Comparison of Clinical Performance of Cranial Computed Tomography Rules in Patients With Minor Head Injury: A Multicenter Prospective Study

Department of Emergency Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.
Academic Emergency Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.01). 06/2011; 18(6):597-604. DOI: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01094.x
Source: PubMed


The objective was to compare the predictive performance of three previously derived cranial computed tomography (CT) rules, the Canadian CT Head Rule (CCHR), the New Orleans Criteria (NOC), and National Emergency X-Ray Utilization Study (NEXUS)-II, for detecting clinically important traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the need for neurosurgical intervention in patients with blunt head trauma.
This was a prospective, multicenter, observational cohort study of patients with blunt head trauma from June 2008 to May 2009. The historical and physical examination components of the CCHR, NOC, and NEXUS-II were documented on a data collection form and the performance of each of the three rules was compared. Patient eligibility for each specific rule was defined exactly as previously described for each specific rule. To compare the three decision rules in terms of sensitivity and specificity, an intersection cohort satisfying inclusion criteria of all three decision rules was derived. The primary outcome was clinically important TBI, and the secondary outcome was neurosurgical intervention. The sensitivity and specificity of each rule were calculated with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). We also calculated the potential reduction rate in cranial CT scan utilization realized by theoretical implementation of these rules.
A total of 7,131 patients were prospectively enrolled, including 692 (9.7%) with clinical TBI. Among the enrolled population, patients eligible for CCHR, NOC, and NEXUS-II totaled 696, 677, and 2,951, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity for clinically important brain injury were as follows: CCHR, 112 of 144 (79.2%, 95% CI = 70.8% to 86.0%) and 228 of 552 (41.3%, 95% CI = 37.3% to 45.5%); NOC, 91 of 99 (91.9%, 95% CI = 84.7% to 96.5%) and 125 of 558 (22.4%, 95% CI = 19.0% to 26.1%); and NEXUS-II, 511 of 576 (88.7%, 95% CI = 85.8% to 91.2%) and 1,104 of 2,375 (46.5%, 95% CI = 44.5% to 48.5%). The sensitivity and specificity for neurosurgical intervention were as follows: CCHR, 100% (95% CI = 59.0% to 100.0%) and 38.3% (95% CI = 34.5% to 41.9%); NOC, 100% (95% CI = 54.1% to 100.0%) and 20.4% (95% CI = 17.4% to 23.7%); and NEXUS-II, 95.1% (95% CI = 90.1% to 98.0%) and 41.4% (95% CI = 39.5% to 43.2%). Among the enrolled population, intersection patients of CCHR, NOC, and NEXUS-II totaled 588. The sensitivity and specificity for clinically important brain injury were as follows: CCHR, 73 of 98 (74.5%, 95% CI = 64.7% to 82.8%) and 201 of 490 (41.0%, 95% CI = 36.6% to 45.5%); NOC, 89 of 98 (90.8%, 95% CI = 83.3% to 95.7%) and 112 of 490 (22.9%, 95% CI = 19.2% to 26.8%); and NEXUS-II, 82 of 98 (83.7%, 95% CI = 74.8% to 90.4%) and 172 of 490 (35.1%, 95% CI = 30.9% to 39.5%). The potential reduction in emergency CT scans by using these decision rules would have been higher with the NEXUS-II rule (39.6%, 95% CI = 37.8% to 41.4%) than with the CCHR rule (27.0%, 95% CI = 23.7% to 30.3%) or NOC rule (20.2%, 95% CI = 17.2% to 23.3%).
For clinically important TBI, the three cranial CT decision rules had much lower sensitivities in this population than the original published studies, while the specificities were comparable to those studies. The sensitivities for neurosurgical intervention, however, were comparable to the original studies. The NEXUS-II rule showed the highest reduction rate for CT scans compared to other rules, but failed to identify all undergoing neurosurgical intervention for their original inclusion cohort.

