Predictors of poor outcome of decompressive craniectomy in pediatric patients with severe traumatic brain injury: A retrospective single center study from Pakistan

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Objective: This study aimed to determine the risk factors associated with poor outcome of decompressive craniectomy (DC) for severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in pediatric patients.
Methods: This retrospective study is conducted on pediatric population (age 1-15 years) presenting with TBI who underwent DC at our institute between January 2000 and 2010. Based on Glasgow outcome score (GOS) at a minimum follow-up of 5 months, patients were divided into two groups, namely poor outcome (GOS 1, 2, and 3) and good outcome (GOS 4 and 5). Records were reviewed and analyzed for preoperative and intraoperative predictors.
Results: We found 25 patients who were eligible as per selection criteria. Mean age at presentation was 6 ± 4 years and there was male preponderance (84%). Fall (60%) was the most common mechanism of injury followed by gunshots and road traffic accident. On univariate analysis, presenting GCS ≤5 (p value = 0.009), delay in presentation of more than 150 min (p value = 0.010), DC performed after more than 4 h of arrival in hospital (p value = 0.042), and intraoperative blood loss exceeding 300 ml (p value = 0.001) were significant predictors of poor outcome.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that DC in children is not only a life-saving procedure, but also leads to a good functional outcome after severe injury. However, patient selection still remains an important aspect, and the above-mentioned factors should be considered while deciding for DC to improve survival. Further prospective studies on larger sample size are warranted to validate our results.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Child's Nervous System