Relationship of brain tissue PO2 to outcome after severe head injury

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To determine thresholds of brain tissue PO2 (PbtO2) that are critical for survival after severe head injury.


Prospective data collection.


Neurosurgical intensive care unit of Ben Taub General Hospital, a comprehensive academic neurosurgical facility and Level I trauma center.


Forty-three severely head-injured patients who were not obeying commands on presentation or whose condition deteriorated to this level shortly after admission.


Intracerebral placement of Licox (n = 39) or Paratrend (n = 4) PO2 probes during craniotomy or in the intensive care unit.

Measurements and Main Results

PbtO2 monitoring continued for an average of 84.6 +/- 41.8 hrs. The probes were calibrated before insertion according to the manufacturer's specifications. After removal, probes were tested in room air and in blood gas standard calibration solutions. PbtO2 data were analyzed by comparing the average time that PbtO2 was below the values of 20, 15, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 torr (27, 2.0, 1.3, 1.0, 0.8, 0.5, and 0.3 kPa, respectively) in patients who were living 3 mos after injury vs. those who died. A Toblt regression analysis using maximum likellhood methods was utilized.


Analysis of the PbtO2 monitoring data suggested that the likellhood of death increased with increasing duration of time at or below a PbtO (2) of 15 torr (2.0 kPa) or with the occurrence of any PbtO2 values of

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