One-year outcome and course of recovery after severe traumatic brain injury

  • W. MauritzEmail author
  • I. Wilbacher
  • J. Leitgeb
  • M. Majdan
  • I. Janciak
  • A. Brazinova
  • M. Rusnak
Original Article



To describe the outcome of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) 3, 6 and 12 months after trauma.


Between January 2001 and December 2005, 13 European centres enrolled 1,172 patients with severe TBI defined as Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score < 9. Demographic data, trauma severity, results of computed tomography (CT) scans, data on status, treatment and outcome were recorded. The five-level Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score was used to classify patients as having a “favourable” (GOS scores 5 and 4) or an “unfavourable outcome” (GOS scores 3, 2 and 1).

Results and conclusions

Of the 1,172 patients, 37% died in the intensive care unit (ICU) and 8.5% died after ICU discharge. At 12 months after trauma, almost half of the outcomes (46.6%) were classified as “favourable” (33% “good recovery”, 13.6% “moderate disability”) and 7.9% were classified as “unfavourable” (6.1% “severe disability”, 1.8% “vegetative status”). As in previous studies, long-term outcomes were influenced by age, severity of trauma, first GCS score, pupillary status and CT findings (e.g. subdural haematoma and closed basal cistern on the first CT scan). Patients with “good recovery” had a high likelihood to remain in that category (91%). Patients with “moderate disability” had a 50% chance to improve to “good recovery”. Patients with “severe disability” had a 40% chance to improve and had a 4% chance of death. Patients with “vegetative status” were more likely to die (42%) than to improve (31%). Changes were more likely to occur during the first than during the second half-year after trauma.


Brain injury Traumatic Three-month outcome Twelve-month outcome Glasgow Outcome Scale Glasgow Coma Scale 



We are very grateful to the collaborators from the participating centres: M. Bartosova MD (Michalovce, Slovakia), F. Botha MD (Linz, Austria), F. Chmeliczek MD (Salzburg, Austria), G. Clarici MD (Graz, Austria), J. de Riggo MD (St. Martin, Slovakia), K. Dizdarevic MD (Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina), D. Girotto MD (Rijeka, Croatia), H.-D. Gulle MD (Klagenfurt, Austria), M. Kaniansky MD (Banska Bystrica, Slovakia), W. Moser MD (Klagenfurt, Austria), Prof. M. Soljakova MD (Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), B. Splavski MD (Osijek, Croatia), Prof. Z. Todorova MD (Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Ernst Trampitsch MD (Klagenfurt, Austria), Prof. M. Vukic MD (Zagreb, Croatia). The data used for this study were collected for a project funded by a European Union grant (Project “Research–Treat–TBI”; 6th Framework Program: INCO-DEV: International Cooperation with Developing Countries 1998–2002; contract number: ICA2-CT-2002-100) and for another project funded by the Austrian Worker’s Compensation Board (AUVA; contract number FK 33/2003) and by the “Jubiläumsfonds” of the Austrian National Bank (project number 8987). The International Neurotrauma Research Organization (INRO) was supported by an annual grant from Mrs. Ala Auersperg-Isham and Mr. Ralph Isham, and by donations from various sources.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Urban & Vogel 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Mauritz
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • I. Wilbacher
    • 2
  • J. Leitgeb
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. Majdan
    • 2
    • 4
  • I. Janciak
    • 2
  • A. Brazinova
    • 2
    • 4
  • M. Rusnak
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Anesthesiology and Intensive Care MedicineTrauma Hospital “Lorenz Boehler”ViennaAustria
  2. 2.International Neurotrauma Research Organization (INRO)ViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of Trauma SurgeryMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Social ServicesTrnava UniversityTrnavaSlovak Republic

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