National variability in intracranial pressure monitoring and craniotomy for children with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury

William Van Cleve, Mary A. Kernic, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Jin Wang, Douglas F. Zatzick, Michael J. Bell, Mark S. Wainwright, Jonathan I. Groner, Richard B. Mink, Christopher C. Giza, Linda Ng Boyle, Pamela H. Mitchell, Frederick P. Rivara, Monica S. Vavilala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant cause of mortality and disability in children. Intracranial pressure monitoring (ICPM) and craniotomy/craniectomy (CRANI) may affect outcomes. Sources of variability in the use of these interventions remain incompletely understood. OBJECTIVE: To analyze sources of variability in the use of ICPM and CRANI. METHODS: Retrospective cross-sectional study of patients with moderate/severe pediatric TBI with the use of data submitted to the American College of Surgeons National Trauma Databank. RESULTS: We analyzed data from 7140 children at 156 US hospitals during 7 continuous years. Of the children, 27.4% had ICPM, whereas 11.7% had a CRANI. Infants had lower rates of ICPM and CRANI than older children. A lower rate of ICPM was observed among children hospitalized at combined pediatric/adult trauma centers than among children treated at adult-only trauma centers (relative risk = 0.80; 95% confidence interval 0.66-0.97). For ICPM and CRANI, 18.5% and 11.6%, respectively, of residual model variance was explained by between-hospital variation in care delivery, but almost no correlation was observed between within-hospital tendency toward performing these procedures. CONCLUSION: Infants received less ICPM than older children, and children hospitalized at pediatric trauma centers received less ICPM than children at adult-only trauma centers. In addition, significant between-hospital variability existed in the delivery of ICPM and CRANI to children with moderate-severe TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-752
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Decompressive craniectomy
  • Intracranial pressure monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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