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Effect of intracranial pressure monitoring and targeted intensive care on functional outcome after severe head injury*

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Abstract

: Intracranial hypertension after severe head injury is associated with case fatality, but there is no sound evidence that monitoring of intracranial pressure (ICP) and targeted management of cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) improve outcome, despite widespread recommendation by experts in the field. The purpose was to determine the effect of ICP/CPP-targeted intensive care on functional outcome and therapy intensity levels after severe head injury. : Retrospective cohort study with prospective assessment of outcome. : Two level I trauma centers in The Netherlands from 1996 to 2001. : Three hundred thirty-three patients who had survived and remained comatose for >24 hrs, from a total of 685 consecutive severely head-injured adults. : In center A (supportive intensive care), mean arterial pressure was maintained at approximately 90 mm Hg, and therapeutic interventions were based on clinical observations and computed tomography findings. In center B (ICP/CPP-targeted intensive care), management was aimed at maintaining ICP <20 mm Hg and CPP >70 mm Hg. Allocation to either trauma center was solely based on the site of the accident. : We measured extended Glasgow Outcome Scale after >/=12 months. Patient characteristics were well balanced between the centers. ICP monitoring was used in zero of 122 (0%) and 142 of 211 (67%) patients in centers A and B, respectively. In-hospital mortality rate was 41 (34%) vs. 69 (33%; p = .87). The odds ratio for a more favorable functional outcome following ICP/CPP-targeted therapy was 0.95 (95% confidence interval, 0.62-1.44). This result remained after adjustment for potential confounders. Sedatives, vasopressors, mannitol, and barbiturates were much more frequently used in center B (all p < .01). The median number of days on ventilator support in survivors was 5 (25th-75th percentile, 2-9) in center A vs. 12 (7-19) in center B (p < .001). : ICP/CPP-targeted intensive care results in prolonged mechanical ventilation and increased levels of therapy intensity, without evidence for improved outcome in patients who survive beyond 24 hrs following severe head injury.

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... Invasive ICP monitoring devices have been developed throughout the 20th century and since then have become the gold standard method for this purpose, despite controversial results in some studies 5,6,[19][20][21] . However, due to its potential complications, such as infection, hemorrhage, and misplacement, numerous studies have been conducted in recent years aimed at developing several non-invasive techniques for estimation of ICP 9,22-24 . ...
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Background: Transcranial Doppler has been tested in the evaluation of cerebral hemodynamics as a non-invasive assessment of intracranial pressure (ICP), but there is controversy in the literature about its actual benefit and usefulness in this situation. Objective: To investigate cerebral blood flow assessed by Doppler technique and correlate with the variations of the ICP in the acute phase of intracranial hypertension in an animal model. Methods: An experimental animal model of intracranial hypertension was used. The experiment consisted of two groups of animals in which intracranial balloons were implanted and inflated with 4 mL (A) and 7 mL (B) for controlled simulation of different volumes of hematoma. The values of ICP and Doppler parameters (systolic [FVs], diastolic [FVd], and mean [FVm] cerebral blood flow velocities and pulsatility index [PI]) were collected during the entire procedure (before and during hematoma simulations and venous hypertonic saline infusion intervention). Comparisons between Doppler parameters and ICP monitoring were performed. Results: Twenty pigs were studied, 10 in group A and 10 in group B. A significant correlation between PI and ICP was obtained, especially shortly after abrupt elevation of ICP. There was no correlation between ICP and FVs, FVd or FVm separately. There was also no significant change in ICP after intravenous infusion of hypertonic saline solution. Conclusions: These results demonstrate the potential of PI as a parameter for the evaluation of patients with suspected ICP elevation.
... Cohort studies have delineated the association of ICP monitoring and better outcome [7,50,51]. However, retrospective reports have shown worsened survival, prolonged ventilation, and increased therapy intensity in patients with their ICPs being monitored [52,53]. A randomised controlled trial (BEST TRIP trial) comparing an ICP-based monitoring strategy with one reliant on imaging and clinical examination revealed no significant differences in primary outcome [54]. ...
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External ventricular drains (EVDs) are commonly used in neurosurgery in different conditions but frequently in the management of traumatic brain injury (TBI) to monitor and/or control intracranial pressure (ICP) by diverting cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Their clinical effectiveness, when used as a therapeutic ICP-lowering procedure in contemporary practice, remains unclear. No consensus has been reached regarding the drainage strategy and optimal timing of insertion. We review the literature on EVDs in the setting of TBI, discussing its clinical indications, surgical technique, complications, clinical outcomes, and economic considerations.
... A group from the Netherlands compared the outcomes of two level 1 trauma centers which had different practice patterns in TBI management; broadly one used ICP to guide therapy, whereas the other used CT scanning. 12 The centers were well balanced in terms of patient characteristics, with the ICP-guided group receiving more interventions than the other, without a demonstrable improvement in survival. ...
Article
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death after traumatic injury. Raised intracranial pressure (ICP) is particularly associated with poor TBI outcomes, prompting clinicians to monitor this parameter, using it to guide therapies aimed at reducing pressures. Despite this approach being recommended by several bodies such as the Brain Trauma Foundation and the American College of Surgeons, the evidence demonstrating that ICP-guided therapy improves outcome is limited. The topic was debated at the 36th Annual Point/Counterpoint Acute Care Surgery Conference and the following article summarizes the discussants points of view along with a summary of the evidence. Level of evidence Level III.
... Beim Behandlungserfolg gab es jedoch keinen Unterschied zwischen den beiden Zentren-Mortalität und Funktionsniveau der Überlebenden waren vergleichbar. Unterschiede gab es lediglich bei erapiekosten,-dauer und-intensität: Die ICP-basierte erapie war aufwändiger, teurer und verbrauchte mehr Ressourcen, ohne dass die Patienten messbar davon protierten [1]. ...
Article
Bei einem schweren Schädelhirntrauma wird in der Regel auch der Hirndruck überwacht. Diesen Aufwand kann man sich getrost sparen, lautet das Fazit einer großen Studie. Doch nicht jeder traut den Daten.
Article
Background: The Brain Trauma Foundation recommends intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Race is associated with worse outcomes following TBI. The reasons for racial disparities in clinical decision-making around ICP monitor placement remain unclear. Study Design: We queried the Trauma Quality Improvement Project (TQIP) database from 2017-2019 and included patients ≥16 years old, with blunt severe TBI, defined as a head AIS ≥3. Exclusion criteria was missing race, those without signs of life on admission, length of stay ≤1 day and AIS=6 in any body region. The primary outcome was probability of ICP-monitor placement which was calculated using a Poisson regression model with robust standard errors while adjusting for confounders. Results: A total of 260,814 patients were included: 218,939 White, 29,873 Black, 8,322 Asian, 2,884 American Indian, and 796 Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Asian and American Indian patients had the highest rates of midline shift (16.5% and 16.9%). Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders had the highest rates of neurosurgical intervention (19.3%) and ICP monitor placement (6.5%). Asian patients were found to be 19% more likely to receive ICP monitoring [adjusted IRR 1.19 (95%CI: 1.06-1.33), p=0.003], while American Indian patients were 38% less likely [adjusted IRR 0.62 (95%CI: 0.49-0.79), p<0.001], compared to White patients, respectively. No differences were detected between White and Black patients. Conclusion: ICP monitoring use differs by race. Further work is needed to elucidate modifiable causes of this difference in the management of severe TBI.
Article
Ensuring that patients with neurosurgical conditions have the best possible outcome requires early diagnosis, monitoring, and interventions to prevent complications and optimize care. Here, we review several neurosurgical conditions and the measures taken to prevent complications and optimize outcomes. We hope that the practical tips provided herein prove helpful in caring for neurosurgical patients.
Chapter
The management of patients with head injury requires a pragmatic, multi-professional approach, as exemplified in this book. The content includes chapters on epidemiology, experimental models, pathology, clinical examination, neuroimaging and trauma scoring systems. A large section of the text then deals with the management of the head-injured patient along the whole patient pathway, addressing issues such as emergency department care, transfer of the patient, intensive care and surgical aspects. Rehabilitation is reviewed in detail with chapters that discuss the aims and roles of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and neuropsychology. Finally, medico-legal issues are evaluated. The practical approach to management is emphasized throughout. This book will be of interest to all doctors looking after patients with head injury: emergency physicians, neurosurgeons, anaesthetists, intensivists, and members of the rehabilitation team. Allied specialists such as nurses, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and neuropsychologists will also find this book useful.
Article
Background While firearms projectile injuries to the head carry a high rate of morbidity and mortality, current literature in clinical management remains controversial. Decompressive hemicraniectomies (DHC) have been previously described in the neurosurgical literature for traumatic brain injuries, with positive results in the reduction of mortality. Here we aim to assess DHC as a damage control approach for multilobar firearm injuries to the head and compare our results with what is present in the literature. Methods A retrospective review of patients who sustained multilobar firearm injuries to the head admitted to our center from January 2009 to April 2021 was performed. Exclusion criteria were a Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS) of < 5, and/or brain stem dysfunction that persisted despite stabilization and medical therapy for intracranial hypertension. Results A total of 20 patients were analyzed, with an average GCS on admission of 8.35. The 60-day mortality rate for all 20 patients was 20% with a total of 4 deaths, one of which was due to pulmonary sepsis in critical post-operative care unit. The mean hospital stay of surviving patients was 22 days. Conclusion DHC should be considered as a damage control strategy for young patients with multilobar firearm injuries and GCS > 5, having yielded favorable results in this study when compared to current literature.
Article
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Background: Despite guidelines provided by the Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) for treating patients with TBI, including advice to monitor intracranial pressure (ICP), the clinical application of ICP monitoring is far from universal. This laxity has been attributed to the relationship between mortality in TBI patients and ICP monitoring. Objective: This systematic review and meta-analysis was aimed at determining the effect of intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring on the mortality of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Method: A systematic search for articles was conducted on PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Control Trials (CENTRAL), and APA PsycNet for articles published from 1 January 2000 to 1 August 2022. Manager 5.4 was used to carry out statistical analysis. Results: Article search yielded 1421 articles, but only 23 cohort studies were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. The total number of study participants is 80,058. Seventeen studies reported unadjusted odds ratios (OR), and only 8 reported the adjusted odds ratio (OR). Nine out of seventeen studies reported an unadjusted OR of less than 1, and five out of eight studies reported an adjusted OR of less than 1. From this paper's analysis, the OR for in-hospital mortality was 1.01 [95% CI, 0.80, 1.28], with a p value of 0.92. OR for ICU mortality was 0.84 [95% CI, 0.52, 1.35], with a p value of 0.47. Conclusion: But due to conflicting results, as evident above, it is unsatisfyingly challenging to draw any substantial conclusions from them. This paper thus calls for more research on this particular paper.
