, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 195-199
Date: 04 Dec 2004

Age-related differences in intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure in the first 6 hours of monitoring after children’s head injury: association with outcome

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Abstract

Objectives

Severe head injury in childhood is associated with considerable mortality and morbidity. In this study we determined age-related differences in the relationship between outcome and intracranial pressure (ICP) and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) in the first 6 h of monitoring in a large cohort of head-injured children.

Methods

Two hundred and thirty-five head-injured children (admitted to five UK hospitals over a 15-year period) in whom intracranial pressure monitoring was clinically indicated were studied.

Results

Patients were divided into three age groups (2–6, 7–10 and 11–16 years). The sensitivity of ICP and CPP were similar. Differences were found in the specificity of ICP and CPP for each group and these were more marked for CPP. For a specificity of 50% the pressures were 53, 63 and 66 mmHg for the three age groups.

Conclusions

There are age-related differences in the specificity of intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure in relation to outcome. These differences may be important in the clinical management of head-injured children. Thus cerebral perfusion pressures of 53, 63 and 66 mmHg should be the minimum to strive for in these three age groups respectively.