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J Neurotrauma. 2005 Sep;22(9):947-54.

Early Glasgow Outcome Scale scores predict long-term functional outcome in patients with severe traumatic brain injury.

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Section of Neurosurgery, VA Connecticut Healthcare System/112, West Haven, Connecticut 06516, USA.


Patients sustaining severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) have variable long-term outcomes. We examined the association between Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) assessed at 3 months and long-term outcomes at 12 months after TBI. We studied 159 patients with severe, closed traumatic brain injuries (Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] <or= 8) who were treated at an academic medical center and survived for a minimum of 3 months after TBI. Demographics and admission clinical data and GOS at 3 and 12 months were analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression was used to asses the relationship between 3-month GOS, demographics, and clinical data and a poor outcome, defined as GOS 1-3 assessed at 12 months after injury. The patient population was predominantly male (77%), with a median age of 30 years and a median admission GCS of 6. The logistic regression model showed that the GOS at 3 months was the best predictor of 12-month outcomes (odds ratio = 15.22, p < 0.001). The presence of prolonged hypotension, diffuse axonal injury (DAI), and fixed and dilated pupils on admission were also significant independent predictors of poor 12-month outcome (for all, p <or= 0.047). The adjusted logistic model showed a steep gradient of long-term recovery potential depending upon GOS at 3 months, ranging from an 89.4% chance of poor outcome for patients with a GOS of 2, to a 0.11% chance of poor outcome for those with a GOS of 5. The 3-month GOS is a powerful independent predictor of long-term outcome for patients with severe TBI. Prolonged hypotension, DAI, and the presence of fixed and dilated pupils were also independent predictors of poor outcome.

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