Predictors of functional recovery in African patients with traumatic intracranial hematomas

Kiboi JG, Kitunguu PK, Angwenyi P, Mbuthia F, Sagina LS. "Predictors of functional recovery in African patients with traumatic intracranial hematomas.". 2011.


Head injury is a critical public health problem responsible for up to 50% of fatalities among trauma patients and for a large component of continuing care among survivors. Intracranial hematomas are among the most common clinical entities encountered by any neurosurgical service and have a very high mortality rate and extremely poor prognosis among traumatic brain injuries. The purpose of this study was to investigate reliable factors influencing the functional outcome of the patients with traumatic intracranial hematomas (ICHs). A retrospective analysis was conducted of consecutive patients presenting at the Kenyatta National Hospital between January 2000 and December 2009. Following ethical approval, the records of patients admitted to the neurosurgical unit and diagnosed with traumatic ICH were retrieved and reviewed. The outcome measure was the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score at discharge. Data were collected in preformed questionnaires, and the coding and analysis were carried out using SPSS, version 11.5. Of the 608 patients diagnosed with intracranial hematomas during the study period, there was a clear male predominance, with 89.3% male and 10.7% female patients. Majority of the patients (49%) were aged between 26 and 45 years, whereas 5.6% and 9.4% were younger than age 13 years and older than age 61 years, respectively. The most common cause of injury was assault (48%). Good functional recovery was achieved by 280 (46.1%) of the patients in our series, whereas moderate and severe disability accounted for 27% and 6.9%, respectively. Males were more likely to have functional recovery (46.4%) than were females (43.1%), though this finding was not statistically significant (P = 0.069). The proportion of patients who achieved functional recovery seemed to decrease with increasing age. Patients who were involved in motor vehicle accidents were less likely to have functional recovery (33.7%, P = 0.003) than those who fell (53.6%). There was a statistically significant difference in the proportion of patients who achieved functional recovery, with 65.2% of those who had mild head injury as compared to 46% and 15.1% (P ≤ 0.001) for those with moderate and severe head injury, respectively. Patients who had surgical intervention were more likely to achieve functional outcome (51.2%) as compared to 31.7% in those managed conservatively. Furthermore, the time elapsed from initial trauma to surgery significantly influenced outcome. The type of surgery done was not found to significantly influence patient outcome (P = 0.095). An increased risk of poor outcome occurs in patients who are older than age 61 years, have lower preoperative GCS scores, pupillary abnormalities, and a long interval between trauma and decompression. The findings would help clinicians determine management criteria and improve survival.

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