Article
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Rapid recognition of elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) is essential to avoid brain stem herniation and death. Brain stem herniation is a very serious disorder in which an excess of intracranial pressure causes part of the brain to be squeezed through the foramen magnum at the base of the skull. Increased pressure on the brain stem can lead to blood pressure and breathing problems and brain death, respiratory or cardiac arrest, permanent brain damage, coma and death. The aim of this work was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of using Optic Nerve Sheath Diameter (ONSD) measurements to detect elevated ICP compared to computed tomography (CT) brain scanning. A prospective, observational cross-sectional study of 100 randomly selected ICU patients with suspected elevated ICP at Cairo university hospitals and cardiothoracic surgical ICU of the National Heart Institute (NHI), Cairo, Egypt. Optic nerve ultrasonography (US) was performed on all patients; CT brain scanning was chosen as the gold standard for detecting elevated ICP. Results: the cause of elevated ICP, 51.3% of patients were admitted with head trauma P-value = 0.000, clinical signs of elevated ICP, 31.3% of patients developed convulsions and 26.3% showed Cushing reflex (P=0.004 and 0.010 respectively). Besides the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), patients with elevated ICP had a mean GCS score of 7 and patients without elevated ICP had mean GCS of 13 (P˂0.001). Regarding ONSD, mean average ONSD was 6 in patients with elevated ICP and 3.1 in patients without elevated ICP (P˂0.01), receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis revealed that ONSD greater than 4.31 mm was significant in prediction of elevated ICP compared to CT brain scanning with 94.8% sensitivity and 90.11% specificity. Conclusion: patients’ ONSD is a simple bedside technique that can accurately diagnose of elevated ICP compared to CT brain scanning. The diagnostic accuracy of ONSD using a 4.31 mm cut-off value can diagnose of elevated ICP with 94.8% sensitivity and 90.11% specificity.
Article
Background: Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring is recommended for patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) with a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) <9 on admission and revealing space-occupying lesions or swelling on computed tomography. However, previous studies that have evaluated its effect on outcome have shown conflicting results. Objective: To study the effect of ICP monitoring on outcome after adjustment of patient's characteristics imbalance and determine the potential benefit on patients with higher GCS that deteriorates early or in the absence of computed tomography results suggesting high ICP. Methods: We searched for adult patients with TBI admitted between 1996 and 2020 with a GCS <9 on admission or deterioration from higher scores within 24 hours after TBI. Patients were divided into groups if they fulfilled strict (Brain Trauma Foundation guidelines) or extended criteria (patients who worsened after admission or without space-occupying lesions) for ICP monitoring. Propensity score analyses based on nearest neighbor matching was performed. Results: After matching, we analyzed data from 454 patients and 184 patients who fulfilled strict criteria or extended criteria for ICP monitoring, respectively. A decreased on in-hospital mortality was detected in monitored patients following strict and extended criteria. Those patients with a higher baseline risk of poor outcome showed higher odds of favorable outcome if they were monitored. Conclusion: ICP monitoring in patients with severe TBI within 24 hours after injury following strict and extended criteria was associated with a decreased in-hospital mortality. The identification of patients with a higher risk of an unfavorable outcome might be useful to better select cases that would benefit more from ICP monitoring.
Article
Objective: Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of disability and death in the pediatric population. While intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring is the gold standard in acute neurocritical care following pediatric severe TBI, brain tissue oxygen tension (PbtO2) monitoring may also help limit secondary brain injury and improve outcomes. The authors hypothesized that pediatric patients with severe TBI and ICP + PbtO2 monitoring and treatment would have better outcomes than those who underwent ICP-only monitoring and treatment. Methods: Patients ≤ 18 years of age with severe TBI who received ICP ± PbtO2 monitoring at a quaternary children's hospital between 1998 and 2021 were retrospectively reviewed. The relationships between conventional measurements of TBI were evaluated, i.e., ICP, cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), and PbtO2. Differences were analyzed between patients with ICP + PbtO2 versus ICP-only monitoring on hospital and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) length of stay (LOS), length of intubation, Pediatric Intensity Level of Therapy scale score, and functional outcome using the Glasgow Outcome Score-Extended (GOS-E) scale at 6 months postinjury. Results: Forty-nine patients, including 19 with ICP + PbtO2 and 30 with ICP only, were analyzed. There was a weak negative association between ICP and PbtO2 (β = -0.04). Conversely, there was a strong positive correlation between CPP ≥ 40 mm Hg and PbtO2 ≥ 15 and ≥ 20 mm Hg (β = 0.30 and β = 0.29, p < 0.001, respectively). An increased number of events of cerebral PbtO2 < 15 mm Hg or < 20 mm Hg were associated with longer hospital (p = 0.01 and p = 0.022, respectively) and PICU (p = 0.015 and p = 0.007, respectively) LOS, increased duration of mechanical ventilation (p = 0.015 when PbtO2 < 15 mm Hg), and an unfavorable 6-month GOS-E score (p = 0.045 and p = 0.022, respectively). An increased number of intracranial hypertension episodes (ICP ≥ 20 mm Hg) were associated with longer hospital (p = 0.007) and PICU (p < 0.001) LOS and longer duration of mechanical ventilation (p < 0.001). Lower minimum hourly and average daily ICP values predicted favorable GOS-E scores (p < 0.001 for both). Patients with ICP + PbtO2 monitoring experienced longer PICU LOS (p = 0.018) compared to patients with ICP-only monitoring, with no significant GOS-E score difference between groups (p = 0.733). Conclusions: An increased number of cerebral hypoxic episodes and an increased number of intracranial hypertension episodes resulted in longer hospital LOS and longer duration of mechanical ventilator support. An increased number of cerebral hypoxic episodes also correlated with less favorable functional outcomes. In contrast, lower minimum hourly and average daily ICP values, but not the number of intracranial hypertension episodes, were associated with more favorable functional outcomes. There was a weak correlation between ICP and PbtO2, supporting the importance of multimodal invasive neuromonitoring in pediatric severe TBI.
Article
Objective Severe traumatic brain injury remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Despite recommendations from the Brain Trauma Foundation, there is wide variability in treatment paradigms for severe TBI. We aim to elucidate the variability of treatment, particularly neurosurgical procedures and how it affects mortality. Methods Adult Patients (<65 years) with a severe isolated TBI who were treated at an ACS Level 1 trauma center were identified in the National Trauma Database for the years 2007 through 2016. ICD-9 procedure codes were used to identify primary treatment approaches: intracranial pressure monitoring and cranial surgery (craniotomy/craniectomy). Results Among the 25,327 patients with severe isolated traumatic brain injury, 14.0% and 18.0% of total patients underwent intracranial pressure monitoring or cranial surgery, respectively. Intracranial pressure monitoring reduced the odds of mortality, OR 0.89 (0.81, 0.98), but not to the extent of cranial surgery, OR 0.71 (0.65, 0.77). Conclusion BTF guidelines recommend placement of intracranial pressure monitor for severe TBI, however only 14 % of patients with isolated, severe TBI underwent intracranial pressure monitoring from 2007 to 2016. Intracranial pressure monitoring and cranial surgery decreases the odds of inpatient mortality in patients with severe TBI.
Article
Background: Although the current guidelines recommend the use of intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI), the evidence indicating benefit is limited. The present study aims to evaluate the impact of ICP monitoring on patients with sTBI in the intensive care unit (ICU). Methods: The patient data were obtained from the Collaborative European Neurotrauma Effectiveness Research in Traumatic Brain Injury China Registry, a prospective, multicenter, longitudinal, observational, cohort study. Patients with sTBI who were admitted to 52 ICUs across China, managed with ICP monitoring or without, were analyzed in this study. Patients with missing information on discharge survival status, Glasgow Coma Scale score on admission to hospital, and record of ICP monitoring application were excluded from the analysis. Data on demographic characteristics, injury, clinical features, treatments, survival at discharge, discharge destination, and length of stay were collected and assessed. The primary end point was survival state at discharge, and death from any cause was considered the event of interest. Results: A total of 2029 patients with sTBI were admitted to the ICU; 737 patients (36.32%) underwent ICP monitoring, and 1292 (63.68%) were managed without ICP monitoring. There was a difference between management with and without ICP monitoring on in-hospital mortality in the unmatched cohort (18.86% vs. 26.63%, p < 0.001) and the propensity-score-matched cohort (19.82% vs. 26.83%, p = 0.003). Multivariate logistic regressions also indicated that increasing age, higher injury severity score, lower Glasgow Coma Scale score, unilateral and bilateral pupillary abnormalities, systemic hypotension (SBP ≤ 90 mm Hg), hypoxia (SpO2 < 95%) on arrival at the hospital, and management without ICP monitoring were associated with higher in-hospital mortality. However, the patients without ICP monitoring had a lower length of stay in the ICU (11.79 vs. 7.95 days, p < 0.001) and hospital (25.96 vs. 21.71 days, p < 0.001), and a higher proportion of survivors were discharged to the home with better recovery in self-care. Conclusions: Although ICP monitoring was not widely used by all of the centers participating in this study, patients with sTBI managed with ICP monitoring show a better outcome in overall survival. Nevertheless, the use of ICP monitoring makes the management of sTBI more complex and increases the costs of medical care by prolonging the patient's stay in the ICU or hospital.
Article
Background: Establishing neurological prognoses in traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients remains challenging. To help physicians in the early management of severe TBI, we have designed a visual score (ICEBERG score) including multimodal monitoring and treatment-related criteria. We evaluated the ICEBERG scores among patients with severe TBI to predict the 28-day mortality and long-term disability (Extended Glasgow Outcome Score (GOSE) at 3 years). Additionally, we made a preliminary assessment of the nurses and doctors on the uptake and reception to the use of the ICEBERG visual tool. Methods: This study was part of a larger prospective cohort study of 207 patients with severe TBI in the Parisian region (PariS-TBI study). The ICEBERG score included 6 variables from multimodal monitoring and treatment-related criteria: cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), intracranial pressure (ICP), body temperature, sedation depth, arterial partial pressure of CO2 and blood osmolarity. The primary outcome measures included the ICEBERG score and its relationship with hospital mortality and GOSE. Results: The hospital mortality was 21% (45/207). The ICEBERG score baseline value and changes during the 72nd first hours were more strongly associated with TBI prognosis than the ICEBERG parameters measured individually. Interestingly, when the clinical and CT parameters at admission were combined with the ICEBERG score at 48 h using a multimodal approach, the predictive value was significantly increased (AUC = 0.92). Furthermore, comparing the ICEBERG visual representation with the traditional numerical readout revealed that changes in patient vitals were more promptly detected using ICEBERG representation (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The ICEBERG score could represent a simple and effective method to describe severity in TBI patients, where a high score is associated with increased mortality and disability. Additionally, ICEBERG representation could enhances the recognition of unmet therapeutic goals and dynamic evolution of the patient's condition. These preliminary results must be confirmed in a prospective manner. Study type: Prognostic. Level of evidence: Level III.
Chapter
Detection and management of secondary brain insults that may aggravate the initial injury is central to the critical care of acute brain injury including traumatic brain injury, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and intracerebral hemorrhage among other pathologies. Increased intracranial pressure (ICP) can contribute to secondary brain injury and hence ICP monitoring and management is fundamental in neurocritical care. This chapter aims to discuss: (1) which patients should undergo ICP monitoring, (2) what defines intracranial hypertension, that is, when should ICP be treated, (3) how should ICP be monitored, (4) does control of ICP influence outcome, and (5) are other monitors necessary to fully understand ICP. In addition, a pragmatic approach to ICP management based on evidence-based treatment paradigms is provided.
Chapter
Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring is the commonest method of evaluating cerebral well-being in patients with acute brain injury (ABI). The relationship between ICP and mean arterial pressure facilitates the derivation of cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), itself another target in patients with ABI. This chapter provides an overview of the role of ICP monitoring, CPP estimation, and ICP/CPP-guided therapy in patients with ABI. It is important to note that, despite the widespread use of ICP monitoring and ICP/CPP-guided therapy, there is currently no class I evidence that it improves outcomes in any form of ABI. There is also no class I evidence to support the existence of a specific, ideal CPP for any form of ABI. The “optimal” CPP is instead highly likely to be patient-, time- and pathology-specific. Further high-quality studies are needed to confirm the benefits of ICP/CPP-guided therapy in ABI.
