Head-injury in adult patients: Clinical and radiologic aspects

L. Marruecos-Sant, M. Pérez-Márquez, A. J. Betbesé, G. Rialp, J. Molet, A. Net

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    BACKGROUND: To analyse extracranial complications and basic variables in head-injury patients, such as Glasgow coma score (GCS), intracranial pressure (ICP) and cranial computerized tomography (CT), in relation to the outcome of these patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 64 consecutive patients (47 males and 17 females) with head injury, admitted from January 1992 to May 1994, were studied in this prospective study. Mean age was 37 ±18 years. Overall mortality was 23% (15/64). Student-t and Chi-square tests were used for statistical analysis, and p < 0.05 was considered statistical significant. RESULTS: Overall GCS was 7 ± 3, survivors presenting GCS of 7.7 ± 2.9 and non-survivors 4.7 ± 1.5 (p = 0.04). CT were classified as follows: diffuse injury, 4 patients (7%); focal injury, 32 (53%), and mixed injury 24 (40%). Depending on the presence or absence of mesencephalic cisterns in the CT, GSC was 7.6 ± 2.8 and 4.3 ± 1.4, respectively (p = 0.04). Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) was associated to a GCS of 6.3 ± 2.5 and its absence to 8 ± 3.3 (p = 0.03). The absence of mesencephalic cisterns and SAH were more frequent in the non-survivors, 72% and 32% (p = 0.01 and 0.04), respectively. ICP was recorded in 42 patients. Regarding to ICP, mortality was; 6.7% with ICP ≤ 20 mmHg, 37% with ICP 21-30, 44% with ICP 31-40 and 67% with ICP > 50 mmHg (p = 0.03). Diabetes insipidus, cardiorespiratory arrest, shock, prolonged mechanical ventilation, SDRA and sepsis were the most frequent extracranial complications in non-survivors. CONCLUSIONS: There is an association between the outcome of head-injured patients with the GCS and ICP values. Absence of mesencephalic cisterns and SAH were radiologic signs of poor prognosis. Patients who died had more extracranial complications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)405-409
    JournalMedicina Clinica
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 1996


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