Severe Head Injury

Intracranial pressure monitoring in severe head injury: compliance with Brain Trauma Foundation guidelines and effect on outcomes: a prospective study

Authors: Talving P, Karamanos E, Teixeira PG, Skiada D, Lam L, Belzberg H, Inaba K, Demetriades D.

Object The Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) has established guidelines for intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring in severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study assessed compliance with these guidelines and the effect on outcomes. Methods This is a prospective, observational study including patients with severe blunt TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤ 8, head Abbreviated Injury Scale score ≥ 3) between January 2010 and December 2011. Demographics, clinical characteristics, laboratory profile, head CT scans, injury severity indices, and interventions were collected. The study population was stratified into 2 study groups: ICP monitoring and no ICP monitoring. Primary outcomes included compliance with BTF guidelines, overall in-hospital mortality, and mortality due to brain herniation. Secondary outcomes were ICU and hospital lengths of stay. Multiple regression analyses were deployed to determine the effect of ICP monitoring on outcomes. Results A total of 216 patients met the BTF guideline criteria for ICP monitoring. Compliance with BTF guidelines was 46.8% (101 patients). Patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage and those who underwent craniectomy/craniotomy were significantly more likely to undergo ICP monitoring. Hypotension, coagulopathy, and increasing age were negatively associated with the placement of ICP monitoring devices. The overall in-hospital mortality was significantly higher in patients who did not undergo ICP monitoring (53.9% vs 32.7%, adjusted p = 0.019). Similarly, mortality due to brain herniation was significantly higher for the group not undergoing ICP monitoring (21.7% vs 12.9%, adjusted p = 0.046). The ICU and hospital lengths of stay were significantly longer in patients subjected to ICP monitoring. Conclusions Compliance with BTF ICP monitoring guidelines in our study sample was 46.8%. Patients managed according to the BTF ICP guidelines experienced significantly improved survival.

Cerebrovascular Pressure Reactivity and Cerebral Oxygen Regulation After Severe Head Injury

Authors: Jaeger M, Lang EW.

BACKGROUND: To investigate the relationship between cerebrovascular pressure reactivity and cerebral oxygen regulation after head injury.
METHODS: Continuous monitoring of the partial pressure of brain tissue oxygen (PbrO2), mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), and intracranial pressure (ICP) in 11 patients. The cerebrovascular pressure reactivity index (PRx) was calculated as the moving correlation coefficient between MAP and ICP. For assessment of the cerebral oxygen regulation system a brain tissue oxygen response (TOR) was calculated, where the response of PbrO2 to an increase of the arterial oxygen through ventilation with 100 % oxygen for 15 min is tested. Arterial blood gas analysis was performed before and after changing ventilator settings.
RESULTS: Arterial oxygen increased from 108 ± 6 mmHg to 494 ± 68 mmHg during ventilation with 100 % oxygen. PbrO2 increased from 28 ± 7 mmHg to 78 ± 29 mmHg, resulting in a mean TOR of 0.48 ± 0.24. Mean PRx was 0.05 ± 0.22. The correlation between PRx and TOR was r = 0.69, P = 0.019. The correlation of PRx and TOR with the Glasgow outcome scale at 6 months was r = 0.47, P = 0.142; and r = -0.33, P = 0.32, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest a strong link between cerebrovascular pressure reactivity and the brain's ability to control for its extracellular oxygen content. Their simultaneous impairment indicates that their common actuating element for cerebral blood flow control, the cerebral resistance vessels, are equally impaired in their ability to regulate for MAP fluctuations and changes in brain oxygen.

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