Tugay Atalay and Hakan Ak
Judith Marcoux, David Bracco, and Rajeet S. Saluja
The Brain Trauma Foundation recommendation regarding the timing of surgical evacuation of epidural hematomas and subdural hematomas is to perform the procedure as soon as possible. Indeed, faster evacuation is associated with better outcome. However, to the authors' knowledge, no study has looked at where delays in intrahospital care occurred for patients suffering from traumatic intracranial mass lesions. The goals of this study were as follows: 1) to characterize the performance of a Level 1 trauma center in terms of delays for emergency trauma craniotomies, 2) to review step by step where delays occurred in patient care, and 3) to propose ways to improve performance.
A retrospective review was conducted covering a 5-year period of all emergency trauma craniotomies. Demographic data, injury severity, neurological status, and functional outcome data were collected. The time elapsed between emergency department (ED) arrival and CT imaging, between CT imaging and arrival at the operating room (OR), between ED arrival and OR arrival, between OR arrival and skin incision, and between ED arrival and skin incision were calculated. Patients were also subcategorized as either having immediate life-threatening emergencies (E0) or life-threatening emergencies (E1). The operative technique was also reviewed (standard craniotomy opening vs immediate bur hole decompression followed by craniotomy).
The study included 166 patients. Of these, 58 (35%) were classified into the E0 group and 108 (64.2%) into the E1 group. The median ED-to-CT delay was 54 minutes with no significant difference between the E0 and the E1 groups. The median CT-to-OR time delay was 57 minutes. The median delay for the E0 group was 39 minutes and that for the E1 group was 70 minutes (p = 0.002). The median delay from ED to OR arrival for patients with a CT scanning done at an outside hospital was 75 minutes. The median delay from ED to OR arrival was 85 minutes for the E0 group and 127 minutes for the E1 group (p < 0.0001). The median delay from OR arrival to skin incision was 35 minutes (E0: median 27 minutes; E1: median 39 minutes; p < 0.0001). The median total time elapsed between ED arrival and skin incision was 150 minutes (E0: median 131 minutes; E1: median 180 minutes). Overall, only 17% of patients underwent immediate bur hole decompression, but the proportion climbed to 41% in the E0 group. A lower Glasgow Coma Scale score was associated with a shorter delay (p = 0.0004).
A long delay until surgery still exists for patients requiring urgent mass lesion evacuation. Many factors contribute to this delay, including performing imaging and transfer to and preparation in the OR. Strategies can be implemented to reduce delays and improve the delivery of care.
Paul Bajsarowicz, Ipshita Prakash, Julie Lamoureux, Rajeet Singh Saluja, Mitra Feyz, Mohammad Maleki, and Judith Marcoux
The Brain Trauma Foundation has published guidelines on the surgical management of traumatic subdural hematoma (SDH). However, no data exist on the proportion of patients with SDH that can be selected for conservative management and what is the outcome of these patients. The goals of this study were as follows: 1) to establish what proportion of patients are initially treated conservatively; 2) to determine what proportion of patients will deteriorate and require surgical evacuation; and 3) to identify risk factors associated with deterioration and delayed surgery.
All cases of acute traumatic SDH (869 when inclusion criteria were met) presenting over a 4-year period were reviewed. For all conservatively treated SDH, the proportion of delayed surgical intervention and the Glasgow Outcome Scale score were taken as outcome measures. Multiple factors were compared between patients who required delayed surgery and patients without surgery.
Of the 869 patients with acute traumatic SDH, 646 (74.3%) were initially treated conservatively. A good outcome was achieved in 76.7% of the patients. Only 6.5% eventually required delayed surgery, and the median delay for surgery was 9.5 days. Factors associated with deterioration were as follows: 1) thicker SDH (p < 0.001); 2) greater midline shift (p < 0.001); 3) location at the convexity (p = 0.001); 4) alcohol abuse (p = 0.0260); and 5) history of falls (p = 0.018). There was no significant difference in regard to age, sex, Glasgow Coma Scale score, Injury Severity Score, abnormal coagulation, use of blood thinners, and presence of cerebral atrophy or white matter disease.
The majority of patients with SDH are treated conservatively. Of those, only 6.5% later required surgery, for raised intracranial pressure or SDH progression. Patients at risk can be identified and followed more carefully.
Roy W. R. Dudley, Michele Parolin, Bruno Gagnon, Rajeet Saluja, Rita Yap, Kathleen Montpetit, Joanne Ruck, Chantal Poulin, Marie-Andrée Cantin, Thierry E. Benaroch, and Jean-Pierre Farmer
Large-scale natural history studies of gross motor development have shown that children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) plateau during childhood and actually decline through adolescence. Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is a well-recognized treatment for spastic CP, but little is known about long-term outcomes of this treatment. The purpose of this study was to assess the durability of functional outcomes in a large number of patients through adolescence and into early adulthood using standardized assessment tools.
The authors analyzed long-term follow-up data in children who had been evaluated by a multidisciplinary team preoperatively and at 1, 5, 10, and 15 years after SDR. These evaluations included quantitative, standardized assessments of lower-limb tone (Ashworth Scale), Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM), and performance of activities of daily living (ADLs) by the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory in children who had been stratified by motor severity using the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). In addition, group-based trajectory modeling (GBTM) was used to identify any heterogeneity of response to SDR among these treated children, and to find which pretreatment variables might be associated with this heterogeneity. Finally, a chart review of adjunct orthopedic procedures required by these children following SDR was performed.
Of 102 patients who underwent preoperative evaluations, 97, 62, 57, and 14 patients completed postoperative assessments at 1, 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively. After SDR, through adolescence and into early adulthood, statistically significant durable improvements in lower-limb muscle tone, gross motor function, and performance of ADLs were found. When stratified by the GMFCS, long-lasting improvements for GMFCS Groups I, II, and III were found. The GBTM revealed 4 groups of patients who responded differently to SDR. This group assignment was associated with distribution of spasticity (diplegia was associated with better outcomes than triplegia or quadriplegia) and degree of hip adductor spasticity (Ashworth score < 3 was associated with better outcomes than a score of 3), but not with age, sex, degree of ankle plantar flexion spasticity, or degree of hamstring spasticity. In a sample of 88 patients who had complete records of orthopedic procedures and botulinum toxin (Botox) injections, 52 (59.1%) underwent SDR alone, 11 (12.5%) received only Botox injections in addition to SDR, while 25 patients (28.4%) needed further lower-extremity orthopedic surgery after SDR.
In the majority of patients, the benefits of SDR are durable through adolescence and into early adulthood. These benefits include improved muscle tone, gross motor function, and performance of ADLs, as well as a decreased need for adjunct orthopedic procedures or Botox injections. The children most likely to display these long-term benefits are those in GMFCS Groups I, II, and III, with spastic diplegia, less hip adductor spasticity, and preoperative GMFM scores greater than 60.