Article
Background The indications for intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring in patients with acute brain injury and the effects of ICP on patients’ outcomes are uncertain. The aims of this study were to describe current ICP monitoring practises for patients with acute brain injury at centres around the world and to assess variations in indications for ICP monitoring and interventions, and their association with long-term patient outcomes. Methods We did a prospective, observational cohort study at 146 intensive care units (ICUs) in 42 countries. We assessed for eligibility all patients aged 18 years or older who were admitted to the ICU with either acute brain injury due to primary haemorrhagic stroke (including intracranial haemorrhage or subarachnoid haemorrhage) or traumatic brain injury. We included patients with altered levels of consciousness at ICU admission or within the first 48 h after the brain injury, as defined by the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) eye response score of 1 (no eye opening) and a GCS motor response score of at least 5 (not obeying commands). Patients not admitted to the ICU or with other forms of acute brain injury were excluded from the study. Between-centre differences in use of ICP monitoring were quantified by using the median odds ratio (MOR). We used the therapy intensity level (TIL) to quantify practice variations in ICP interventions. Primary endpoints were 6 month mortality and 6 month Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended (GOSE) score. A propensity score method with inverse probability of treatment weighting was used to estimate the association between use of ICP monitoring and these 6 month outcomes, independently of measured baseline covariates. This study is registered with ClinicalTrial.gov, NCT03257904. Findings Between March 15, 2018, and April 30, 2019, 4776 patients were assessed for eligibility and 2395 patients were included in the study, including 1287 (54%) with traumatic brain injury, 587 (25%) with intracranial haemorrhage, and 521 (22%) with subarachnoid haemorrhage. The median age of patients was 55 years (IQR 39–69) and 1567 (65%) patients were male. Considerable variability was recorded in the use of ICP monitoring across centres (MOR 4·5, 95% CI 3·8–4·9 between two randomly selected centres for patients with similar covariates). 6 month mortality was lower in patients who had ICP monitoring (441/1318 [34%]) than in those who were not monitored (517/1049 [49%]; p<0·0001). ICP monitoring was associated with significantly lower 6 month mortality in patients with at least one unreactive pupil (hazard ratio [HR] 0·35, 95% CI 0·26–0·47; p<0·0001), and better neurological outcome at 6 months (odds ratio 0·38, 95% CI 0·26–0·56; p=0·0025). Median TIL was higher in patients with ICP monitoring (9 [IQR 7–12]) than in those who were not monitored (5 [3–8]; p<0·0001) and an increment of one point in TIL was associated with a reduction in mortality (HR 0·94, 95% CI 0·91–0·98; p=0·0011). Interpretation The use of ICP monitoring and ICP management varies greatly across centres and countries. The use of ICP monitoring might be associated with a more intensive therapeutic approach and with lower 6-month mortality in more severe cases. Intracranial hypertension treatment guided by monitoring might be considered in severe cases due to the potential associated improvement in long-term clinical results. Funding University of Milano-Bicocca and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine.
Article
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Traumatic brain injury frequently causes an elevation of intracranial pressure (ICP) that could lead to reduction of cerebral perfusion pressure and cause brain ischemia. Invasive ICP monitoring is recommended by international guidelines, in order to reduce the incidence of secondary brain injury; although rare, the complications related to ICP probes could be dependent on the duration of monitoring. The aim of this manuscript is to clarify the appropriate timing for removal and management of invasive ICP monitoring, in order to reduce the risk of related complications and guarantee adequate cerebral autoregulatory control. There is no universal consensus concerning the duration of invasive ICP monitoring and its related complications, although the pertinent literature seems to show that the longer is the monitoring maintenance, the higher is the risk of technical issues. Besides, upon 72 h of normal ICP values or less than 72 h if the first computed tomography scan is normal (none or minimal signs of injury) and the neurological exam is available (allowing to observe variations and possible occurrence of new-onset pathological response), the removal of invasive ICP monitoring can be justified. The availability of non-invasive monitoring systems should be considered to follow up patients’ clinical course after invasive ICP probe removal or for substituting the invasive monitoring in case of contraindication to its placement. Recently, optic nerve sheath diameter and straight sinus systolic flow velocity evaluation through ultrasound methods showed a good correlation with ICP values, demonstrating their potential role in place of invasive monitoring or in the early weaning phase from the invasive ICP monitoring.
Chapter
Compartment syndrome in its various forms is particularly challenging in resource-limited settings owing to the scarcity of data and the low awareness of workers practicing in these areas of the world. In suspected cases, confirmation of the diagnosis and management decisions are difficult in the absence of pressure-measuring devices. Two anatomical locations of compartment syndromes deserve special attention in these areas because of their relative frequency and their potentially heavy consequences: the lower limb and the abdomen. The strategy in resource-limited countries should be centered on early recognition based on purely clinical criteria and a reasonable timely decision for aponeurotomy. In the abdomen, all patients undergoing damage control laparotomy should be considered potential victims of acute compartment syndrome. General preventive measures are likely to heavily reduce the burden of abdominal compartment syndrome. In all other cases, management should be tailored towards organizing transfer towards an appropriate center.
Article
Background and purpose: Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring is recommended in severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI), yet invasive monitoring has risks, and many patients do not develop elevated ICP. Tools to identify patients at risk for ICP elevation are limited. We aimed to identify early radiologic biomarkers of ICP elevation. Methods: In this retrospective study, we analyzed a prospectively enrolled cohort of patients with a sTBI at an academic level 1 trauma center. Inclusion criteria were nonpenetrating TBI, age ≥16 years, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score ≤8, and presence of an ICP monitor. Two independent reviewers manually evaluated 30 prespecified features on serial head computed tomography (CTs). Patient characteristics and radiologic features were correlated with elevated ICP. The primary outcome was clinically relevant ICP elevation, defined as ICP ≥ 20 mm Hg on at least 5 or more hourly recordings during postinjury days 0-7 with concurrent administration of an ICP-lowering treatment. Results: Among 111 sTBI patients, the median GCS was 6 (interquartile range 3-8), and 45% had elevated ICP. Features associated with elevated ICP were younger age (every 10-year decrease, odds ratio [OR] 1.4), modified Fisher scale (mFS) score at 0-4 hours postinjury (every 1 point, OR 1.8), and combined volume of contusional hemorrhage and peri-hematoma edema (10 ml, OR 1.2) at 4-18 hours postinjury. Conclusions: Younger age, mFS score, and volume of contusion are associated with ICP elevation in patients with a sTBI. Imaging features may stratify patients by their risk of subsequent ICP elevation.
Article
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Introduction Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of mortality and disability worldwide, and optimizing the management of these patients is a continuing challenge. Intraoperative intracranial pressure (ICP) and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) were evaluated for use as prognostic indicators after surgery for severe TBI. Although ICP and CPP monitoring is standard postsurgery treatment for TBI, very few studies have reported the use of ICP and CPP values monitored during surgery. Objectives The objectives of this study were to evaluate the use of intraoperative ICP and CPP values as prognostic indicators and as subjective guidelines for managing severe TBI. Materials and methods All patients with severe TBI who underwent surgical decompression and ICP monitoring intraoperatively were included in our study from 2017 to 2018. We measured ICP and CPP values after creation of the first burr hole, after hematoma evacuation, and after wound closure. Results From the analysis of receiver-operated characteristic (ROC) curves, we observed that ICP initial (cutoff > 28 mm Hg) and CPP initial (cutoff < 44.5 mm Hg) are the best predictors of unfavorable outcomes. Favorable outcome (Glasgow outcome scale [GOS] 4 and 5) and unfavorable outcome (GOS 1–3) after 6 months were achieved in 64.1 and 35.8% of patients, respectively. There was significant difference between the ICP and CPP values which are measured after the first burrhole, after hematoma evacuation, and after scalp closure in both favorable and unfavorable outcomes. The highest positive Pearson’s correlation coefficient is found between GOS and ICP and CPP after first burr hole. Conclusion Monitoring ICP and CPP during surgery improves management in patients with severe TBI and provides an early prognostic indicator in such patients.
Article
Objective The Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) recommends intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring for all salvageable patients with an abnormal CT scan and a Glasgow Coma Scale less than 9. Studies have demonstrated that compliance with this is low. We sought to obtain contemporary national rates of ICP monitor placement in patients with severe TBI. Methods Patients from the National Trauma Data Bank from 2013 to 2017 who met BTF criteria for ICP monitoring were included. Placement of an intraparenchymal ICP monitor or an external ventricular drain was queried. Binary logistic regression was used to determine factors that influenced the placement of an ICP monitor. Results There were 21,374 patients with severe TBI and an abnormal CT scan included in the study. An ICP monitor was placed in 6,543 patients (30.6%). ICP monitor placement increased modestly from 28.6% in 2013 to 32.8% in 2017. The pooled odds of ICP monitor placement between 2014 and 2017 were not different from 2013 (OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.99 – 1.09), but the adjusted odds of ICP monitor placement in 2017 were significantly greater (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.06 – 1.30). Treatment at a teaching hospital, subdural hematoma, multiple intracranial abnormalities on CT, and greater injury severity score were associated with ICP monitor placement, while older age was negatively associated with ICP monitor placement. Conclusion The rate of ICP monitoring in patients with severe TBI who meet BTF criteria is low and only increased slightly from 2013 to 2017.
Article
Background/Objective Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitor placement is indicated for patients with severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI) to minimize secondary brain injury. There is little evidence to guide the optimal timing of ICP monitor placement.MethodsA retrospective cohort study using the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) from 2013 to 2017 was performed. The NTDB was queried to identify patients with sTBI who underwent external ventricular drain or intraparenchymal ICP monitor placement. Propensity score matching was used to create matched pairs of patients who underwent early compared to late ICP monitor placement using 6-h and 12-h cutoffs. The outcomes of interest were in-hospital mortality, non-routine discharge disposition, total length of stay (LOS), intensive care unit (ICU) LOS, and number of days mechanically ventilated.ResultsA total of 5057 patients with sTBI were included in the study. In-hospital mortality for patients with early compared to late ICP monitor placement was 33.6% and 30.4%, respectively (p = 0.049). The incidence of non-routine disposition was 92.6% in the within 6 h group and 94.4% in the late placement group (p = 0.037). Hospital LOS, ICU LOS, and number of days mechanically ventilated were significantly greater in the late ICP monitoring group. Similar results were seen when using a 12-h cutoff for late ICP monitor placement. In the Cox proportional hazards model, craniotomy (HR 1.097, 95% CI 1.037–1.160) and isolated intracranial injury (HR 1.128, 95% CI 1.055–1.207) were associated with early ICP monitor placement. Hypotension was negatively associated with early ICP monitor placement (HR 0.801, 95% CI 0.725–0.884).Conclusion Despite a statistically marginal association between mortality and early ICP monitor placement, most outcomes were superior when ICP monitors were placed within 6 or 12 h of arrival. This may be due to earlier identification and treatment of intracranial hypertension.
