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.
|Publication status||Published - 5 Oct 1996|