[Trends in computed tomography characteristics, intracranial pressure monitoring and surgical management in severe traumatic brain injury: Analysis of a data base of the past 25 years in a neurosurgery department]

Pedro A Gómez, Ana M Castaño-León, David Lora, Santiago Cepeda, Alfonso Lagares
Neurocirugía 2017, 28 (1): 1-14

OBJECTIVE: To describe the radiological characteristics, surgical indications, procedures, and intracranial pressure monitoring of a representative cohort of severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI) cases collected over the past 25years, and to analyse the changes that have occurred by dividing the period into 3 equal time periods.

METHODS: An observational cohort study was conducted on consecutive adult patients (>14years of age) with severe closed TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale score [GCS]≤8) who were admitted during the first 48hours after injury to the Hospital 12 de Octubre from 1987 to 2012. The most relevant radiological findings, surgical procedures, and intracranial monitoring indications reported in the literature were defined and compared in 3 equal time periods (1987-1995, 1996-2004, and 2005-2014).

RESULTS: A significant increase was observed in subdural haematomas with lesions over 25cc, and midline shift in the last period of time. The incidence of subarachnoid haemorrhage increased significantly with time. There was a progression to a worse computed tomography (CT) classification from the initial CT scan in 33% of cases. Surgery was performed on 721 (39.4%) patients. Early surgery (<12hours) was performed on 585 (81.1%) patients, with the most frequent being for extra-cerebral mass lesions (subdural and epidural haematomas), whereas delayed surgery (>12hours) was most frequently performed due to an intracerebral haematoma. Surgical treatment, both early and late was significantly lower with respect to the first time period. Decompressive craniectomy with evacuation of the mass lesion was the preferred procedure in the last time period. Intracranial pressure monitoring (ICP) was carried out on 1049 (57.3%) patients, with a significantly higher frequency in the second period of time. There was adherence to Guidelines in 64.4% of cases. Elevated/uncontrolled ICP was more significant in the first time period.

CONCLUSIONS: As a result of the epidemiological changes seen in traumatic brain injury, a different pattern of morphological injury is described, as depicted in the CT, leading to a difference in practice during this period of observation.

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