Conference Coverage

VIDEO: Measuring, treating brain hypoxia looks promising for TBI


AT ANA 2017

– It’s been possible for over 15 years for neurointensivists to measure the partial pressure of oxygen in the brain of patients following traumatic brain injury.

But the technology has not been widely adopted because there have been no high-quality data showing that it’s useful. As a result, in most hospitals, TBI treatment is guided mostly by intracranial pressure.

The evidence gap is being filled. In a recent phase 2 trial, there was a trend towards benefit when treatment was guided by both intracranial pressure and the brain oxygenation (Crit Care Med. 2017 Nov;45[11]:1907-14). The study was powered for nonfutility, not clinically meaningful change, but the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has recently funded a 45-site, phase 3 trial that will definitively answer whether treatment protocols informed by both pressure and oxygen improve neurologic outcomes, said principal investigator Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, MD, PhD, a professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

In an interview at the annual meeting of the American Neurological Association, he explained the work, and exactly how paying attention to brain oxygen levels changed treatment in the phase 2 study. It didn’t take anything unusual to maintain oxygen partial pressure above 20 mm Hg.

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