Research Reports - Intellectual outcome following childhood severe traumatic brain injury

Ann Phys Rehabil Med. 2016 Sep;59S:e132-e133. doi: 10.1016/j.rehab.2016.07.297.

Chevignard M(1), Francillette L(2), Toure H(3), Brugel D(3), Meyer P(4), Vannier
AL(3), Opatowski M(5), Watier L(6).

OBJECTIVE: Childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and
lifelong acquired disability. The aim of this study was to prospectively study
intellectual ability following childhood severe TBI over 7-8years post-injury,
and factors influencing outcome and change over time.
MATERIAL/PATIENTS AND METHODS: Children (0-15years) consecutively admitted in a
single trauma center for severe non-inflicted TBI over a 3-year period were
included in a prospective longitudinal study. Assessment was conducted at 3, 12
and 24months, and at 7-8years using age appropriate Wechsler Intelligence Scales.
For the 7-8-year follow-up, one third of the group was aged 18years or more, and
a group of matched controls was included. SES was assessed by parents' education.
RESULTS: Sixty-five of the 81 included children survived (66% boys). After a mean
delay post-injury of 7.6years (SD=1.5), 39 patients (60%) participated in the
study [mean age at injury 7.6years (SD=4.72; <6years, n=15; ≥6years, n=23);
median initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score: 6; mean coma duration: 6days
(SD=4.8)]. Participants and non-participants did not differ in terms of
demographic and severity factors, or initial full scale IQ (FSIQ). For 36% of the
sample, at least one parent had graduated from high school. At the 7-8 year
follow-up, mean FSIQ in the TBI group was significantly lower than in the control
group (86.4; SD=18 versus 97.2; SD=11.2; P=0.016), with no significant change
over time when compared with initial FSIQ (3months post-injury; 85.2; SD=18). In
multivariate analysis, FSIQ was predicted mainly by parental SES (P=0.031), with
a marginal effect of length of coma (P=0.079) and no effect of age at injury,
initial GCS or intracranial hypertension.
DISCUSSION-CONCLUSION: Severe childhood TBI leads to severe and long-standing
cognitive impairments, without significant improvement over time. Parental
education appears to be the main predictor of cognitive outcome several years
post-injury, consistent with previous studies in the literature. 

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