External lumbar drainage in uncontrollable intracranial pressure in adults with severe head injury: a report of 7 cases

R B Willemse, S M Egeler-Peerdeman

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The retrospective results of external lumbar drainage in 7 adult patients with severe closed head injury and intracranial pressure (ICP) refractory to aggressive management strategies are presented. All patients had Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores of 8 or less within 24 hours after admission and were treated by a staircase protocol including sedation, ventricular drainage, hyperventilation and mannitol. In three cases barbiturate drugs and an artificially induced hypothermia were used. Four patients required surgical evacuation of mass lesions. Three patients made a good functional recovery, 2 were severely disabled and 2 patients died. In none of the patients clinical signs of cerebral herniation occurred. We recommend additional external lumbar drainage in adults with severe head injury unresponsive to aggressive ICP control with open basilar cisterns and absent focal mass lesions on computerized-tomography scan before drainage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-9
Number of pages3
JournalActa neurochirurgica. Supplement
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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