Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 158, Issue 1, pp 125–133 | Cite as

Promising clinical outcome of elderly with TBI after modern neurointensive care

  • Abraham Merzo
  • Samuel Lenell
  • Lena Nyholm
  • Per Enblad
  • Anders LewénEmail author
Clinical Article - Brain Injury



The increasing number of elderly patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) leads to specific neurointensive care (NIC) challenges. Therefore, elderly subjects with TBI need to be further studied. In this study we evaluated the demographics, management and outcome of elderly TBI patients receiving modern NIC.


Patients referred to our NIC unit between 2008 and 2010 were included. Patients were divided in two age groups, elderly (E) ≥65 years and younger (Y) 64–15 years. Parameters studied were the dominant finding on CT scans, neurological motor skills and consciousness, type of monitoring, neurosurgical procedures/treatments and Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended score at 6 months after injury.


Sixty-two E (22 %) and 222 Y (78 %) patients were included. Falls were more common in E (81 %) and vehicle accidents were more common in Y patients (37 %). Acute subdural hematoma was significantly more common in E (50 % of cases) compared to Y patients (18 %). Intracranial pressure was monitored in 44 % of E and 57 % of Y patients. Evacuation of significant mass lesions was performed more common in the E group. The NIC mortality was similar in both groups (4–6 %). Favorable outcome was observed in 72 % of Y and 51 % of E patients. At the time of follow-up 25 % of E and 7 % of Y patients had died.


The outcome of elderly patients with TBI was significantly worse than in younger patients, as expected. However, as much as 51 % of the elderly patients showed a favorable outcome after NIC. We believe that these results encourage modern NIC in elderly patients with TBI. We need to study how secondary brain injury mechanisms differ in the older patients and to identify specific outcome predictors for elderly patients with TBI.


Traumatic brain injury Outcome Elderly Neurointensive care Secondary injury 



We would like to acknowledge Uppsala Clinical Research Center (Uppsala University) for the help with the TBI register. The study was supported by The Swedish Research Council and The Selanders Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards


The study was approved by the local ethics committee.

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have NO affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements) or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience, NeurosurgeryUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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