Chapter
Most neurosurgical emergencies involve either diversion of cerebrospinal fluid, control of intracranial pressure, or decompression of brain parenchyma and cranial nerves. The goal of these interventions is to reverse or prevent progression of damage to neural structures. The pathologies that require emergent neurosurgical treatment can develop acutely or may progress over days and reach a critical point of decompensation. Medical management has usually been maximized when the neurosurgeon is called because surgical intervention itself can carry considerable risk. These risks should be weighed heavily against potential benefits and should involve discussions with family. The body of literature for most emergent scenarios continues to evolve and challenge traditional practice. Many interventions are effective and may return patients to full function. However, while neurosurgical procedures can be life-saving, surviving patients may be severely disabled and dependent. All providers involved in clinical decision-making should be familiar with current evidence and guidelines such that an informed, multidisciplinary decision can be made.
Article
Background: Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring is central to the care of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). External ventricular drains (EVD) allow ICP control via cerebrospinal fluid drainage, whereas intraparenchymal monitors (IPM) for ICP do not, but it is unclear whether EVD placement improves outcomes. To evaluate whether there exists a difference in patient outcomes with the use of EVD versus IPM in severe TBI patients, we conducted a retrospective cohort study using data from the Citicoline Brain Injury Treatment trial. Methods: Adults with Glasgow Coma Score < 9 who had either an EVD or IPM placed within 6 h of study center arrival were included. We compared patients with EVD placement to those without on Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOS-E) and neuropsychological performance at 180 days, mortality, and intensive care unit length of stay. We used regression models with propensity score weighting for probability of EVD placement to test for association between EVD use and outcomes. Of 224 patients included, 45% received an EVD. Results: EVD patients had lower GOS-E at 180 days [3.8 ± 2.2 vs 4.9 ± 2.2, p = 0.002; weighted difference - 0.97, 95% CI (- 1.58, - 0.37)], higher in-hospital mortality [23% vs 10%, p = 0.014; weighted OR 2.46, 95% CI (1.20, 5.05)], and did significantly worse on all 8 neuropsychological measures. Additional sensitivity analysis was performed to minimize confounding effects supported our initial results. Conclusions: Our retrospective data analysis suggests that early placement of EVDs in severe TBI is associated with worse functional and neuropsychological outcomes and higher mortality than IPMs and future prospective trials are needed to determine whether these results represent an important consideration for clinicians.
Article
This study aimed to investigate the clinical efficacy of intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring regarding the perioperative management of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI). This was a cohort study performed between Jan 2013 and Jan 2016 and included all patients with sTBI. All patients were split into ICP monitoring and non-ICP monitoring groups. The primary outcomes were in-hospital mortality and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores 6 months after injury, whereas the secondary outcomes include rate of successful nonsurgical treatment, rate of decompression craniotomy (DC), the length of stay in the ICU, and the hospital and medical expenses. This retrospective analysis included 246 ICP monitoring sTBI patients and 695 without ICP monitoring sTBI patients. No significant difference between groups regarding patient demographics. All patients underwent a GOS assessment 6 months after surgery. Compared to the non-ICP monitoring group, a lower in-hospital mortality (20.3% vs 30.2%, P < 0.01) and better GOS scores after 6 months (3.3 ± 1.6 vs 2.9 ± 1.6, P < 0.05) with ICP monitoring. In addition, patients in the ICP monitoring group had a lower craniotomy rate (41.1% vs 50.9%, P < 0.01) and a lower DC rate (41.6% vs 55.9%, P < 0.05) than those in the non-ICP monitoring group. ICU length of stay (12.4 ± 4.0 days vs 10.2 ± 4.8 days, P < 0.01) was shorter in the non-ICP monitoring group, but it had no difference between 2 groups on total length of hospital stay (22.9 ± 13.6 days vs 24.6 ± 13.6 days, P = 0.108); Furthermore, the medical expenses were significantly higher in the non-ICP monitoring group than the ICP monitoring group (11.5 ± 7.2 vs 13.3 ± 9.1, P < 0.01). Intracranial pressure monitoring has beneficial effects for sTBI during the perioperative period. It can reduce the in-hospital mortality and DC rate and also can improve the 6-month outcomes. However, this was a single institution and observational study, well-designed, multicenter, randomized control trials are needed to evaluate the effects of ICP monitoring for perioperative sTBI patients.
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Objectives To summarise and compare the accuracy of physical examination, computed tomography (CT), sonography of the optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD), and transcranial Doppler pulsatility index (TCD-PI) for the diagnosis of elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) in critically ill patients. Design Systematic review and meta-analysis. Data sources Six databases, including Medline, EMBASE, and PubMed, from inception to 1 September 2018. Study selection criteria English language studies investigating accuracy of physical examination, imaging, or non-invasive tests among critically ill patients. The reference standard was ICP of 20 mm Hg or more using invasive ICP monitoring, or intraoperative diagnosis of raised ICP. Data extraction Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality using the quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies tool. Summary estimates were generated using a hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic (ROC) model. Results 40 studies (n=5123) were included. Of physical examination signs, pooled sensitivity and specificity for increased ICP were 28.2% (95% confidence interval 16.0% to 44.8%) and 85.9% (74.9% to 92.5%) for pupillary dilation, respectively; 54.3% (36.6% to 71.0%) and 63.6% (46.5% to 77.8%) for posturing; and 75.8% (62.4% to 85.5%) and 39.9% (26.9% to 54.5%) for Glasgow coma scale of 8 or less. Among CT findings, sensitivity and specificity were 85.9% (58.0% to 96.4%) and 61.0% (29.1% to 85.6%) for compression of basal cisterns, respectively; 80.9% (64.3% to 90.9%) and 42.7% (24.0% to 63.7%) for any midline shift; and 20.7% (13.0% to 31.3%) and 89.2% (77.5% to 95.2%) for midline shift of at least 10 mm. The pooled area under the ROC (AUROC) curve for ONSD sonography was 0.94 (0.91 to 0.96). Patient level data from studies using TCD-PI showed poor performance for detecting raised ICP (AUROC for individual studies ranging from 0.55 to 0.72). Conclusions Absence of any one physical examination feature is not sufficient to rule out elevated ICP. Substantial midline shift could suggest elevated ICP, but the absence of shift cannot rule it out. ONSD sonography might have use, but further studies are needed. Suspicion of elevated ICP could necessitate treatment and transfer, regardless of individual non-invasive tests. Registration PROSPERO CRD42018105642.
Article
Background: India has a high traumatic brain injury (TBI) burden and intracranial pressure monitoring (ICP) remains controversial but some patients may benefit. Objective: To examine the association between ICP monitor placement and outcomes, and identify Indian patients with severe TBI who benefit from ICP monitoring. Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study at a level 1 Indian trauma center. Patients over 18 yr with severe TBI (admission Glasgow coma scale score < 8) who received tracheal intubation for at-least 48 h were examined. Propensity-based analysis using inverse probability weighting approach was used to examine ICP monitor placement within 72 h of admission and outcomes. Outcomes were in-hospital mortality and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score at discharge, 3, 6, and 12 mo. Death, vegetative, or major impairment defined unfavorable outcome. Results: The 200 patients averaged 36 [18 to 85] yr of age and average injury severity score of 31.4 [2 to 73]. ICP monitors were placed in 126 (63%) patients. Patients with ICP monitor placement experienced lower in-hospital mortality (adjusted relative risk [aRR]; 0.50 [0.29, 0.87]) than patients without ICP monitoring. However, there was no benefit at 3, 6, and 12 mo. With ICP monitor placement, absence of cerebral edema (aRR 0.54, 95% confidence interval 0.35-0.84), and absence of intraventricular hemorrhage (aRR 0.52, 95% confidence interval 0.33-0.82) were associated with reduced unfavorable outcomes. Conclusion: ICP monitor placement without cerebrospinal fluid drainage within 72 h of admission was associated with reduced in-patient mortality. Patients with severe TBI but without cerebral edema and without intraventricular hemorrhage may benefit from ICP monitoring.
Article
Objective Intracranial pressure (ICP)–guided therapy has been the mainstay of treatment of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), but recent data have questioned its efficacy. The aim of this study was to demonstrate trends in compliance to TBI guidelines and use of ICP-guided care in a mature trauma system. Methods A retrospective analysis was conducted of 36,915 patients with severe TBI collected by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation. The registry includes all patients >18 years old with a diagnosis of TBI with a Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤8 who were admitted from January 2000 to December 2017. Results Of 36,915 patients, 73.6% were men with a median age of 43.0 ± 21.3 years. An ICP monitor was placed in 16.3% of all patients. The rate of ICP monitoring ranged from 17.8% of patients in 2000–2004 to 16.7% in 2005–2009, 16.4% in 2010–2014, and 12.8% in 2015–2017 (P < 0.001). The most statistically significant decrease was noted from 2014 (16.4%) to 2015 (14.1%, P = 0.042). The percent decrease in ICP monitoring from 2000–2014 to 2015–2017 was equivalent for patients with Glasgow Coma Scale scores of 3–5 (−4.0%) and 6–8 (−4.5%). Conclusions As studies emerged that demonstrated unclear benefit of ICP monitoring in improving care in patients with severe TBI, there was a significant statewide decline in the use of ICP monitoring after 2014 among all TBI subpopulations despite noteworthy limitations in the aforementioned studies and clear recommendations from the Brain Trauma Foundation guidelines.
Chapter
The concept of consciousness has fascinated philosophers, psychologists and neurophysiologists for a long time; however, it remains difficult to give its univocal and universally accepted definition. Consciousness is defined as “the state of full awareness of the self and one’s relationship to the environment”; consequently, a distinction must be made between consciousness (or awareness) and vigilance/alertness (wakefulness). In fact, it is possible for a patient to be conscious, but unresponsive to the examiner, for lack of sensory inputs or for psychiatric reasons. Conversely, a subject can be alert and awake with open eyes, but not conscious and not aware (in part or at all) of itself and of the environment. From a neurophysiological point of view, it has been demonstrated that the brainstem Reticular Activating System (RAS) is responsible for the state of alertness, through its projections to the thalamus and cortex. The integrity of the upper cortical centres, which are closely related to each other and receive the reticular activating stimuli, is also essential for the maintenance of consciousness level. Therefore, Disorders Of Consciousness (DOC) and vigilance may depend on damage to one or both of these neurofunctional systems, acute or chronic, reversible or irreversible. Serious damage to the reticular system, with or without concomitant widespread cortical damage, can produce a state of coma. Coma is then a pathological condition in which the subject lies with eyes closed and he is neither conscious nor alert, with altered - or completely absent - responsiveness to stimuli. In case of widespread damage to the cerebral cortex without involvement of the RAS, a particular condition - named Vegetative State (VS) - may occur: the consciousness of self and of the environment is impaired, but a certain level of vigilance is still preserved. Moreover, there also exist several neurological conditions that can be defined as “borderline”, such as the Minimally Conscious State. Finally, brain death is the irreversible definitive impairment of both the cortical and brainstem functions. Electroencephalography is an important diagnostic and prognostic tool, useful to better characterise the evolution of a coma state, to recognise any kind of epileptiform activity - that could be clinically hidden - and to monitor the effects of antiepileptic drugs, level of sedation, and treatment of intracranial hypertension.
Article
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are often challenging to design in surgical fields and can be misleading when poorly executed. While the prevailing belief is that observational studies on therapeutic efficacy are credible only in exceptional circumstances due to unrecognized confounding, we identify three types of intervention in orthopaedic trauma and illustrate relevant features that allow observational studies in orthopaedic surgery to be as helpful as RCTs.
