Gender and age effects on outcome after pediatric traumatic brain injury

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2004 Mar;5(2):145-51. doi: 10.1097/01.pcc.0000112373.71645.2a.


Objective: To evaluate whether girls have better outcomes after traumatic brain injury than boys.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: University hospital.

Patients: A 16,586 patient subset of the National Pediatric Trauma Registry with nonpenetrating traumatic brain injury.

Interventions: Retrospective review.

Measurements and main results: The patients were subdivided by age into prepubertal (0-7 yrs), indeterminate pubertal (8-12 yrs), and probable pubertal (13-19 yrs). All analyses were adjusted for injury severity using the Injury Severity Score. Outcome variables were in-hospital death rate, intensive care unit length of stay, total length of stay, discharge to home vs. rehabilitation, and functional status at discharge. Overall, 6.1% of girls and 5.3% of boys died. A higher proportion of girls were injured in motor vehicle crashes. Gender did not have a significant effect on in-hospital mortality rate after adjustment for age, Injury Severity Score, and motor vehicle crashes. Boys had a shorter intensive care unit length of stay (p =.027). There were no statistically significant differences between boys and girls in total hospital length of stay, functional outcome, and discharge location, although for every outcome there was a trend toward girls doing worse.

Conclusions: There is evidence from this large study that girls do not have a better outcome after pediatric traumatic brain injury than boys, with a suggestion that girls may do worse.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Brain Injuries* / mortality
  • Brain Injuries* / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Recovery of Function
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Treatment Outcome