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Pediatr Neurosurg. 1997 Apr;26(4):200-7.

Cerebrovascular response in infants and young children following severe traumatic brain injury: a preliminary report.

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Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2583, USA.


To further describe the pathophysiologic processes that occur in infants and young children after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), we retrospectively reviewed the cerebral blood flow (CBF) values and 6-month Glasgow Outcome Scores (GOS) in 30 children < or = 8 years old (25 were < or = 4 years old) with a Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) on admission of < or = 8. Twelve females and 18 males (mean age 2.1 years, range 1 month to 8 years) underwent 61 CBF studies using stable xenon computed tomography at variable times from admission to 9 days after TBI. In 12 patients, PaCO2 was manipulated an average of 8.4 torr (range 5-11 torr) and a second CBF study performed to determine CO2 vasoreactivity (CO2VR), defined as the percent change in CBF per torr change in PaCO2. CBF on admission (n = 13)was 25.1+/-7.7 ml/100 g/min (mean +/- SEM) and was < or = 20 ml/100 g/min in 10 of 13 patients (77%). By 24 h and for up to 6 days after TBI, the mean CBF increased to 55.3+/-3.4 ml/100 g/min (range 2-95) which differed significantly from the admission CBF value (p < 0.05); a CBF of >70 ml/100 g/min tended to be associated with a good outcome. Poor outcome (GOS < or = 3) was seen uniformly in children under the age of 1 year and in patients with a CBF of < or = 20 ml/100 g/min any time after TBI. Poor outcome was seen in 85% of children under the age of 24 months, but in only 41% of children > or = 24 months old. Mean CO2VR was 2.1+/-0.6%/torr PaCO2 and ranged from 0.02 to 5.98%. Mean CO2VR tended to differ between good and poor outcome children (3.2+/-0.9 and 1.17+/-0.2%, respectively) and a CO2VR of < or = 2% was significantly associated with a poor outcome. Younger age, low CBF in the early period after TBI, and a CO2VR of <2% was associated with a poor outcome in this subgroup of children. Young children (<24 months) may represent a particular high-risk group with early hypoperfusion after severe TBI. This finding may be a key factor in the pathophysiology and outcome in this age group, and may need to be addressed in our future therapeutic protocols.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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