In an attempt to assess admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores and other radiographic variables after penetrating craniocerebral injury in relationship to outcome, the author evaluated a series of 294 patients with penetrating injuries who presented with a GCS score of 6 to 15 over a 6-year period. Entrance criteria required a replicable neurological examination that was not altered by the presence of hypotension, drugs/toxins, or systemic injury. All patients underwent surgical intervention and aggressive perioperative management, including resuscitative protocols, in the neurosurgical intensive care unit.
The author previously devised prospective models of outcome remained unchanged in this series. The variables most predictive of death include admission GCS score and subarachnoid hemorrhage in one model and admission GCS score and pupillary changes in a second when pupillary response was definitive at admission (p ≤ 0.00005). Other important variables related to morbidity include admission GCS, bihemispheric injury when associated with intraventricular hemorrhage, and diffuse fragmentation (p ≤ 0.001).
In this study a significant relationship between operative intervention and survival (p ≤ 0.01) was found in patients with an admission GCS scores of 6 to 8. No significant relationships between operative intervention and survival were found in patients with admission GCS scores of 9 to 12 and 13 to 15. A significant relationship between operative intervention and morbidity (p ≤ 0.01) was also demonstrated in patients with an admission GCS score of 12 to 15. No significant relationships between operative intervention and morbidity were found in patients with an admission GCS score of 6 to 8 and 9 to 12.