Article
OBJECTIVE The use of intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring has been postulated to be beneficial in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), although studies investigating this hypothesis have reported conflicting results. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of inserting an ICP monitor on survival in patients with severe TBI. METHODS The Oslo University Hospital trauma registry was searched for the records of all patients admitted between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2013, who fulfilled the Brain Trauma Foundation criteria for intracranial hypertension and who survived at least 24 hours after admission. The impact of ICP monitoring was investigated using both a logistic regression model and a multiple imputed, propensity score–weighted logistic regression analysis. RESULTS The study involved 1327 patients, in which 757 patients had an ICP monitor implanted. The use of ICP monitors significantly increased in the study period (p < 0.01). The 30-day overall mortality was 24.3% (322 patients), divided into 35.1% (200 patients, 95% confidence interval [CI] 31.3%–39.1%) in the group without an ICP monitor and 16.1% (122 patients, 95% CI 13.6%–18.9%) in the group with an ICP monitor. The impact of ICP monitors on 30-day mortality was found to be beneficial both in the complete case analysis logistic regression model (odds ratio [OR] 0.23, 95% CI 0.16–0.33) and in the adjusted, aggregated, propensity score–weighted imputed data sets (OR 0.22, 95% CI 0.15–0.35; both p < 0.001). The sensitivity analysis indicated that the findings are robust to unmeasured confounders. CONCLUSIONS The authors found that the use of an ICP monitor is significantly associated with improved survival in patients with severe head injury.
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Purpose This study aimed to measure the preventive effect of seat belt on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to compare the effect according to the crash severities and collision directions. Methods Korea In-Depth Accident Study (KIDAS) has collected vehicle and demographic data on injured occupants involved in motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) who visited three emergency medical centers for calendar years 2011–2016. Primary and secondary end points were TBI (abbreviated injury score 2+) and in-hospital mortality. Crush extent (CE) was classified into 1–2, 3–4, 5–6, and 7–9 according to the crash severity. We calculated adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of seat belts and CE for study outcomes and developed an interaction model in each collision direction using multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results Of the 2,245 occupants who were injured in MVCs, 295 (13.1%) occupants sustained TBI. In univariate analysis, old age, unbelted status, lateral collision, and higher CE were factors associated with TBI in MVCs. Occupants with belted status was less likely to have TBI and in-hospital mortality compared with those with unbelted status [AORs (95% CI) 0.48 (0.37–0.62) and 0.49 (0.30–0.81), respectively]. In interaction analysis, preventive effects of seat belts on TBI from MVCs were retained within CE 5–6 in frontal MVCs and within CE 1–2 in near side lateral MVCs, and those of seat belts on in-hospital mortality were reserved within CE 3–4 in frontal and rollover MVCs. Conclusions The preventive effects of seat belts on TBI and in-hospital mortality are preserved within a limited crash severity in each collision direction.
Article
Severe traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children. In 2003 the Brain Trauma Foundation released guidelines that have since been updated (2010) and have helped standardize and improve care. One area of care that remains controversial is whether the placement of an intracranial pressure monitor is advantageous in the management of traumatic brain injury. Another aspect of care that is widely debated is whether management after traumatic brain injury should be based on intracranial pressure–directed therapy, cerebral perfusion pressure–directed therapy, or a combination of the two. The aim of this article was to provide an overview and review the current evidence regarding these questions.
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often associated with long-term disability and chronic neurological sequelae. One common contributor to unfavorable outcomes is secondary brain injury, which is potentially treatable and preventable through appropriate management of patients in the neurosurgical intensive care unit. Intracranial pressure (ICP) is currently the predominant neurological-specific physiological parameter used to direct the care of severe TBI (sTBI) patients. However, recent clinical evidence has called into question the association of ICP monitoring with improved clinical outcome. The detailed cellular and molecular derangements associated with intracranial hypertension (IC-HTN) and their relationship to injury phenotype and neurological outcomes are not completely understood. Various animal models of TBI have been developed, but the clinical applicability of ICP monitoring in the pre-clinical setting has not been well-characterized. Linking basic mechanistic studies in translational TBI models with investigation of ICP monitoring that more faithfully replicates the clinical setting will provide clinical investigators with a more informed understanding of the pathophysiology of IC-HTN, thus facilitating development of improved therapies for sTBI patients.
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A mainstay of the modern management of severe traumatic brain injury is avoidance of secondary injury by optimizing intracranial and cerebral perfusion pressures. While many studies support the role of treatment of intracranial pressures (ICPs) above 20–22 mmHg, there is little consensus regarding the choice of external ventricular drain versus intraparenchymal monitor or the utility of multimodal monitoring, most notably brain tissue oxygen monitors. An external ventricular drain allows for drainage of cerebral spinal fluid in addition to measurement of intracranial pressures but is associated with greater difficulty in placement and higher complication rates. Intraparenchymal monitors are more easily inserted and have fewer complications but are without intrinsic therapeutic function and are associated with higher intracranial pressures and rates of surgical decompressions. The addition of a brain tissue oxygen monitor may prove to be an important reference that puts in context intracranial pressures and cerebral perfusion pressures. More recent technologies allow concomitant drainage of cerebral spinal fluid while monitoring intracranial pressures. Future technologies will incorporate ICP, brain tissue oxygenation, and brain temperature monitoring without the need for multiple device insertion.
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Background: A novel multiparameter brain sensor (MPBS) allows the simultaneous measurement of brain tissue oxygenation (ptiO2), cerebral blood flow (CBF), intracranial pressure (ICP), and brain temperature with a single catheter. This laboratory investigation evaluates the MPBS in an animal model in relation to established reference probes. Methods: The study group consisted of 17 juvenile male pigs. Four MPBS and four reference probes were implanted per pig and compared simultaneously. The measured parameters were challenged by standardized provocations such as hyperoxia, dobutamine, and norepinephrine application, hypercapnia and hypoxia in combination with and without a controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury. Mean values over 2 min were collected for predefined time points and were analyzed using Bland-Altman plots. Results: The protocol was successfully conducted in 15 pigs of which seven received CCI. ICP and ptiO2 were significantly influenced by the provocations. Subtraction of MPBS from reference values revealed a mean difference (limits of agreement) of 3.7 (- 20.5 to 27.9) mm Hg, - 2.9 (- 7.9 to 2.1) mm Hg, and 5.1 (- 134.7 to 145.0) % for ptiO2, ICP, and relative CBF, respectively. Conclusions: The MPBS is a promising measurement tool for multiparameter neuromonitoring. The conducted study demonstrates the in vivo functionality of the probe. Comparison with standard probes revealed a deviation which is mostly analogous to other multiparameter devices. However, further evaluation of the device is necessary before it can reliably be used for clinical decision making.
Article
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Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring is a staple of neurocritical care. The most commonly used current methods of monitoring in the acute setting include fluid-based systems, implantable transducers and Doppler ultrasonography. It is well established that management of elevated ICP is critical for clinical outcomes. However, numerous studies show that current methods of ICP monitoring cannot reliably define the limit of the brain’s intrinsic compensatory capacity to manage increases in pressure, which would allow for proactive ICP management. Current work in the field hopes to address this gap by harnessing live-streaming ICP pressure-wave data and a multimodal integration with other physiologic measures. Additionally, there is continued development of non-invasive ICP monitoring methods for use in specific clinical scenarios.
Article
The latest French Guidelines for the management in the first 24hours of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) were published in 1998. Due to recent changes (intracerebral monitoring, cerebral perfusion pressure management, treatment of raised intracranial pressure), an update was required. Our objective has been to specify the significant developments since 1998. These guidelines were conducted by a group of experts for the French Society of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine (Société Francaise d'Anesthésie Réanimation (SFAR)) in partnership with the Association de Neuro-Anesthésie-Réanimation de Langue Française (ANARLF), the Société Française de Neurochirurgie (SFN), the Groupe Francophone de Réanimation et d'Urgences Pédiatriques (GFRUP) and the Association des Anesthésistes-Réanimateurs Pédiatriques d'Expression Française (ADARPEF). The method used to elaborate these guidelines was the GRADE® method. After two Delphi rounds, 32 recommendations were formally developed by the experts focusing on the evaluation the initial severity of traumatic brain injury, the modalities of prehospital management, imaging strategies, indications for neurosurgical interventions, sedation and analgesia, indications and modalities of cerebral monitoring, medical management of raised intracranial pressure, management of multiple trauma with severe traumatic brain injury, detection and prevention of post-traumatic epilepsia, biological homeostasis (osmolarity, glycaemia, adrenal axis) and paediatric specificities.
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Background: Severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring and management form the cornerstone of treatment paradigms for sTBI in developed countries. We examine the available randomized controlled trial (RCT) data on the impact of ICP management on clinical outcomes after sTBI. Methods: A systematic review of the literature on ICP management following sTBI was performed to identify pertinent RCT articles. Results: We identified six RCT articles that examined whether ICP monitoring, decompressive craniectomy, or barbiturate coma improved clinical outcomes after sTBI. These studies support (1) the utility of ICP monitoring in the management of sTBI patients and (2) craniectomy and barbiturate coma as effective methods for the management of intracranial hypertension secondary to sTBI. However, despite adequate ICP control in sTBI patients, a significant proportion of surviving patients remain severely disabled. Conclusions: If one sets the bar at the level of functional independence, then the RCT data raises questions pertaining to the utility of decompressive craniectomy and barbiturate coma in the setting of sTBI.
Article
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OBJECTIVE Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring has become the standard of care in the management of severe head trauma. Intraventricular devices (IVDs) and intraparenchymal devices (IPDs) are the 2 most commonly used techniques for ICP monitoring. Despite the widespread use of these devices, very few studies have investigated the effect of device type on outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to compare outcomes between 2 types of ICP monitoring devices in patients with isolated severe blunt head trauma. METHODS This retrospective observational study was based on the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program database, which was searched for all patients with isolated severe blunt head injury who had an ICP monitor placed in the 2-year period from 2013 to 2014. Extracted variables included demographics, comorbidities, mechanisms of injury, head injury specifics (epidural, subdural, subarachnoid, intracranial hemorrhage, and diffuse axonal injury), Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) score for each body area, Injury Severity Score (ISS), vital signs in the emergency department, and craniectomy. Outcomes included 30-day mortality, complications, number of ventilation days, intensive care unit and hospital lengths of stay, and functional independence. RESULTS During the study period, 105,721 patients had isolated severe traumatic brain injury (head AIS score ≥ 3). Overall, an ICP monitoring device was placed in 2562 patients (2.4%): 1358 (53%) had an IVD and 1204 (47%) had an IPD. The severity of the head AIS score did not affect the type of ICP monitoring selected. There was no difference in the median ISS; ISS > 15; head AIS Score 3, 4, or 5; or the need for craniectomy between the 2 device groups. Unadjusted 30-day mortality was significantly higher in the group with IVDs (29% vs 25.5%, p = 0.046); however, stepwise logistic regression analysis showed that the type of ICP monitoring was not an independent risk factor for death, complications, or functional outcome at discharge. CONCLUSIONS This study demonstrated that compliance with the Brain Trauma Foundation guidelines for ICP monitoring is poor. In isolated severe blunt head injuries, the type of ICP monitoring device does not have any effect on survival, systemic complications, or functional outcome.
