Long-term outcome after severe traumatic brain injury: a systematic literature review

Cassidy Q. B. Mostert*, Ranjit D. Singh, Maxime Gerritsen, Erwin J. O. Kompanje, Gerard M. Ribbers, Wilco C. Peul, Jeroen T. J. M. van Dijck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Expectation of long-term outcome is an important factor in treatment decision-making after severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI). Conclusive long-term outcome data substantiating these decisions is nowadays lacking. This systematic review aimed to provide an overview of the scientific literature on long-term outcome after sTBI. Methods: A systematic search was conducted using PubMed from 2008 to 2020. Studies were included when reporting long-term outcome ≥ 2 years after sTBI (GCS 3–8 or AIS head score ≥ 4), using standardized outcome measures. Study quality and risk of bias were assessed using the QUIPS tool. Results: Twenty observational studies were included. Studies showed substantial variation in study objectives and study methodology. GOS-E (n = 12) and GOS (n = 8) were the most frequently used outcome measures. Mortality was reported in 46% of patients (range 18–75%). Unfavourable outcome rates ranged from 29 to 100% and full recovery was seen in 21–27% of patients. Most surviving patients reported SF-36 scores lower than the general population. Conclusion: Literature on long-term outcome after sTBI was limited and heterogeneous. Mortality and unfavourable outcome rates were high and persisting sequelae on multiple domains common. Nonetheless, a considerable proportion of survivors achieved favourable outcome. Future studies should incorporate standardized multidimensional and temporal long-term outcome measures to strengthen the evidence-base for acute and subacute decision-making. Highlights: 1. Expectation of long-term outcome is an important factor in treatment decision-making for patients with severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI). 2. Favourable outcome and full recovery after sTBI are possible, but mortality and unfavourable outcome rates are high. 3. sTBI survivors are likely to suffer from a wide range of long-term consequences, underscoring the need for long-term and multi-modality outcome assessment in future studies. 4. The quality of the scientific literature on long-term outcome after sTBI can and should be improved to advance treatment decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-613
Number of pages15
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Volume164
Issue number3
Early online date31 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Hersenstichting Nederland (Dutch Brain Foundation) for Neurotraumatology Quality Registry (Net-QuRe).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature.

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