Previous studies indicate that age, Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS), arterial hypotension, computed tomography (CT) findings, and pupillary reactivity are strong predictors of outcome for patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, the predictive validity of these variables has never been rigorously tested in patients from the developing world. The objective of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of these variables in a resource-limited setting and to test their predictive power by using them to create an outcome model.
The study was conducted at Hospital Emergencias “Dr. Clemente Alvarez” in Rosario, Argentina. All patients with severe TBI meeting criteria between August 2000 and February 2003 were included. Outcome at 6 months postinjury was measured by mortality and by the Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale score. Two logistic regression models were created for predicting mortality and outcome.
Outcome measures were acquired for 100% of the sample (N = 148). There was 58% mortality; 30% had moderate to good recovery, and 12% were severely disabled. The model accurately predicted 83.9% of mortality, and 81.1% of outcome. Because of variation in timing of CT scans, the models were recalculated without the CT variable. The accuracy of prediction was 79.7% and 79% for mortality and Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale, respectively.
This study provides rigorous, prospective data that (1) validates the generalizability of the five World Health Organization/Organization Mondiale de la Santé TBI prognostic predictors outside of the developed world, and (2) provides outcome benchmarks for mortality and morbidity from severe TBI in developing countries.