Scandinavian guidelines for initial management of minimal, mild, and moderate head injuries
The Scandinavian Neurotrauma Committee (SNC) published practical, evidence based guidelines for children with Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores of 9-15.
The Scandinavian Guidelines for Initial Management of Minimal, Mild, and Moderate Head Injuries in Adults (Scandinavian guidelines) are the first to incorporate serum measurement of the S100 astroglial calcium-binding protein B (S100B) to emergency department (ED) triage of patients with head injury (HI).
A prospective validation study was conducted in the ED of the Tampere University Hospital, Finland, between November 2015 to November 2016. All consecutive adult patients with HI presenting to the ED within 24 hours from injury were eligible for inclusion. Venous blood for S100B sampling was drawn from all patients and the result was available at the ED. Head CTs were performed according to the on-call physician’s evaluation. Only the samples collected within 6 hours after injury were used. A one-week follow-up was conducted to identify possible HI-related complications. A total of 295 patients (median age=67.0 years, range=18-100; women=48.8%) were enrolled. Of those, 196 (66.4%) were scanned. Acute traumatic lesions were detected on 31 (15.8%) of the scans. Two of the CT-positive patients were scanned without a guidelines-based indication. These lesions did not require any specific treatment or repeated imaging. The guidelines-based sensitivity was 0.94 (95% CI=0.77-0.99) and specificity 0.19 (95% CI=0.13-0.26) for predicting traumatic intracranial CT abnormalities. The positive and negative predictive value for positive head CT was 0.18 (95% CI=0.12-0.25) and 0.94 (95% CI=0.78-0.99), respectively. In the mild-low risk group, no false negative S100B values were recorded. Thirteen patients (4.4%) were re-admitted to the ED and 2 patients (0.7%) died one week after the primary HI. The deaths were unrelated to the injury. None of these adverse events were directly caused by a primarily undiagnosed intracranial injury. The Scandinavian guidelines incorporated with S100B are a valid means of screening clinically significant acute traumatic lesions following HI and have the potential to reduce unnecessary CT scanning 2).
In a large prospective cohort of children (< 18 years) with TBI of all severities, from ten Australian and New Zealand hospitals, was used to assess the SNC guidelines. Firstly, a validation study was performed according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria of the SNC guideline. Secondly, they compared the accuracy of SNC, CATCH, CHALICE and PECARN CDRs in patients with GCS 13-15 only. Diagnostic accuracy was calculated for outcome measures of need for neurosurgery, clinically important TBI (ciTBI) and brain injury on CT.
The SNC guideline could be applied to 19,007/20,137 of patients (94.4%) in the validation process. The frequency of ciTBI decreased significantly with stratification by decreasing risk according to the SNC guideline. Sensitivities for the detection of neurosurgery, ciTBI and brain injury on CT were 100.0% (95% CI 89.1-100.0; 32/32), 97.8% (94.5-99.4; 179/183) and 95% (95% CI 91.6-97.2; 262/276), respectively, with a CT/admission rate of 42% (mandatory CT rate of 5%, 18% CT or admission and 19% only admission). Four patients with ciTBI were missed; none needed specific intervention. In the homogenous comparison cohort of 18,913 children, the SNC guideline performed similar to the PECARN CDR, when compared with the other CDRs.
The SNC guideline showed a high accuracy in a large external validation cohort and compares well with published CDRs for the management of paediatric TBI 3).