The outcomes of patients with traumatic cardiac arrest (TCA) have been dismal. However, imaging modalities are improving rapidly and are expected to play a role in treatment of patients with TCA. In this retrospective study, whether obtaining computed tomography (CT) immediately after resuscitation had any clinical value was evaluated. Among 145 patients with TCA admitted to our institution during 4 years, hemodynamically stable return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was achieved in 38 (26%). Brain and cervical spine CT was obtained prospectively, and the frequency and type of traumatic brain injury (TBI)/upper cervical spine injury (UCSI) were investigated. CT was performed uneventfully in all patients with an average door-to-CT time of 51.5 ± 18.6 min. Twenty (53%) had CT evidence of TBI. However, no patients underwent brain surgery because of lack of return of brainstem functions. Among the 18 patients without TBI, CT signs of hypoxia were present in 15 patients (39%), and CT was considered intact in 3 patients (8%). None of the 35 patients with abnormal CT findings survived, and the presence of such findings predicted fatality with high sensitivity and specificity. While 13 of the 38 patients (34%) had CT evidence of UCSI, concomitant TBI and USCI were uncommon. None of the 13 patients with UCSI underwent spine surgery because of lack of return of brainstem functions, and the presence of USCI might also be associated with fatality. Although obtaining CT was useful in the prognostication of TCA patients with ROSC, it did not have much impact in therapeutic decision making.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology