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Aziz S. Alali, Nancy Temkin, Monica S. Vavilala, Abhijit V. Lele, Jason Barber, Sureyya Dikmen, and Randall M. Chesnut

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between early arterial oxygenation thresholds and long-term outcome after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

METHODS

In a post hoc analysis of a randomized trial, adults with severe TBI were classified based on exposure to different levels of arterial oxygenation as measured using the average of arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) values obtained within 24 hours of admission. Potentially important PaO2 thresholds were defined a priori. The primary outcome was Glasgow Outcome Scale–Extended (GOSE) score at 6 months. Secondary outcomes were cognitive outcomes measured using a battery of 9 neuropsychological tests administered at 6 months, and 6-month mortality.

RESULTS

In adjusted analyses, oxygenation thresholds of 150 and 200 mm Hg were associated with better functional outcome at 6 months (adjusted OR for better functional outcome on GOSE 1.82 [95% CI 1.12–2.94] and 1.59 [95% CI 1.06–2.37], respectively) and improved cognitive outcome at 6 months (adjusted beta coefficients for better cognitive percentile across 9 neuropsychological tests: 6.9 [95% CI 1.3–12.5] and 6.8 [95% CI 2.4–11.3], respectively). There was no significant association between oxygenation level and 6-month mortality except at a PaO2 threshold of 200 mm Hg (OR for death 0.36, 95% CI 0.18–0.71). Higher or lower oxygenation thresholds were not associated with functional or cognitive outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

In this observational study, the relationship between early arterial oxygenation and long-term functional and cognitive TBI outcomes appears to be U-shaped. Mild levels of hyperoxemia within the first 24 hours after injury were associated with better long-term functional and cognitive outcomes. These findings highlight the importance of examining balanced oxygen supplementation as a potential strategy to improve TBI outcomes in future research.

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Robert H. Bonow, Cordelie E. Witt, Mahmud Mossa-Basha, Joseph Cuschieri, Saman Arbabi, Monica S. Vavilala, Frederick P. Rivara, and Randall M. Chesnut

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to compare the odds of stroke 24 hours or more after hospital arrival among patients with blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) who were treated with therapeutic anticoagulation versus aspirin.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study at a regional level I trauma center including all patients with BCVI who were treated over a span of 10 years. Individuals with stroke on arrival or within the first 24 hours were excluded, as were those receiving alternative antithrombotic drugs or procedural treatment. Exact logistic regression was used to examine the association between treatment and stroke, adjusting for injury grade. To account for the possibility of residual confounding, propensity scores for the likelihood of receiving anticoagulation were determined and used to match patients from each treatment group; the difference in the probability of stroke between the two groups was then calculated.

RESULTS

A total of 677 patients with BCVI receiving aspirin or anticoagulation were identified. A total of 3.8% (n = 23) of 600 patients treated with aspirin sustained a stroke, compared to 11.7% (n = 9) of 77 receiving anticoagulation. After adjusting for injury grade with exact regression, anticoagulation was associated with higher likelihood of stroke (OR 3.01, 95% CI 1.00–8.21). In the propensity-matched analysis, patients who received anticoagulation had a 15.0% (95% CI 3.7%–26.3%) higher probability of sustaining a stroke compared to those receiving aspirin.

CONCLUSIONS

Therapeutic anticoagulation may be inferior to aspirin for stroke prevention in BCVI. Prospective research is warranted to definitively compare these treatment strategies.

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Paige J. Ostahowski, Nithya Kannan, Mark S. Wainwright, Qian Qiu, Richard B. Mink, Jonathan I. Groner, Michael J. Bell, Christopher C. Giza, Douglas F. Zatzick, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Linda Ng Boyle, Pamela H. Mitchell, Monica S. Vavilala, and for the PEGASUS (Pediatric Guideline Adherence and Outcomes) Study

OBJECTIVE

Posttraumatic seizure is a major complication following traumatic brain injury (TBI). The aim of this study was to determine the variation in seizure prophylaxis in select pediatric trauma centers. The authors hypothesized that there would be wide variation in seizure prophylaxis selection and use, within and between pediatric trauma centers.

METHODS

In this retrospective multicenter cohort study including 5 regional pediatric trauma centers affiliated with academic medical centers, the authors examined data from 236 children (age < 18 years) with severe TBI (admission Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤ 8, ICD-9 diagnosis codes of 800.0–801.9, 803.0–804.9, 850.0–854.1, 959.01, 950.1–950.3, 995.55, maximum head Abbreviated Injury Scale score ≥ 3) who received tracheal intubation for ≥ 48 hours in the ICU between 2007 and 2011.

RESULTS

Of 236 patients, 187 (79%) received seizure prophylaxis. In 2 of the 5 centers, 100% of the patients received seizure prophylaxis medication. Use of seizure prophylaxis was associated with younger patient age (p < 0.001), inflicted TBI (p < 0.001), subdural hematoma (p = 0.02), cerebral infarction (p < 0.001), and use of electroencephalography (p = 0.023), but not higher Injury Severity Score. In 63% cases in which seizure prophylaxis was used, the patients were given the first medication within 24 hours of injury, and 50% of the patients received the first dose in the prehospital or emergency department setting. Initial seizure prophylaxis was most commonly with fosphenytoin (47%), followed by phenytoin (40%).

CONCLUSIONS

While fosphenytoin was the most commonly used medication for seizure prophylaxis, there was large variation within and between trauma centers with respect to timing and choice of seizure prophylaxis in severe pediatric TBI. The heterogeneity in seizure prophylaxis use may explain the previously observed lack of relationship between seizure prophylaxis and outcomes.