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Available from: Ki Ok Ahn, Nov 21, 2014
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    • "Please cite this article as: Ayaz SI, et al, Comparison of quantitative electroencephalogram to current clinical decision rules for head computed tomography use in acute mild traumatic brain injury in the ED, Am J Emerg Med (2015), high sensitivities and comparable lower specificities [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]. Table 1 highlights the results of some of these external validation studies. "
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    ABSTRACT: We compared the performance of a handheld quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG) acquisition device to New Orleans Criteria (NOC), Canadian CT Head Rule (CCHR), and National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Study II (NEXUS II) Rule in predicting intracranial lesions on head computed tomography (CT) in acute mild traumatic brain injury in the emergency department (ED). Patients between 18 and 80 years of age who presented to the ED with acute blunt head trauma were enrolled in this prospective observational study at 2 urban academic EDs in Detroit, MI. Data were collected for 10 minutes from frontal leads to determine a QEEG discriminant score that could maximally classify intracranial lesions on head CT. One hundred fifty-two patients were enrolled from July 2012 to February 2013. A total 17.1% had acute traumatic intracranial lesions on head CT. Quantitative electroencephalogram discriminant score of greater than or equal to 31 was found to be a good cutoff (area under receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76-0.93) to classify patients with positive head CT. The sensitivity of QEEG discriminant score was 92.3 (95% CI, 73.4-98.6), whereas the specificity was 57.1 (95% CI, 48.0-65.8). The sensitivity and specificity of the decision rules were as follows: NOC 96.1 (95% CI, 78.4-99.7) and 15.8 (95% CI, 10.1-23.6); CCHR 46.1 (95% CI, 27.1-66.2) and 86.5 (95% CI, 78.9-91.7); NEXUS II 96.1 (95% CI, 78.4-99.7) and 31.7 (95% CI, 23.9-40.7). At a sensitivity of greater than 90%, QEEG discriminant score had better specificity than NOC and NEXUS II. Only CCHR had better specificity than QEEG discriminant score but at the cost of low (<50%) sensitivity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · American Journal of Emergency Medicine
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    • "The only superiority of NOC in our study was the sensitivity with 88.2% while it was 76.4% in CCHR. Many prior studies also found the sensitivity of NOC higher than the sensitivity of CCHR [13,16]. Smits et al. tried to explain this difference in sensitivities for neurocranial traumatic CT findings between the 2 decision rules with more stringent use of the risk factor of external injury in the CCHR. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: The aim of the study was to compare the New Orleans Criteria and the New Orleans Criteria according to their diagnostic performance in patients with mild head injury. The study was designed and conducted prospectively after obtaining ethics committee approval. Data was collected prospectively for patients presenting to the ED with Minor Head Injury. After clinical assessment, a standard CT scan of the head was performed in patients having at least one of the risk factors stated in one of the two clinical decision rules Patients with positive traumatic head injury according to BT results defined as Group 1 and those who had no intracranial injury defined as Group 2. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS 11.00 for Windows. ROC analyze was performed to determine the effectiveness of detecting intracranial injury with both decision rules. p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant RESULTS: 175 patients enrolled the study. Male to female ratio was 1.5. The mean age of the patients was 45 +/- 21,3 in group 1 and 49 +/- 20,6 in group 2. The most common mechanism of trauma was falling. The sensitivity and specificity of CCHR were respectively 76.4% and 41.7%, whereas sensitivity and specificity of NOC were 88.2% and 6.9%. The CCHR has higher specificity, PPV and NPV for important clinical outcomes than does the NOC.
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    ABSTRACT: Head trauma is one of the most frequent disabling diseases, with annual incidence of approximately 250-600 patients per 100,000, and mortality of 17 cases per 100,000. The mild head injury is nearly 15 times more frequent than the moderate, and more than 20 times than the severe. Although there are still contradictions regarding the clinical significance of the term "head injury", it can not be considered synonymous with traumatic brain injury. The main challenge in the diagnosis lies in the fact that severe intracranial lesions are often associated with mild head injury, especially in the presence of specific risk factors. Despite the diagnostic gold standard is represented by computed tomography (CT), its systematic performance in all patients is unadvisable for limited prevalence of positivity, radiological risk, high cost and complexity. Several potential biomarkers have been proposed for the screening of patients, but protein S100B seems now the most promising for some clinical and analytical considerations. After performing a meta-analysis of clinical trials in patients with mild head injury, we calculated a cumulative area under the curve of 0.753 (95% CI, 0.752-0.754), a negative predictive value of 97.7% (95% CI, 97.5-97.8 %) and positive predictive value of 23.6% (95% CI, 23.2-24.0%) for brain injury. We therefore developed a diagnostic algorithm based on the preliminary assessment of the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). Patients with GCS <14 are subjected to CT, those with values GCS 14-15 without risk factors are discharged, whereas protein S100B is assessed stat in those with GCS 14-15 and the presence of risk factors. According to the value of the marker, patients with a concentration below the diagnostic cut-offs are discharged, whereas CT is performed in those with higher concentrations. By combining the percentage of positive CT scans in patients with mild head trauma and the negative predictive value of protein S100B, this protocol would safely abate unnecessary CT by 30-50% and costs by 28%.
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