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Traumatic brain injury in pediatric age group: Predictors of outcome in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

H.M. Kamal
A.A. Mardini
M.M. Bokhary


Objective: To determine predictors for outcomes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in infants and children younger than twelve years admitted to our pediatric intensive care units (PICU).

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study from 2004-5, done at the PICU of King Fahad Hofuf Hospital, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. One hundred and six patients with TBI; 65 boys and 41 girls ages 12 or under, with a mean age of 5.7 years, were included. Of them, 11.3% died (Deaths group), 11% survived with neurological deficits (ND-group), and 77% survived with no neurological deficits (NND-group). The potential predictors for death or neurological deficits were examined.

Results: 83% of deaths had initial Glascow coma scale (GCS) of ≤ 4/15, 50% of ND had initial GCS ≤ 8 and 27% of NND had GCS < 12. The initial brain CT was abnormal in 92% of deaths and ND groups, but in only 37% of NND. Combined brain pathologies were found in 92% of deaths, 63% of ND and only in 5% of NND. Hypotension was seen in 67% of deaths, 17% ND and only in 1% of NND. Mechanical ventilation was required in all deaths and more than half of ND. Liver enzymes were high in 50% of deaths and 66% of ND but in only 20% of NND. Serum albumin was low in 33% of deaths, 42% of ND and only 1% NND.

Conclusion: Glasgow coma score, brain CT findings, combined brain pathologies, hypotension, high liver enzymes and low serum albumin predict outcome after TBI in pediatric age group.

Keywords: brain injury, pediatric trauma, children, head trauma