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Angela Bandte, Klaus Püschel and Kara Krajewski

OBJECTIVE

So-called low falls are gaining interest in traumatology. To date, there are no studies on low versus high falls in the pediatric population. The aim of the current analysis was to characterize the symptoms, diagnostics, and injuries associated with high versus low falls and to examine the effect of fall height on injuries and outcome in the context of current guideline-based recommendations.

METHODS

After obtaining study approval from the local ethics committee, the authors reviewed the data for patients ages 5–17 years who had been consecutively treated at either hospital associated with the University Medical Center Hamburg in the period from January 2009 to August 2014 for diagnoses including traumatic brain injury (TBI). Retrospective analysis of the electronic patient charts was performed to obtain data on demographics; accident mechanism; initial neurological status with respect to consciousness, symptoms, and Glasgow Coma Scale score; radiological studies; diagnoses; length of stay; all intracranial procedures; and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score.

RESULTS

Sixty-five fall-related TBIs among 380 patients were identified; 26 patients fell from a height of 3 m or more and 28 fell from a height under 3 m (height undocumented in 11 cases). Patients who fell from ≥ 3 m were 22 times more likely than those who fell from < 3 m to undergo spiral CT studies in the emergency room (p = 0.05). In addition, there was a 7.4 times greater chance of undergoing cranial CT (p = 0.02). There were significantly more noncerebral injuries requiring surgery in patients who fell from ≥ 3 m versus those who fell from < 3 m (p = 0.007). There was no difference in the frequency of neurosurgical procedures performed between low and high groups. Follow-up ranged from 0 to 92 months (mean 12.5 months, median 0 months). There was no significant difference in good (GOS score 4–5) and poor (GOS score 1–3) outcomes between high and low falls (p = 0.208).

CONCLUSIONS

Low falls can be associated with intracranial hemorrhages requiring ICU monitoring and/or surgery. The authors encourage intensive monitoring and CT scans based on clinical presentation, not on fall height.

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Caroline Gewiss, Christian Hagel and Kara Krajewski

OBJECTIVE

To shed light on the role of relaxin in cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) in adults and children, the authors investigated endothelial cell (EC) expression of relaxin 1, 2, and 3; vascular endothelial growth factor receptor–1 and –2 (VEGFR-1 and -2); Ki-67; vascular geometry; and hemorrhage, as well as the clinical presentation of 32 patients with surgically resected lesions.

METHODS

Paraffin-embedded sections of 32 CCMs and 5 normal nonvascular lesion control (NVLC) brain tissue samples were immunohistochemically stained with antibodies to relaxin 1, 2, and 3; angiogenesis growth factor receptors Flt-1 (VEGFR-1) and Flk-1 (VEGFR-2); and proliferation marker Ki-67. For morphometric analysis, Elastica van Gieson stain was used, and for hemorrhage demonstration, Turnbull stain was used. Data from the pediatric and adult CCMs were compared with each other and with those obtained from the NVLCs. Statistical analyses were performed with Fisher’s exact test, the chi-square test, the phi correlation coefficient, and the Student t-test. A p value < 0.05 was considered significant.

RESULTS

Pediatric and adult cavernoma vessels did not significantly differ in diameter. Hemorrhage was observed in CCMs but not in NVLC samples (p < 0.05). There was no difference in expression of Ki-67, VEGFR-1 and -2, and relaxin 1, 2, and 3 in the ECs of pediatric and adult CCMs. The ECs of CCMs were largely negative for relaxin 3 compared to NVLCs (p < 0.05), whereas CCMs, compared to control brain tissue samples, more frequently expressed Flt-1 and relaxin 2 (p < 0.05). Ki-67 was not expressed in the NVLCs, but the difference was not statistically significant. Relaxin 1 and 2 expression and increased expression of VEGFR-1 were associated with a supra- versus infratentorial location (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Relaxin 1 and 2 and VEGFR-1 play a role in supratentorial cavernomas. Relaxin 3 may play a physiological role in normal brain vasculature. Relaxin 1 and 3 are also found in normal cerebral vasculature. Relaxin 1, 2, and 3 are associated with increased VEGFR-1 expression.