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PathophysiologyPrognosis and predictive modelsManagement
Article
Introduction: The Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) recently updated recommendations for intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring in severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). The effect of ICP monitoring on outcomes is controversial, and compliance with BTF guidelines is variable. The purpose of this study was to assess both compliance and outcomes at level I trauma centers. Materials and methods: The American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program database was queried for all patients admitted to level I trauma centers with isolated blunt severe TBI (AIS>3, GCS<9) who met criteria for ICP monitoring. Patients who had severe extracranial injuries, craniectomy, or death in the first 24h were excluded. Comparison between groups with and without ICP monitoring was made, analyzing demographics, comorbidities, mechanism of injury, head Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS), vital signs on admission, head CT scan findings. Outcomes included in-hospital mortality, mechanical ventilation days, intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay, hospital length of stay, systemic complications, and functional independence at discharge. Multivariable analysis was used to identify independent risk factors for each of the outcomes. Results: Overall, 4880 patients were included. ICP monitoring was used in 529 patients (10.8%). Stepwise logistic regression analysis identified ICP monitor placement as an independent risk factor for mortality (OR 1.63; 95% CI 1.28-2.07; p<0.001), mechanical ventilation (OR 5.74 95% CI 4.42-7.46; p<0.001), ICU length of stay (OR 4.03; 95% CI 2.94-5.52; p<0.001), systemic complications (OR 2.78; 95% CI 2.29-3.37; p<0.001), and decreased functional independence at discharge (OR 1.71 95% CI 1.29-2.26; p<0.001). Subgroup analysis of patients with head AIS 3, 4, and 5 confirmed that ICP monitors remained an independent risk factor for mortality in both head AIS 4 and 5. Conclusions: Compliance with BTF guidelines for ICP monitoring is low, even at level I trauma centers. In this study, ICP monitoring was associated with poor outcomes, and was found to be an independent risk factor for mortality. Further studies are needed to determine the optimal role of ICP monitoring in the management of severe TBI.
Article
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Objectives Hypothermia reduces intracranial hypertension in patients with traumatic brain injury but was associated with harm in the Eurotherm3235Trial. We stratified trial patients by International Mission for Prognosis and Analysis of Clinical Trials in [Traumatic Brain Injury] (IMPACT) extended model sum scores to determine where the balance of risks lay with the intervention. Design The Eurotherm3235Trial was a randomized controlled trial, with standardized and blinded outcome assessment. Patients in the trial were split into risk tertiles by IMPACT extended model sum scores. A proportional hazard analysis for death between randomization and 6 months was performed by intervention and IMPACT extended model sum scores tertiles in both the intention-to-treat and the per-protocol populations of the Eurotherm3235Trial. Setting Forty-seven neurologic critical care units in 18 countries. Patients Adult traumatic brain injury patients admitted to intensive care who had suffered a primary, closed traumatic brain injury; increased intracranial pressure; an initial head injury less than 10 days earlier; a core temperature at least 36°C; and an abnormal brain CT. Intervention Titrated Hypothermia in the range 32-35°C as the primary intervention to reduce raised intracranial pressure. Measurements and Main Results Three hundred eighty-six patients were available for analysis in the intention-to-treat and 257 in the per-protocol population. The proportional hazard analysis (intention-to-treat and per-protocol populations) showed that the treatment effect behaves similarly across all risk stratums. However, there is a trend that indicates that patients in the low-risk group could be at greater risk of suffering harm due to hypothermia. Conclusions Hypothermia as a first line measure to reduce intracranial pressure to less than 20 mm Hg is harmful in patients with a lower severity of injury and no clear benefit exists in patients with more severe injuries.
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Guidelines for the management of severe head injury in adults as evolved by the European Brain Injury Consortium are presented and discussed. The importance of preventing and treating secondary insults is emphasized and the principles on which treatment is based are reviewed. Guidelines presented are of a pragmatic nature, based on consensus and expert opinion, covering the treatment from accident site to intensive care unit. Specific aspects pertaining to the conduct of clinical trials in head injury are highlighted. The adopted approach is further discussed in relation to other approaches to the development of guidelines, such as evidence based analysis.
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Methods for assessing early characteristics and late outcome after severe head injury have been devised and applied to 700 cases in three countries (Scotland, Netherlands, and USA). There was a close similarity between the initial features of patients in the three series; in spite of differences on organisation of care and in details of management , the mortality was exactly the same in each country. This data bank of cases (which is still being enlarged) can be used for predicting outcome in new cases, and for setting up trials of management.
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Primary traumatic brain damage may be compounded by secondary pathophysiological insults that can occur soon after trauma, during transfer to hospital or subsequent treatment of the head-injured patient. The aim of this prospective study was to quantify the burden of a wide range of secondary insults occurring after head injury and to relate these to 12-month outcome. In 124 adult head-injured patients studied during intensive care using a computerized data collection system, < or = 14 clinically indicated physiological variables were measured minute-by-minute. Verified values falling outside threshold limits for > or = 5 min, as defined by the Edinburgh University Secondary Insult Grading scheme, were analysed by insult grade and duration. A greater incidence of secondary insults was detected than previous studies have indicated. Insults were found in 91% of patients and occurred in all severities of head trauma, at all ages, and at every level of Injury Severity Score (ISS). The cumulative durations were much greater than previously recorded although 85% of the total time was at the least severe grade. Short duration insults were common. In 71 patients, in whom 8 insults could be assessed (intracranial pressure, arterial hypo- and hypertension, cerebral perfusion pressure, hypoxemia, pyrexia, brady- and tachycardia), outcome at 12 months was analysed using logistic regression to determine the relative influence of age, admission Glasgow Coma Sumscore, ISS, pupil response on admission, and insult duration on both mortality and morbidity. The most significant predictors of mortality in this patient set were durations of hypotensive (p = .0064), pyrexic (p = .0137), and hypoxemic (p = .0244) insults. When good versus poor outcome was considered, hypotensive insults (p = .0118) and pupil response on admission (p = .0226) were significant.
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The Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS), two decades after its description, remains the most widely used method of analyzing outcome in series of severely head-injured patients. This review considers limitations recognized in the use of the GOS and discusses a new approach to assessment, using a structured questionnaire-based interview. Assignments can be made to an extended eight-point scale (GOSE) as well as the original five-point approach-in each case, with a high degree of interobserver consistency. The assignments are coherent with the principles of the World Health Organization classification of impairments, disabilities, and handicaps, and their validity is supported by strong associations with the results of neuropsychological testing and assessment of general health status. The need to allow for disability existing before injury, issues concerning the time of assessment after injury, and subdivisions of the scale into "favorable" and "unfavorable" categories are discussed. It is concluded that, in its improved structured format, the Glasgow Outcome Scale should remain the primary method of assessing outcome in trials of the management of severe head injury.
Article
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The Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) is the most widely used outcome measure after traumatic brain injury, but it is increasingly recognized to have important limitations. It is proposed that shortcomings of the GOS can be addressed by adopting a standard format for the interview used to assign outcome. A set of guidelines are outlined that are directed at the main problems encountered in applying the GOS. The guidelines cover the general principles underlying the use of the GOS and common practical problems of applying the scale. Structured interview schedules are described for both the five-point GOS and an extended eight-point GOS (GOSE). An interrater reliability study of the structured interviews for the GOS and GOSE yielded weighted kappa values of 0.89 and 0.85, respectively. It is concluded that assessment of the GOS using a standard format with a written protocol is practical and reliable.
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To document the effect of neurocritical care, delivered by specialist staff and based on protocol-driven therapy aimed at intracranial pressure (ICP) and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) targets, on outcome in acute head injury. Retrospective record review to compare presentation, therapy and outcome in patients with head injury referred to a regional neurosurgical centre, before and after establishment of protocol-driven therapy. Neurosciences Critical Care Unit (NCCU). Two hundred and eighty-five patients aged 18-65 years with at least one reactive pupil, referred with a diagnosis of head injury, requiring tracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation. Measurement of Glasgow Outcome Scale 6 months after injury. Patients from the two epochs were well matched for admission Glasgow Coma Scale and extracranial injuries. When all referred patients were considered, institution of protocol-driven therapy was not associated with a statistically significant increase in favourable outcomes (56.0% vs. 66.4%). However, we observed a significant increase in favourable outcomes in the severely head injured patients studied (40.4% vs. 59.6%). The proportion of favourable outcomes was also high (66.6%) in those presenting with evidence of raised ICP in the absence of a mass lesion and (60.0%) in those that required complex interventions to optimise ICP/CPP. Specialist neurocritical care with protocol-driven therapy is associated with a significant improvement in outcome for all patients with severe head injury. Such management may also benefit patients requiring no surgical therapy, some of whom may need complex therapeutic interventions. We found it impossible to predict need for such interventions from clinical features at presentation. These data suggest that specialist critical care with ICP/CPP guided therapy may benefit patients with severe head injury.
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains a major public health problem globally. In the United States the incidence of closed head injuries admitted to hospitals is conservatively estimated to be 200 per 100,000 population, and the incidence of penetrating head injury is estimated to be 12 per 100,000, the highest of any developed country in the world. This yields an approximate number of 500,000 new cases each year, a sizeable proportion of which demonstrate significant long-term disabilities. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of proven therapies for this disease. For a variety of reasons, clinical trials for this condition have been difficult to design and perform. Despite promising pre-clinical data, most of the trials that have been performed in recent years have failed to demonstrate any significant improvement in outcomes. The reasons for these failures have not always been apparent and any insights gained were not always shared. It was therefore feared that we were running the risk of repeating our mistakes. Recognizing the importance of TBI, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) sponsored a workshop that brought together experts from clinical, research, and pharmaceutical backgrounds. This workshop proved to be very informative and yielded many insights into previous and future TBI trials. This paper is an attempt to summarize the key points made at the workshop. It is hoped that these lessons will enhance the planning and design of future efforts in this important field of research.
Article
Objective: The purpose of this study was three-fold: a) to examine variations in care of patients with severe head injury in academic trauma centers across the United States; b) to determine the proportion of patients who received care according to the Brain Trauma Foundation guidelines; and c) to correlate the outcome from severe traumatic brain injury with the care received. Design: Retrospective data collection for consecutive patients with closed head injury and long bone fracture admitted over an 8-month period. Setting: Thirty-four academic trauma centers in the United States Patients: All patients admitted with a presenting Glasgow Coma Scale score less than or equal to8. Measurements and Main Results: Variations in care were assessed, including prehospital intubation, intracranial pressure monitoring, use of osmotic agents, hyperventilation, and computed tomography scan utilization. Aggressive centers were defined as those placing intracranial pressure monitors in >50% of patients meeting the Brain Trauma Foundation criteria for intracranial pressure monitoring. The primary outcome variables were mortality, functional status at discharge, and length of stay. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was performed for aggressive vs. nonaggressive centers. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to evaluate the association between type of center and mortality rate. Length of stay was evaluated by using linear regression. Results: There was considerable variation in the rates of prehospital intubation, intracranial pressure monitoring, intracranial pressure-directed therapy, and head computed tomography scan utilization across centers. Management at an aggressive center was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of mortality (hazard ratio, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.27-0.66). There was no statistically significant difference in functional status at the time of discharge for survivors. Adjusted length of stay for survivors at aggressive centers was shorter, compared with the length of stay at nonaggressive centers: -6 days (95% confidence interval, -14 to 2 days). Conclusion: Considerable national variation in the care of severely head-injured patients persists. An "aggressive" management strategy is associated with decreased mortality rate for patients with severe head injury, with no significant difference in functional status at discharge among survivors.
