Uncontrolled intracranial hypertension after traumatic brain injury (TBI) contributes significantly to the death rate and to poor functional outcome. There is no evidence that intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring alters the outcome of TBI. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that insertion of ICP monitors in patients who have TBI is not associated with a decrease in the death rate.
Study of case records.
The data files from the Ontario Trauma Registry from 1989 to 1995 were examined. Included were all cases with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) greater than 12 from the 14 trauma centres in Ontario. Cases identifying a Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale score in the head region (MAIS head) greater than 3 were selected for further analysis. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate the relationship between ICP and death.
Of 9001 registered cases of TBI, an MAIS head greater than 3 was recorded in 5507. Of these patients, 541 (66.8% male, mean age 34.1 years) had an ICP monitor inserted. Their average ISS was 33.4 and 71.7% survived. There was wide variation among the institutions in the rate of insertion of ICP monitors in these patients (ranging from 0.4% to over 20%). Univariate logistic regression indicated that increased MAIS head, ISS, penetrating trauma and the insertion of an ICP monitor were each associated with an increased death rate. However, multivariate analyses controlling for MAIS head, ISS and injury mechanism indicated that ICP monitoring was associated with significantly improved survival (p
Comment In: Can J Surg. 2000 Dec;43(6):40611129824