Civilian gunshot wounds to the brain: prognosis and management

Neurosurgery. 1986 May;18(5):533-7. doi: 10.1227/00006123-198605000-00003.


The extent of treatment for the victims of gunshot wounds to the brain remains quite controversial, particularly when these patients present with extensive neurological dysfunction. We propose guidelines regarding the degree and aggressiveness of therapy. The factors that seem to have a significant impact on the patient's final outcome are the neurological examination at the time of admission, the radiological findings, and the motivation for the shooting. Thus, the authors propose a nonsurgical line of therapy for comatose patients with unilateral or bilateral cerebral gunshot wounds where bone or metal fragments are visualized away from the bullet path on computed tomography scan, particularly when these individuals are suicide victims.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / surgery*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coma / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prognosis
  • Suicide
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Wounds, Gunshot / mortality
  • Wounds, Gunshot / physiopathology
  • Wounds, Gunshot / surgery*