Article
The management of cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) remains a controversial issue in the critical care of severely head-injured patients. Recently, it has been proposed that the state of cerebrovascular autoregulation should determine individual CPP targets. To find optimal perfusion pressure, we pharmacologically manipulated CPP in a range of 51 mm Hg (median; 25th-75th percentile, 48-53 mm Hg) to 108 mm Hg (102-112 mm Hg) on Days 0, 1, and 2 after severe head injury in 13 patients and studied the effects on intracranial pressure (ICP), autoregulation capacity, and brain tissue partial pressure of oxygen. Autoregulation was expressed as a static rate of regulation for 5-mm Hg CPP intervals based on middle cerebral artery flow velocity. When ICP was normal (26 occasions), there were no major changes in the measured variables when CPP was altered from a baseline level of 78 mm Hg (74-83 mm Hg), indicating that the brain was within autoregulation limits. Conversely, when intracranial hypertension was present (11 occasions), CPP reduction to less than 77 mm Hg (73-82 mm Hg) further increased ICP, decreased the static rate of regulation, and decreased brain tissue partial pressure of oxygen, whereas a CPP increase improved these variables, indicating that the brain was operating at the lower limit of autoregulation. We conclude that daily trial manipulation of arterial blood pressure over a wide range can provide information that may be used to optimize CPP management.
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The introduction of structural imaging of the brain by computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has further refined classification of head injury for prognostic, diagnosis, and treatment purposes. We describe a new classification scheme to be used both as a research and a clinical tool in association with other predictors of neurologic status.
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The Major Trauma Outcome Study (MTOS) is a retrospective descriptive study of injury severity and outcome coordinated through the American College of Surgeons' Committee on Trauma. From 1982 through 1987, 139 North American hospitals submitted demographic, etiologic, injury severity, and outcome data for 80,544 trauma patients. Motor vehicle related injuries were most frequent (34.7%). Twenty-one per cent of patients had penetrating injuries. The overall mortality rate was 9.0%. The mortality rate for direct admissions was strongly related to the presence of serious head injury, 5.0% and 40.0%, when head injuries were less than or equal to AIS (Abbreviated Injury Scale) 3 or greater than or equal to AIS 4, respectively. Survival probability norms use the Revised Trauma Score, Injury Severity Score, patient age, and injury mechanism. Patients with unexpected outcomes were identified and statistical comparisons of actual and expected numbers of survivors made for each institution. Results provide a description of injury and outcome and support evaluation and quality assurance activities.
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Mickey, R. M. (Dept of Mathematics and Statistics, U. of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405) and S. Greenland. The impact of confounder selection criteria on effect estimation. Am J Epidemiol 1989;129:125–37. Much controversy exists regarding proper methods for the selection of variables in confounder control. Many authors condemn any use of significance testing, some encourage such testing, and others propose a mixed approach. This paper presents the results of a Monte Carlo simulation of several confounder selection criteria, including change-in-estimate and collapsibility test criteria. The methods are compared with respect to their Impact on Inferences regarding the study factor's effect, as measured by test size and power, bias, mean-squared error, and confidence Interval coverage rates. In situations in which the best decision (of whether or not to adjust) is not always obvious, the change-in-estimate criterion tends to be superior, though significance testing methods can perform acceptably If their significance levels are set much higher than conventional levels (to values of 0.20 or more).
Article
A comparison is made between the outcome distributions of two Dutch series of patients with severe head injuries. Both series are taken from the same study and cover the same period (1974 to 1977). There is a large difference in survival rate between the series: 45% versus 63%. The authors present a possible method for assessing the influence of differences in initial severity of injury on outcome. It is estimated that, of the 18% difference in survival rate, 10.5% is due to differences in severity of injury on admission. The remaining 7.5% difference in survival rate is not explained, but may have been caused by unmeasured variations in the initial determination of severity of injury or by differences in effectiveness of management. The higher survival rate was achieved at the center with the more conservative management regimen. An evaluation of recent literature suggests that reports that do not find aspects of "aggressive" management beneficial are more reliable in comparing series than are those that claim improved outcome after aggressive therapy.
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Ordinal regression is a relatively new statistical method developed for analyzing ranked outcomes. In the past, ranked scales have often been analyzed without making full use of the ordinality of the data or, alternatively, by assigning arbitrary numerical scores to the ranks. While ordinal regression models are now available to make full use of ranked data, they are not used widely. This article, directed to clinical researchers and epidemiologists, provides a description of the properties of these methods. Using ordinal measures of back pain in a follow-up study of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, we illustrate the advantages of those methods and describe how to interpret the estimated parameters. Comparisons with binary logistic regression are made to show why a single dichotomization of the ordinal scale may lead to incorrect inferences. Two ordinal models (the proportional odds and the continuation ratio models) are discussed, and the goodness-of-fit of these models is examined. We conclude that ordinal regression is a tool that is powerful, simple to use, and produces an interpretable parameter that summarizes the effect between groups over all levels of the outcome.
Article
Background: Preservation of a high cerebral perfusion (mean arterial) pressure to prevent ischemia has become the primary focus during treatment of severe head trauma because ischemia is favored as a triggering mechanism behind intracellular brain edema development and poor outcome. A high cerebral perfusion pressure, however, simultaneously may increase the hydrostatic vasogenic edema. The present paper evaluates the mechanisms behind the vasogenic edema by analyzing the physiologic hemodynamic mechanisms controlling the volume of a tissue that is enclosed in a rigid shell, possesses capillaries permeable for solutes, and has depressed autoregulation. Results and conclusions: We contend that in the long run, the interstitial volume in such a tissue can be reduced only through reduction in arterial inflow pressure providing an otherwise optimal therapy to improve microcirculation. Therefore we argue, in contrast to the conventional view, that antihypertensive and antistress therapy may be of value by reducing the interstitial tissue volume during treatment of brain edema, and that the problem with ischemia during such therapy can be handled when considering an otherwise optimal intensive care. These physiologic principles of interstitial tissue volume regulation form the basic concept for the "Lund therapy" of severe head injuries, which is a new and controversial therapy of posttraumatic brain edema.
Article
Guidelines for the management of severe head injury in adults as evolved by the European Brain Injury Consortium are presented and discussed. The importance of preventing and treating secondary insults is emphasized and the principles on which treatment is based are reviewed. Guidelines presented are of a pragmatic nature, based on consensus and expert opinion, covering the treatment from accident site to intensive care unit. Specific aspects pertaining to the conduct of clinical trials in head injury are highlighted. The adopted approach is further discussed in relation to other approaches to the development of guidelines, such as evidence based analysis.
Article
In our institution ICP was monitored in patients with GCS < or = 8 and abnormal CT scan: 362 severely head injured and 180 subarachnoid hemorrhage. Mean duration of monitoring was 103.6 hours (SD 74.96). Among 542 patients, 440 showed at least one episode of ICP above the threshold of 20 mm Hg. Among 362 head injured patients only 71 (19.3%) had an ICP lower than 20 mm Hg. In the remaining 289 (81.7%) at least one episode > or = 20 mm Hg was measured. In 13 cases (2.2%) a ventricular infection has been diagnosed. In 1 case an intraparenchimal hemorrhage related to the presence of the catheter was detected. Elevated risk of HICP and low incidence of complications have been shown in this series.
Article
The number needed to treat (NNT) is a useful way of reporting the results of randomised controlled trials.1 In a trial comparing a new treatment with a standard one, the number needed to treat is the estimated number of patients who need to be treated with the new treatment rather than the standard treatment for one additional patient to benefit. It can be obtained for any trial that has reported a binary outcome. ### Summary points The number needed to treat is a useful way of reporting results of randomised clinical trials When the difference between the two treatments is not statistically significant, the confidence interval for the number needed to treat is difficult to describe Sensible confidence intervals can always be constructed for the number needed to treat Confidence intervals should be quoted whenever a number needed to treat value is given Trials with binary end points yield a proportion of patients in each group with the outcome of interest. When the outcome event is an adverse one, the difference between the proportions with the outcome in the new treatment (pN) and standard treatment (pS) groups is called the absolute risk reduction (ARR=pN−pS). The number needed to treat is simply the reciprocal of the absolute risk difference, or 1/ARR (or 100/ARR if percentages are used rather than proportions). A large treatment effect, in the absolute scale, leads to a small number needed to treat. A treatment that will lead to one saved life for every 10 patients treated is clearly better than a competing treatment that saves one life for every 50 treated. Note that when there is no treatment effect the absolute risk reduction is zero and the number needed to treat is infinite. As we will see below, this causes problems. As with other …
Article
Between 1993 and 1996, a total of 452 patients were entered into a randomized trial evaluating eliprodil (a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist) in patients suffering from severe head injury. The primary efficacy analysis concerned the Glasgow Outcome Score (GOS), six months after randomization. This outcome was classified into three ordered categories: good recovery; moderate disability, and the worst category made up by combining severe disability, vegetative state and dead. A sample size calculation was performed prior to the commencement of the study, using a formula which depends on the anticipated proportions of patients in the three different outcome categories, the proportional odds assumption and on the relationship between outcome and prognostic factors such as Glasgow Coma Score at entry. Owing to uncertainty about the influence of prognostic factors, and about the proportion of patients in the three GOS categories, a blinded sample size review was planned. This review was performed on the basis of the first 93 patients to respond, and this led to an increase in the sample size from 400 to 450. In this paper the pre-trial simulations showing that the type I error rate would be influenced and the power would be preserved will be presented, and the implementation of the procedure will be described.
Article
An issue in the design of trials in traumatic brain injury is whether variation amongst centres in 'conventional' management could mask the impact of a powerful new pharmacological agent. We report the results of an observational study of 988 patients admitted to one of four British neurosurgical units between 1986 and 1988 within 3 days of a severe head injury. The centres fell into two pairs on the basis of the 'intensity' of management. In Edinburgh and Southampton, more frequent use of intracranial pressure monitoring, ventilation and osmotic diuretics was made than in Glasgow and Liverpool. The odds ratio for an independent outcome at 6 months in Edinburgh or Southampton, relative to Glasgow or Liverpool, controlling for case mix, was 1.43 (95% CI, 1.03-1.98, p = 0.033). Thus, there is weak evidence of an association between the approach to management and clinical outcome at 6 months.
Article
The purpose of this study was to obtain information from Canadian neurosurgeons regarding their opinions on, and utilization of, intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring for severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). A brief survey was sent to practicing Canadian neurosurgeons questioning them about their utilization of, and confidence in, intracranial pressure monitoring in the management of patients with severe TBI. One hundred and ninety-six surveys were mailed. There were 103 responses for a response rate of 52.6%. The vast majority of responding neurosurgeons (98.1%) utilized ICP monitoring in the management of patients with severe TBI, with most (63.4%) using it in more than 75% of their patients, 14.9% using it in 50-75% of patients, 14.9% in 25-50% of patients, and 6.9% using it in less than 25% of patients. The level of confidence that routine monitoring improves outcome from severe TBI ranged from 23.3% having a low level of confidence, 56.3% having an intermediate level of confidence, to 20.4% having a high level of confidence. Most respondents (78.6%) felt that some form of prospective trial evaluating the role of ICP monitoring in improving outcome from severe TBI was warranted; 17.4% felt such a trial was not warranted and 3.9% were uncertain. While ICP monitoring has gained almost universal acceptance among responding Canadian neurosurgeons, their level of confidence that routine monitoring improves outcome from severe TBI was quite variable, with only 20.4% of respondents having a high level of confidence. Over 75% of respondents felt that some form of prospective trial evaluating the utility of ICP monitoring is warranted. This information is being used in consideration of a prospective trial addressing this issue.
