Brain tissue oxygen-based therapy and outcome after severe traumatic brain injury: A systematic literature review

Raj Nangunoori, Eileen Maloney-Wilensky, Michael Stiefel, Soojin Park, W. Andrew Kofke, Joshua M. Levine, Wei Yang, Peter D. Le Roux

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Observational clinical studies demonstrate that brain hypoxia is associated with poor outcome after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this study, available medical literature was reviewed to examine whether brain tissue oxygen (PbtO2)-based therapy is associated with improved patient outcome after severe TBI. Clinical studies published between 1993 and 2010 that compared PbtO2-based therapy combined with intracranial and cerebral perfusion pressure (ICP/CPP)-based therapy to ICP/CPP-based therapy alone were identified from electronic databases, Index Medicus, bibliographies of pertinent articles, and expert consultation. For analysis, each selected paper had to have adequate data to determine odds ratios (ORs) and confidence intervals (CIs) of outcome described by the Glasgow outcome score (GOS). Seven studies that compared ICP/CPP and PbtO2- to ICP/CPP-based therapy were identified. There were no randomized studies and no comparison studies in children. Four studies, published in 2003, 2009, and 2010 that included 491 evaluable patients were used in the final analysis. Among patients who received PbtO 2-based therapy, 121(38.8%) had unfavorable and 191 (61.2%) had a favorable outcome. Among the patients who received ICP/CPP-based therapy 104 (58.1%) had unfavorable and 75 (41.9%) had a favorable outcome. Overall PbtO2-based therapy was associated with favorable outcome (OR 2.1; 95% CI 1.4-3.1). Summary results suggest that combined ICP/CPP- and PbtO 2-based therapy is associated with better outcome after severe TBI than ICP/CPP-based therapy alone. Cross-organizational practice variances cannot be controlled for in this type of review and so we cannot answer whether PbtO2-based therapy improves outcome. However, the potentially large incremental value of PbtO2-based therapy provides justification for a randomized clinical trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalNeurocritical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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