Decompressive craniectomy for severe head injury in patients with major extracranial injuries [chapter]

U. Meier, J. Lemcke, T. Reyer, A. Gräwe
Brain Edema XIII  
Neurosurgical therapy aims to minimize secondary brain damage after a severe head injury. This includes the evacuation of intracranial space-occupying hematomas, the reduction of intracranial volumes, external ventricular drainage, and aggressive therapy in order to influence increased intracranial pressure (ICP) and decreased P(ti)O 2 . When conservative treatment fails, a decompressive craniectomy might be successful in lowering ICP. From September 1997 until December 2004, we operated on 836
more » ... we operated on 836 patients with severe head injuries, of whom 117 patients (14%) were treated by means of a decompressive craniectomy. The prognosis after decompression depends on the clinical signs and symptoms at admission, patient age, and the existence of major extracranial injuries. Our guidelines for decompressive craniectomy after failure of conservative interventions and evacuation of space-occupying hematomas include: patient age below 50 years without multiple trauma, patient age below 30 years in the presence of major extracranial injuries, severe brain swelling on CT scan, exclusion of a primary brainstem lesion or injury, and intervention before irreversible brainstem damage.
doi:10.1007/3-211-30714-1_77 fatcat:t4vjtsv3wvbwrdixsbvyogqm3e