Article
In 1886, Victor Horsley excised an epileptogenic posttraumatic cortical scar in a 23-year-old man under general anaesthesia and discussed his choice of anaesthesia: "I have not employed ether in operations on man, fearing that it would tend to cause cerebral excitement; chloroform, of course, producing on the contrary, well-marked depression." His concerns regarding anaesthesia are reiterated 100 years later as evidenced by the ongoing controversy over the choice of anaesthetic in surgical procedures for epilepsy. The current controversies regarding the necessity for local anaesthesia in temporal lobe epilepsy operations concern the utility of electrocorticography in surgical decision making, its relationship to seizure outcome and the value of intraoperative language mapping in dominant temporal lobe resections. The increasing sophistication of pre-operative investigation and localization of both areas of epileptogenesis and normal brain function and the introduction of minimally invasive surgical techniques and smaller focal resections are changing the indications for local anaesthesia in temporal lobe epilepsy. Thus, indications which were previously absolute are now perhaps relative. This article reviews the current indications for craniotomy under local anaesthesia in the surgical treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy.
Article
Uncontrolled intracranial hypertension after traumatic brain injury (TBI) contributes significantly to the death rate and to poor functional outcome. There is no evidence that intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring alters the outcome of TBI. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that insertion of ICP monitors in patients who have TBI is not associated with a decrease in the death rate. Study of case records. The data files from the Ontario Trauma Registry from 1989 to 1995 were examined. Included were all cases with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) greater than 12 from the 14 trauma centres in Ontario. Cases identifying a Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale score in the head region (MAIS head) greater than 3 were selected for further analysis. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate the relationship between ICP and death. Of 9001 registered cases of TBI, an MAIS head greater than 3 was recorded in 5507. Of these patients, 541 (66.8% male, mean age 34.1 years) had an ICP monitor inserted. Their average ISS was 33.4 and 71.7% survived. There was wide variation among the institutions in the rate of insertion of ICP monitors in these patients (ranging from 0.4% to over 20%). Univariate logistic regression indicated that increased MAIS head, ISS, penetrating trauma and the insertion of an ICP monitor were each associated with an increased death rate. However, multivariate analyses controlling for MAIS head, ISS and injury mechanism indicated that ICP monitoring was associated with significantly improved survival (p < 0.015). ICP monitor insertion rates vary widely in Ontario's trauma hospitals. The insertion of an ICP monitor is associated with a statistically significant decrease in death rate among patients with severe TBI. This finding strongly supports the need for a prospective randomized trial of management protocols, including ICP monitoring, in patients with severe TBI.
Article
Five adult patients with head injuries inexplicably had fatal cardiac arrests In our neurosurgical intensive-care unit after the introduction of a sedation formulation containing an increased concentration of propofol. To examine the possible relation further, we did a retrospective cohort analysis of head-injured adults admitted to our unit between 1996 and 1999 who were sedated and mechanically ventilated. 67 patients met the inclusion criteria, of whom seven were judged to have died from propofol-infusion syndrome. The odds ratio for the occurrence of the syndrome was 1.93 (95% CI 1.12-3.32, p=0.018) for every mg/kg per h increase in mean propofol dose above 5 mg/kg per h. We suggest that propofol infusion at rates higher than 5 mg/kg per h should be discouraged for long-term sedation in the intensive-care unit.
Article
This re-survey of neurosurgical centres was conducted to determine whether the publication of management guidelines has resulted in changes in the intensive care management of severely head-injured patients (defined as Glasgow Coma Score < 9) in the UK and Ireland. Results were compared with data collected from a similar survey conducted 2 years earlier. Almost 75% of centres monitor intracranial pressure in the majority of patients and 80% now set a target cerebral perfusion pressure of > 70 mmHg. The use of prolonged hyperventilation (> 12 h) is declining and the target PaCO2 is now most commonly > 4 kPa. More centres maintain core temperature < 36.5 degrees C. Although wide variations in the management of severely head-injured patients still exist, we found evidence of practice changing to comply with published guidelines.
Article
(a) to describe current practice in the monitoring and treatment of moderate and severe head injuries in Europe; (b) to report on intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure monitoring, occurrence of measured and reported intracranial hypertension, and complications related to this monitoring; (c) to investigate the relationship between the severity of injury, the frequency of monitoring and management, and outcome. A three-page questionnaire comprising 60 items of information has been compiled by 67 centres in 12 European countries. Information was collected prospectively regarding all severe and moderate head injuries in adults (> 16 years) admitted to neurosurgery within 24 h of injury. A total of 1005 adult head injury cases were enrolled in the study from 1 February 1995 to 30 April 1995. The Glasgow Outcome Scale was administered at 6 months. Early surgery was performed in 346 cases (35%); arterial pressure was monitored invasively in 631 (68%), ICP in 346 (37%), and jugular bulb saturation in 173 (18%). Artificial ventilation was provided to 736 patients (78%). Intracranial hypertension was noted in 55% of patients in whom ICP was recorded, while it was suspected in only 12% of cases without ICP measurement. There were great differences in the use of ventilation and CPP monitoring among the centres. Mortality at 6 months was 31%. There was an association between an increased frequency of monitoring and intervention and an increased severity of injury; correspondingly, patients who more frequently underwent monitoring and ventilation had a less favourable outcome. In Europe there are great differences between centres in the frequency of CPP monitoring and ventilatory support applied to head-injured patients. ICP measurement disclosed a high rate of intracranial hypertension, which was not suspected in patients evaluated on a clinical basis alone. ICP monitoring was associated with a low rate of complications. Cases with severe neurological impairment, and with the worse outcome, were treated and monitored more intensively.
Article
The factors involved in the development of adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) after severe head injury were studied. The presence of ARDS complicates the treatment of patients with severe head injury, both because hypoxia causes additional injury to the brain and because therapies that are used to protect the lungs and improve oxygenation in patients with ARDS can reduce cerebral blood flow (CBF) and increase intracranial pressure (ICP). In a recent randomized trial of two head-injury management strategies (ICP-targeted and CBF-targeted), a fivefold increase in the incidence of ARDS was observed in the CBF-targeted group. Injury severity, physiological data, and treatment data in 18 patients in whom ARDS had developed were compared with the remaining 171 patients in the randomized trial in whom it had not developed. Logistic regression analysis was used to study the interaction of the factors that were related to the development of ARDS. In the final exact logistic regression model, several factors were found to be significantly associated with an increased risk of ARDS: administration of epinephrine (5.7-fold increased risk), administration of dopamine in a larger than median dose (10.8-fold increased risk), and a history of drug abuse (3.1-fold increased risk). Although this clinical trial was not designed to study the association of management strategy and the occurrence of ARDS, the data strongly indicated that induced hypertension in this high-risk group of patients is associated with the development of symptomatic ARDS.
Article
The purpose of this study was three-fold: a) to examine variations in care of patients with severe head injury in academic trauma centers across the United States; b) to determine the proportion of patients who received care according to the Brain Trauma Foundation guidelines; and c) to correlate the outcome from severe traumatic brain injury with the care received. Retrospective data collection for consecutive patients with closed head injury and long bone fracture admitted over an 8-month period. Thirty-four academic trauma centers in the United States All patients admitted with a presenting Glasgow Coma Scale score < or = 8. Variations in care were assessed, including prehospital intubation, intracranial pressure monitoring, use of osmotic agents, hyperventilation, and computed tomography scan utilization. Aggressive centers were defined as those placing intracranial pressure monitors in >50% of patients meeting the Brain Trauma Foundation criteria for intracranial pressure monitoring. The primary outcome variables were mortality, functional status at discharge, and length of stay. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was performed for aggressive vs. nonaggressive centers. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to evaluate the association between type of center and mortality rate. Length of stay was evaluated by using linear regression. There was considerable variation in the rates of prehospital intubation, intracranial pressure monitoring, intracranial pressure-directed therapy, and head computed tomography scan utilization across centers. Management at an aggressive center was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of mortality (hazard ratio, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.27-0.66). There was no statistically significant difference in functional status at the time of discharge for survivors. Adjusted length of stay for survivors at aggressive centers was shorter, compared with the length of stay at nonaggressive centers: -6 days (95% confidence interval, -14 to 2 days). Considerable national variation in the care of severely head-injured patients persists. An "aggressive" management strategy is associated with decreased mortality rate for patients with severe head injury, with no significant difference in functional status at discharge among survivors.
Article
To determine test-retest reliability and interrater reliability for structured interviews for the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) using in-person and telephone contact. Study 1: Thirty head-injured patients were interviewed face-to-face and then reinterviewed by telephone a few days later by the same rater. Study 2: Fifty-six head-injured patients were interviewed by telephone and then face-to-face interviews were carried out by a different person up to 1 month later. Agreement between ratings on the GOS and the extended GOS (GOSE) in each of the studies was assessed using the kappa statistic weighted with quadratic weights. Values of kappa(w) for the test-retest reliability study were.92 for both GOS and GOSE, and for interrater reliability study were.85 for the GOS and.84 for the GOSE. The findings indicate good test-retest and interrater reliability for the structured interviews. In most circumstances a structured interview over the telephone can provide a reliable assessment of the GOS, and can safely be substituted for in person contact.
Article
In the late 1980s the Dutch trauma surgeons (Dutch Trauma Society) expressed their concern about the quality of care to the (multi) trauma patients, in the prehospital as well as the in-hospital setting. The following intensive debate with the public health inspectorate and the government became the start point for major improvements in teaching and training (a.o. ATLS), reorganization, regionalization and implementation in which all partners in trauma care were involved. The regionalization of ambulance care, the introduction of mobile medical teams, the availability of trauma helicopters, the categorization of hospitals, the designation of trauma centres, the given responsibility of these centres in the regionalization of trauma care will and already have resulted in an important quality improvement, not only of the individual organizations but for all of the entire chain of trauma care. It has become a major step forward in the philosophy: get the individual trauma patient at the right time at the right hospital. Besides, initiatives have been taken to design a nationwide trauma registration data base in which all in-hospital trauma patients will be included. However serious concerns remain: shortage of intensive care beds, the impossibility to use the helicopter service at night, the shortage in the number of mobile medical teams at night and the slowness in executions of agreements between contracting parties. Many of the remaining problems are a matter of money. Not only (para) medical partners and hospitals but for all government and insurance companies should take their responsibility in this.
Article
In and around traumatic contusions, cerebral blood flow (CBF) is often near or below the threshold for ischemia. Increasing cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) in patients with head injuries may improve CBF in these regions. However, the pericontusional response to this intervention has not been studied. Using positron emission tomography (PET), we have quantified the response to an increase in CPP in and around contusions in 18 contusions in 18 patients. Regional CBF and cerebral blood volume (CBV) were measured with PET at CPPs of 70 and 90 mmHg using norepinephrine to control CPP. Based upon computed tomography, regions of interest (ROIs) were placed as two concentric ellipsoids, each of 1-cm width, around the core of the contusions. Measurements were compared with a control ROI in tissue with normal anatomic appearance. Baseline CBF and CBV increased significantly with increasing distance from the core of the lesion. The increase in CPP led to small increases in CBF in all ROIs except the core. The largest absolute CBF increase was found in the control ROI. Relative CBF increases did not differ between ROIs so that ischemic areas remained ischemic. Pericontusional oedema on computed tomography was associated with lower absolute values of CBF and CBV but did not differ from nonoedematous tissue in the relative response to CPP elevation.
The Major Trauma Outcome Study: Estab-lishing national norms for trauma care
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