Decompressive craniectomy in diffuse traumatic brain injury.

Department of Intensive Care, Alfred Hospital, Commercial Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia.
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 54.42). 03/2011; 364(16):1493-502. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1102077
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is unclear whether decompressive craniectomy improves the functional outcome in patients with severe traumatic brain injury and refractory raised intracranial pressure.
From December 2002 through April 2010, we randomly assigned 155 adults with severe diffuse traumatic brain injury and intracranial hypertension that was refractory to first-tier therapies to undergo either bifrontotemporoparietal decompressive craniectomy or standard care. The original primary outcome was an unfavorable outcome (a composite of death, vegetative state, or severe disability), as evaluated on the Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale 6 months after the injury. The final primary outcome was the score on the Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale at 6 months.
Patients in the craniectomy group, as compared with those in the standard-care group, had less time with intracranial pressures above the treatment threshold (P<0.001), fewer interventions for increased intracranial pressure (P<0.02 for all comparisons), and fewer days in the intensive care unit (ICU) (P<0.001). However, patients undergoing craniectomy had worse scores on the Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale than those receiving standard care (odds ratio for a worse score in the craniectomy group, 1.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05 to 3.24; P=0.03) and a greater risk of an unfavorable outcome (odds ratio, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.14 to 4.26; P=0.02). Rates of death at 6 months were similar in the craniectomy group (19%) and the standard-care group (18%).
In adults with severe diffuse traumatic brain injury and refractory intracranial hypertension, early bifrontotemporoparietal decompressive craniectomy decreased intracranial pressure and the length of stay in the ICU but was associated with more unfavorable outcomes. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and others; DECRA Australian Clinical Trials Registry number, ACTRN012605000009617.).

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Management of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is focused on preventing secondary brain injury. Remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) is an established treatment modality that has been shown to improve patient outcomes secondary to inflammatory insults. The aim of our study was to assess whether RIC in trauma patients with severe TBI could reduce secondary brain injury. This prospective consented interventional trial included all TBI patients admitted to our Level 1 trauma center with an intracranial hemorrhage and a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 8 or lower on admission. In each patient, four cycles of RIC were performed within 1 hour of admission. Each cycle consisted of 5 minutes of controlled upper limb (arm) ischemia followed by 5 minutes of reperfusion using a blood pressure cuff. Serum biomarkers of acute brain injury, S-100B, and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) were measured at 0, 6, and 24 hours. Outcome measure was reduction in the level of serum biomarkers after RIC. A total of 40 patients (RIC, 20; control, 20) were enrolled. The mean (SD) age was 46.15 (18.64) years, the median GCS score was 8 (interquartile range, 3-8), and the median head Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) score was 3 (interquartile range, 3-5), and there was no difference between the RIC and control groups in any of the baseline demographics or injury characteristics including the type and size of intracranial bleed or skull fracture patterns. There was no difference in the 0-hour S-100B (p = 0.9) and NSE (p = 0.72) level between the RIC and the control group. There was a significant reduction in the mean levels of S-100B (p = 0.01) and NSE (p = 0.04) at 6 hours and 24 hours in comparison with the 0-hour level in the RIC group. This study showed that RIC significantly decreased the standard biomarkers of acute brain injury in patients with severe TBI. Our study highlights the novel therapeutic role of RIC for preventing secondary brain insults in TBI patients. Prospective interventional study, level II.
    Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 03/2015; DOI:10.1097/TA.0000000000000584
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Moderate and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among young individuals in high-income countries. Its pathophysiology is divided into two major phases: the initial neuronal injury (or primary injury) followed by secondary insults (secondary injury). Multimodality monitoring now offers neurointensivists the ability to monitor multiple physiologic parameters that act as surrogates of brain ischemia and hypoxia, the major driving forces behind secondary brain injury. The heterogeneity of the pathophysiology of TBI makes it necessary to take into consideration these interacting physiologic factors when recommending for or against any therapies; it may also account for the failure of all the neuroprotective therapies studied so far. In this review, the authors focus on neuroclinicians and neurointensivists, and discuss the developments in therapeutic strategies aimed at optimizing intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure, and minimizing cerebral hypoxia. The management of moderate to severe TBI in the intensive care unit is moving away from a pure "threshold-based" treatment approach toward consideration of patient-specific characteristics, including the state of cerebral autoregulation. The authors also include a concise discussion on the management of medical and neurologic complications peculiar to TBI as well as an overview of prognostication. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most complex and diverse pathologic medical conditions. Each year, approximately 100,000 patients require neurosurgical evacuation of an intracranial hematoma in the United States. It is essential, early in the clinical course, to distinguish those patients with severe TBI who require operative intervention from those who can be managed with only conservative measures. The surgical technique employed is determined primarily by the specific underlying pathology in conjunction with the patient's other comorbidities. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 22, 2014