Traumatic brain injury patients are susceptible to secondary insults to the injured brain. A retrospective cohort study was conducted to describe the occurrence of secondary insults in 63 combat casualties with severe isolated traumatic brain injury who were transported by the U.S. Air Force Critical Care Air Transport Teams (CCATT) from 2003 through 2006. Data were obtained from the Wartime Critical Care Air Transport Database, which describes the patient's physiological state and care as they are transported across the continuum of care from the area of responsibility (Iraq/Afghanistan) to Germany and the United States. Fifty-three percent of the patients had at least one documented episode of a secondary insult. Hyperthermia was the most common secondary insult and was associated with severity of injury. The hyperthermia rate increased across the continuum, which has implications for en route targeted temperature management. Hypoxia occurred most frequently within the area of responsibility, but was rare during CCATT flights, suggesting that concerns for altitude-induced hypoxia may not be a major factor in the decision when to move a patient. Similar research is needed for polytrauma casualties and analysis of the association between physiological status and care across the continuum and long-term outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A bomb blast may cause the full severity range of traumatic brain injury (TBI), from mild concussion to severe, penetrating injury. The pathophysiology of blast-related TBI is distinctive, with injury magnitude dependent on several factors, including blast energy and distance from the blast epicentre. The prevalence of blast-related mild TBI in modern war zones has varied widely, but detection is optimised by battlefield assessment of concussion and follow-up screening of all personnel with potential concussive events. There is substantial overlap between post-concussive syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder, and blast-related mild TBI seems to increase the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-concussive syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain are a clinical triad in this patient group. Persistent impairment after blast-related mild TBI might be largely attributable to psychological factors, although a causative link between repeated mild TBIs caused by blasts and chronic traumatic encephalopathy has not been established. The application of advanced neuroimaging and the identification of specific molecular biomarkers in serum for diagnosis and prognosis are rapidly advancing, and might help to further categorise these injuries.
The Lancet Neurology 07/2013; 12(9). DOI:10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70161-3 · 21.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) contributes to a substantial number of deaths and cases of disability. Despite well-established experimental models and years of carefully conducted research, a clinical therapeutic breakthrough in TBI has lagged. This may be due, in part, to the discrepancies between commonly used experimental models and clinical scenarios.
Secondary insults, such as hypotension and hypoxemia, have been well demonstrated as powerful determinants of outcomes from TBI. Despite the frequency of secondary insults in patients with TBI, they are rarely incorporated into most existing models of TBI. This review focuses on the combined injury models, especially coupled with systemic secondary insults, and aims to provide a new view to guiding future research endeavors in this field.
A growing number of experimental models of TBI complicated by certain secondary insult have been gradually introduced and characterized. Correspondingly, the pathophysiological changes following combined injuries and the interactive effects of primary injury with secondary insults can be studied more in-depth.
A more complete understanding of the interactions between the injured brain and secondary insults represents a potentially fruitful avenue that may increase the likelihood of developing effective therapies. Experimental models of TBI should not only attempt to model the focal or diffuse changes resulting from external forces, but also integrate, when appropriate, secondary insults reminiscent of human situations.
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