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One-year costs of intensive care in pediatric patients with traumatic brain injury

Era D. Mikkonen, Markus B. Skrifvars, Matti Reinikainen, Stepani Bendel, Ruut Laitio, Sanna Hoppu, Tero Ala-Kokko, Atte Karppinen, and Rahul Raj

OBJECTIVE

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the pediatric population. The authors assessed 1-year costs of intensive care in pediatric TBI patients.

METHODS

In this retrospective multicenter cohort study of four academic ICUs in Finland, the authors used the Finnish Intensive Care Consortium database to identify children aged 0–17 years treated for TBI in ICUs between 2003 and 2013. The authors reviewed all patient health records and head CT scans for admission, treatment, and follow-up data. Patient outcomes included functional outcome (favorable outcome defined as a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 4–5) and death within 6 months. Costs included those for the index hospitalization, rehabilitation, and social security up to 1 year after injury. To assess costs, the authors calculated the effective cost per favorable outcome (ECPFO).

RESULTS

In total, 293 patients were included, of whom 61% had moderate to severe TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] score 3–12) and 40% were ≥ 13 years of age. Of all patients, 82% had a favorable outcome and 9% died within 6 months of injury. The mean cost per patient was €48,719 ($54,557) (95% CI €41,326–€56,112). The index hospitalization accounted for 66%, rehabilitation costs for 27%, and social security costs for 7% of total healthcare costs. The ECPFO was €59,727 ($66,884) (95% CI €52,335–€67,120). A higher ECPFO was observed among patients with clinical and treatment-related variables indicative of parenchymal swelling and high intracranial pressure. Lower ECPFO was observed among patients with higher admission GCS scores and those who had epidural hematomas.

CONCLUSIONS

Greater injury severity increases ECPFO and is associated with higher postdischarge costs in pediatric TBI patients. In this pediatric cohort, over two-thirds of all resources were spent on patients with favorable functional outcome, indicating appropriate resource allocation.

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Validation of prognostic models in intensive care unit–treated pediatric traumatic brain injury patients

Era D. Mikkonen, Markus B. Skrifvars, Matti Reinikainen, Stepani Bendel, Ruut Laitio, Sanna Hoppu, Tero Ala-Kokko, Atte Karppinen, and Rahul Raj

OBJECTIVE

There are few specific prognostic models specifically developed for the pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) population. In the present study, the authors tested the predictive performance of existing prognostic tools, originally developed for the adult TBI population, in pediatric TBI patients requiring stays in the ICU.

METHODS

The authors used the Finnish Intensive Care Consortium database to identify pediatric patients (< 18 years of age) treated in 4 academic ICUs in Finland between 2003 and 2013. They tested the predictive performance of 4 classification systems—the International Mission for Prognosis and Analysis of Clinical Trials (IMPACT) TBI model, the Helsinki CT score, the Rotterdam CT score, and the Marshall CT classification—by assessing the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and the explanatory variation (pseudo-R2 statistic). The primary outcome was 6-month functional outcome (favorable outcome defined as a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 4–5).

RESULTS

Overall, 341 patients (median age 14 years) were included; of these, 291 patients had primary head CT scans available. The IMPACT core-based model showed an AUC of 0.85 (95% CI 0.78–0.91) and a pseudo-R2 value of 0.40. Of the CT scoring systems, the Helsinki CT score displayed the highest performance (AUC 0.84, 95% CI 0.78–0.90; pseudo-R2 0.39) followed by the Rotterdam CT score (AUC 0.80, 95% CI 0.73–0.86; pseudo-R2 0.34).

CONCLUSIONS

Prognostic tools originally developed for the adult TBI population seemed to perform well in pediatric TBI. Of the tested CT scoring systems, the Helsinki CT score yielded the highest predictive value.

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Incidence and risk factors of posttraumatic hydrocephalus and its association with outcome following intensive care unit treatment for traumatic brain injury: a multicenter observational study

Matias Lindfors, Juho Vehviläinen, Stepani Bendel, Matti Reinikainen, Ruut Laitio, Tero Ala-Kokko, Sanna Hoppu, Jari Siironen, Markus B. Skrifvars, and Rahul Raj

OBJECTIVE

Posttraumatic hydrocephalus (PTH) is a recognized long-term complication of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The authors assessed the incidence and risk factors of PTH and its association with outcome in patients with TBI who were treated in the intensive care unit (ICU).

METHODS

The authors used the Finnish Intensive Care Consortium (FICC) database to retrospectively identify all adult patients with TBI treated in 4 Finnish tertiary ICUs during 2003–2013. All patients were followed up from hospital discharge to a diagnosis of PTH, death, or the end of 2016. PTH was defined as a need for a postdischarge ventriculoperitoneal or ventriculoatrial shunt. The authors collected data on shunt-insertion procedures, mortality, and disability status from nationwide registries cross-linked to the FICC database. The authors calculated the occurrence and incidence rates of PTH and used multivariable logistic regression modeling to determine risk factors for PTH and its association with outcome.

RESULTS

Sixty-one of 2882 patients (2.1%) developed PTH during a median follow-up time of 4.6 years, with a median of 102 days (interquartile range 54–220 days) between hospital discharge and PTH. Risk factors for PTH were increasing age (OR 1.02 per year, 95% CI 1.01–1.04); a midline shift of > 5 mm (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.01–3.48); traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (OR 3.59, 95% CI 1.79–7.21); external ventricular drainage (OR 3.54, 95% CI 1.68–7.46); and decompressive craniectomy (OR 3.68, 95% CI 1.37–9.88). PTH was independently associated with permanent disability after case-mix adjustment (OR 3.62, 95% CI 2.11–6.22).

CONCLUSIONS

PTH is an uncommon long-term complication of TBI, with several risk factors that are identifiable early during neurointensive care. The development of PTH is independently associated with poor functional outcome. Whether earlier detection and treatment of PTH leads to improved outcomes remains unknown, highlighting the importance of adequate follow-up and prompt detection and treatment of the condition.