Etomidate versus Ketamine as Prehospital Induction Agent in Patients with Suspected Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Floor J. Mansvelder*, Sebastiaan M. Bossers, Stephan A. Loer, for the BRAIN-PROTECT collaborators, Frank W. Bloemers, Esther M.M. Van Lieshout, Dennis Den Hartog, Nico Hoogerwerf, Joukje van der Naalt, Anthony R. Absalom, Saskia M. Peerdeman, Carolien S.E. Bulte, Lothar A. Schwarte, Patrick Schober

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Severe traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among young people around the world. Prehospital care focuses on the prevention and treatment of secondary brain injury and commonly includes tracheal intubation after induction of general anesthesia. The choice of induction agent in this setting is controversial. This study therefore investigated the association between the chosen induction medication etomidate versus S(+)-ketamine and the 30-day mortality in patients with severe traumatic brain injury who received prehospital airway management in the Netherlands. Methods: This study is a retrospective analysis of the prospectively collected observational data of the Brain Injury: Prehospital Registry of Outcomes, Treatments and Epidemiology of Cerebral Trauma (BRAIN-PROTECT) cohort study. Patients with suspected severe traumatic brain injury who were transported to a participating trauma center and who received etomidate or S(+)-ketamine for prehospital induction of anesthesia for advanced airway management were included. Statistical analyses were performed with multivariable logistic regression and inverse probability of treatment weighting analysis. results: In total, 1,457 patients were eligible for analysis. No significant association between the administered induction medication and 30-day mortality was observed in unadjusted analyses (32.9% mortality for etomidate versus 33.8% mortality for S(+)-ketamine; P = 0.716; odds ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.32; P = 0.711), as well as after adjustment for potential confounders (odds ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.67 to 1.73; P = 0.765; and risk difference 0.017; 95% CI, −0.051 to 0.084; P = 0.686). Likewise, in planned subgroup analyses for patients with confirmed traumatic brain injury and patients with isolated traumatic brain injury, no significant differences were found. Consistent results were found after multiple imputations of missing data. Conclusions: The analysis found no evidence for an association between the use of etomidate or S(+)-ketamine as an anesthetic agent for intubation in patients with traumatic brain injury and mortality after 30 days in the prehospital setting, suggesting that the choice of induction agent may not influence the patient mortality rate in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-751
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024

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Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.


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