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Medicina Intensiva

versão impressa ISSN 0210-5691


LUBILLO, S. et al. Role of decompressive craniectomy in brain injury patient. Med. Intensiva [online]. 2009, vol.33, n.2, pp.74-83. ISSN 0210-5691.

Second level therapeutic maneuvres for controlling intracranial hypertension (ICH) proposed by the European Brain Injury Consortium and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons include barbiturates, moderate hypothermia and decompressive craniectomy (DC). However, neither barbiturates nor hypothermia have been demonstrated to improve its outcome. DC could be a therapeutic option in the management of ICH without intracerebral masses. Therefore, our goal has been to review and analyze the clinical usefulness of DC in patients with brain injury in an attempt to deal with some concerns of the critical care physicians. Can DC improve patient outcome? Currently, there are no randomized and controlled clinical trials supporting or rejecting the practice of DC in adults. Most published reports provide level II of evidence. However, most of those studies have shown that the outcome is better in patients with DC. When should DC be performed? It should be performed early to prevent ICH from occurring more than 12 hours. What are the effects of DC on intracranial pressure and brain oxygenation? In most patients, ICP can be maintained below 25 mmHg after a DC. However, to improve brain oxygenation (PtiO2), the probe must be placed in the healthy area of the most severely damaged cerebral hemisphere. What is the suggested surgical procedure? Frontal-subtemporal-parietal-occipital craniectomies, including enlargement of the dura by duroplasty. And finally, what are the current contraindications of DC? Glasgow Coma Scale score 3 points post-resuscitation states with dilated and arreactive pupils, age > 65 years old, ICH > 12 hours, persistent (a-yv)DO2< 3.2% or PtiO2 < 10 mmHg maintained from the moment of admission.

Palavras-chave : Intracranial pressure; Decompressive craniectomy; Brain injuries; Brain oxygenation.

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