JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY

Prognostic significance of blood-brain barrier disruption in patients with severe nonpenetrating traumatic brain injury requiring decompressive craniectomy

Kwok M Ho, Stephen Honeybul, Cheng B Yip, Benjamin I Silbert
Journal of Neurosurgery 2014, 121 (3): 674-9
25036202

OBJECT: The authors assessed the risk factors and outcomes associated with blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption in patients with severe, nonpenetrating, traumatic brain injury (TBI) requiring decompressive craniectomy.

METHODS: At 2 major neurotrauma centers in Western Australia, a retrospective cohort study was conducted among 97 adult neurotrauma patients who required an external ventricular drain (EVD) and decompressive craniectomy during 2004-2012. Glasgow Outcome Scale scores were used to assess neurological outcomes. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with BBB disruption, defined by a ratio of total CSF protein concentrations to total plasma protein concentration > 0.007 in the earliest CSF specimen collected after TBI.

RESULTS: Of the 252 patients who required decompressive craniectomy, 97 (39%) required an EVD to control intracranial pressure, and biochemical evidence of BBB disruption was observed in 43 (44%). Presence of disruption was associated with more severe TBI (median predicted risk for unfavorable outcome 75% vs 63%, respectively; p = 0.001) and with worse outcomes at 6, 12, and 18 months than was absence of BBB disruption (72% vs 37% unfavorable outcomes, respectively; p = 0.015). The only risk factor significantly associated with increased risk for BBB disruption was presence of nonevacuated intracerebral hematoma (> 1 cm diameter) (OR 3.03, 95% CI 1.23-7.50; p = 0.016). Although BBB disruption was associated with more severe TBI and worse long-term outcomes, when combined with the prognostic information contained in the Corticosteroid Randomization after Significant Head Injury (CRASH) prognostic model, it did not seem to add significant prognostic value (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve 0.855 vs 0.864, respectively; p = 0.453).

CONCLUSIONS: Biochemical evidence of BBB disruption after severe nonpenetrating TBI was common, especially among patients with large intracerebral hematomas. Disruption of the BBB was associated with more severe TBI and worse long-term outcomes, but when combined with the prognostic information contained in the CRASH prognostic model, this information did not add significant prognostic value.

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