, 95% CI 2.1–84.5). Among survivors, 82% of patients with BCVI received systemic anticoagulation therapy, beginning at a median of Day 1.5. The overall stroke rate was 19%. One patient had an intracranial hemorrhagic complication.

CONCLUSIONS

Blunt cerebrovascular injuries are frequent after severe TBI (incidence 9.2%). The main risk factors are high-velocity lesions and injuries near cervical arteries.