Brain tissue oxygen-directed management and outcome in patients with severe traumatic brain injury

J Neurosurg. 2010 Sep;113(3):571-80. doi: 10.3171/2010.1.JNS09506.


Object: The object of this study was to determine whether brain tissue oxygen (PbtO(2))-based therapy or intracranial pressure (ICP)/cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP)-based therapy is associated with improved patient outcome after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Methods: Seventy patients with severe TBI (postresuscitation GCS score < or = 8), admitted to a neurosurgical intensive care unit at a university-based Level I trauma center and tertiary care hospital and managed with an ICP and PbtO(2) monitor (mean age 40 +/- 19 years [SD]) were compared with 53 historical controls who received only an ICP monitor (mean age 43 +/- 18 years). Therapy for both patient groups was aimed to maintain ICP < 20 mm Hg and CPP > 60 mm Hg. Patients with PbtO(2) monitors also had therapy to maintain PbtO(2) > 20 mm Hg.

Results: Data were obtained from 12,148 hours of continuous ICP monitoring and 6,816 hours of continuous PbtO(2) monitoring. The mean daily ICP and CPP and the frequency of elevated ICP (> 20 mm Hg) or suboptimal CPP (< 60 mm Hg) episodes were similar in each group. The mortality rate was significantly lower in patients who received PbtO(2)-directed care (25.7%) than in those who received conventional ICP and CPP-based therapy (45.3%, p < 0.05). Overall, 40% of patients receiving ICP/CPP-guided management and 64.3% of those receiving PbtO(2)-guided management had a favorable short-term outcome (p = 0.01). Among patients who received PbtO(2)-directed therapy, mortality was associated with lower mean daily PbtO(2) (p < 0.05), longer durations of compromised brain oxygen (PbtO(2) < 20 mm Hg, p = 0.013) and brain hypoxia (PbtO(2) < 15 mm Hg, p = 0.001), more episodes and a longer cumulative duration of compromised PbtO(2) (p < 0.001), and less successful treatment of compromised PbtO(2) (p = 0.03).

Conclusions: These results suggest that PbtO(2)-based therapy, particularly when compromised PbtO(2) can be corrected, may be associated with reduced patient mortality and improved patient outcome after severe TBI.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / mortality
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia, Brain / mortality
  • Hypoxia, Brain / physiopathology
  • Hypoxia, Brain / therapy
  • Intracranial Pressure
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Oxygen