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Cerebral hemodynamic changes after wartime traumatic brain injury

Razumovsky A, Tigno T, Hochheimer SM, Stephens FL, Bell R, Vo AH, Severson MA, Marshall SA, Oppenheimer SM, Ecker R, Armonda RA. Acta Neurochir Suppl. 2013;115:87-90


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with the severest casualties from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). From October 1, 2008, the U.S. Army Medical Department initiated a transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasound service for TBI; included patients were retrospectively evaluated for TCD-determined incidence of post-traumatic cerebral vasospasm and intracranial hypertension after wartime TBI. Ninety patients were investigated with daily TCD studies and a comprehensive TCD protocol, and published diagnostic criteria for vasospasm and increased intracranial pressure (ICP) were applied. TCD signs of mild, moderate, and severe vasospasms were observed in 37%, 22%, and 12% of patients, respectively. TCD signs of intracranial hypertension were recorded in 62.2%; 5 patients (4.5%) underwent transluminal angioplasty for post-traumatic clinical vasospasm treatment, and 16 (14.4%) had cranioplasty. These findings demonstrate that cerebral arterial spasm and intracranial hypertension are frequent and significant complications of combat TBI; therefore, daily TCD monitoring is recommended for their recognition and subsequent management



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