Object. The aim of this study was to assess outcome following decompressive craniectomy for malignant brain swelling due to closed traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods. During a 48-month period (March 2000-March 2004), 50 of 967 consecutive patients with closed TBI experienced diffuse brain swelling and underwent decompressive craniectomy, without removal of clots or contusion, to control intracranial pressure (ICP) or to reverse dangerous brain shifts. Diffuse injury was demonstrated in 44 patients, an evacuated mass lesion in four in whom decompressive craniectomy had been performed as a separate procedure, and a nonevacuated mass lesion in two. Decompressive craniectomy was performed urgently in 10 patients before ICP monitoring; in 40 patients the procedure was performed after ICP had become unresponsive to conventional medical management as outlined in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons guidelines. Survivors were followed up for at least 3 months posttreatment to determine their Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score. Decompressive craniectomy lowered ICP to less than 20 mm Hg in 85% of patients. In the 40 patients who had undergone ICP monitoring before decompression, ICP decreased from a mean of 23.9 to 14.4 mm Hg (p < 0.001). Fourteen of 50 patients died, and 16 either remained in a vegetative state (seven patients) or were severely disabled (nine patients). Twenty patients had a good outcome (GOS Score 4-5). Among 30-day survivors, good outcome occurred in 17, 67, and 67% of patients with postresuscitation Glasgow Coma Scale scores of 3 to 5, 6 to 8, and 9 to 15, respectively (p < 0.05). Outcome was unaffected by abnormal pupillary response to light, timing of decompressive craniectomy, brain shift as demonstrated on computerized tomography scanning, and patient age, possibly because of the small number of patients in each of the subsets. Complications included hydrocephalus (five patients), hemorrhagic swelling ipsilateral to the craniectomy site (eight patients), and subdural hygroma (25 patients). Conclusions. Decompressive craniectomy was associated with a better-than-expected functional outcome in patients with medically uncontrollable ICP and/or brain herniation, compared with outcomes in other control cohorts reported on in the literature.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) involves significant damage of the brain parenchyma, and is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality after trauma. It is thus essential for all physicians involved in acute care medicine and surgery to have a thorough understanding of TBI. Management of the patient with TBI is a rapidly advancing field, characterized by an improved understanding of intracranial pathophysiology and decreasing overall mortality largely because of improved neurocritical and surgical care. This article summarizes the classification system, management approaches, and recent controversies in the care of mild, moderate, and severe TBI.
Surgical Clinics of North America 08/2012; 92(4):939-57, ix. DOI:10.1016/j.suc.2012.04.005 · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Head trauma is one of the most challenging fields of traumatology and demands immediate attention and intervention by first-line clinicians. Symptoms can vary from victim to victim and according to the victim's age, leading to difficulties in making timely and accurate decisions at the point of care. In children, falls, accidents while playing, sports injuries, and abuse are the major causes of head trauma. Traffic accidents are the main cause of disability and death in adolescents and adults. Injury sites include facial bones, muscles, ligaments, vessels, joints, nerves, and focal or whole-brain injuries. Of particular importance are cranial and intracranial injuries. A closed injury occurs when the head suddenly and violently hits an object but the object does not break through the skull. A penetrating injury occurs when an object pierces the skull and affects the brain tissue. Early diagnosis and proper management are crucial to treat patients with potentially life-threatening head and neck trauma. In this review, we discuss the different cases of traumatic brain injury and summarize the current therapies and neuroprotective strategies as well as the related outcomes for children with traumatic brain injury.
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