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Severe traumatic head injury in adults: Which patients are at risk of early hyperthermia?

Arnaud Geffroy| Régis Bronchard| Paul Merckx| Pierre-François Seince| Thierry Faillot| Pierre Albaladejo| Jean Marty
Original
Volume 30, Issue 5 / May , 2004

Pages 785 - 790

Abstract

Objective

Prevention of secondary insults, such as hyperthermia, is a major goal after traumatic brain injury. The aim of our study was to identify risk factors for early hyperthermia in severe head-injured patients.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Setting

A 17-bed multidisciplinary ICU of a 700-bed teaching hospital.

Patients

A total of 101 adult patients admitted from January 1999 to December 2001 requiring continuous monitoring of intracranial pressure according to international guidelines.

Measurement and results

Forty-four patients experienced early hyperthermia (at least one episode of body temperature >38.5°C within the first 2 days). On univariate analysis five variables were associated with early hyperthermia: sex; body temperature; white blood cell count on admission; prophylactic use of acetaminophen; and diabetes insipidus within 2 days. On multivariate analysis, white blood cell count >14.5×109/l on admission (odds ratio, 7.1; 95% confidence interval, 2.4–20.5; p=0.001) and a body temperature on admission >36°C (odds ratio, 6.7; 95% confidence interval, 2.3-20.1) were strong risk factors of early hyperthermia. Prophylactic use of acetaminophen was negatively associated with early hyperthermia (odds ratio, 0.1; 95% confidence interval, 0.02–0.4). Patients who experienced early hyperthermia were less prone to have good recovery (GOS=5; p=0.03). More patients with severe or moderate disability (GOS=3 or 4) experienced early hyperthermia (p=0.01).

Conclusion

We identified a subgroup of patients at high risk of early hyperthermia, which is common in severe head-injured patients. These results could have clinical implications for prevention of hyperthermia after traumatic brain injury in adults.

Keywords

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