Cardiac-cerebral-renal associations in pediatric traumatic brain injury: Preliminary findings

J Clin Neurosci. 2020 Jun;76:126-133. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2020.04.021. Epub 2020 Apr 13.


Objective: The clinical epidemiology of organ outcomes in pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) has not been examined. We describe associated markers of cerebral, cardiac and renal injury after pediatric TBI.

Design: Prospective observational study.

Patients: Children 0-18 years who were hospitalized with TBI.

Measurements: Measures of myocardial (at least one elevated plasma troponin [cTnI] ≥ 0.4 ng/ml) and multiorgan (hemodynamic variables, cerebral perfusion, and renal) function were examined within the first ten days of hospital admission and within 24 h of each other.

Main results: Data from 28 children who were 11[IQR 10.3] years, male (64.3%), with isolated TBI (67.9%), injury severity score (ISS) 25[10], and admission Glasgow coma score (GCS) 11[9] were examined. Overall, 50% (14 children) had elevated cTnI, including those with isolated TBI (57.9%; 11/19), polytrauma (33.3%; 3/9), mild TBI (57.1% 8/14), and severe TBI (42.9%; 6/11). Elevated cTnI occurred within the first six days of admission and across all age groups, in both sexes, and regardless of TBI lesion type, GCS, and ISS. Age-adjusted admission tachycardia was associated with cTnI elevation (AUC 0.82; p < 0.001). Reduced urine output occurred more commonly in patients with isolated TBI (27.3% elevated cTnI vs. 0% normal cTnI).

Conclusions: Myocardial injury commonly occurs during the first six days after pediatric TBI irrespective of injury severity, age, sex, TBI lesion type, or polytrauma. Age-adjusted tachycardia may be a clinical indicator of myocardial injury, and elevated troponin may be associated with cardio-cerebro-renal dysfunction.

Keywords: Children; Myocardial injury; Tachycardia; Traumatic brain injury; Troponin.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Brain Concussion / blood
  • Brain Concussion / complications
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / blood
  • Cardio-Renal Syndrome
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Injury Severity Score*
  • Kidney / injuries
  • Male
  • Organ Dysfunction Scores
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tachycardia / complications*
  • Tachycardia / etiology
  • Troponin I / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Troponin I