Early prognostication in acute brain damage: where is the evidence?

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Purpose of review

Early prognostication in acute brain damage remains a challenge in the realm of critical care. There remains controversy over the most optimal methods that can be utilized to predict outcome. The utility of recently reported prognostic biomarkers and clinical methods will be reviewed.

Recent findings

Recent guidelines touch upon prognostication techniques as part of management recommendations. In addition to novel laboratory values, there have been few reports on the use of clinical parameters, diagnostic imaging techniques, and electrophysiological techniques to assist in prognostication.


Although encouraging, newer markers are not capable of providing accurate estimates on outcomes in acute injuries of the central nervous system. Traditional markers of prognostication may not be applicable in the light of newer and effective therapies (i.e. hypothermia). Substantial research in the field of outcome determination is in progress, but these studies need to be interpreted with caution.

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