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Severe traumatic brain injury: targeted management in the intensive care unit
Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is currently managed in the intensive care unit with a combined medical–surgical approach. Treatment aims to prevent additional brain damage and to optimise conditions for brain recovery. TBI is typically considered and treated as one pathological entity, although in fact it is a syndrome comprising a range of lesions that can require different therapies and physiological goals. Owing to advances in monitoring and imaging, there is now the potential to identify specific mechanisms of brain damage and to better target treatment to individuals or subsets of patients. Targeted treatment is especially relevant for elderly people—who now represent an increasing proportion of patients with TBI—as preinjury comorbidities and their therapies demand tailored management strategies. Progress in monitoring and in understanding pathophysiological mechanisms of TBI could change current management in the intensive care unit, enabling targeted interventions that could ultimately improve outcomes.
Prof Nino Stocchetti MD, Marco Carbonara MD, Giuseppe Citerio MD, Ari Ercole MD, Markus B Skrifvars MD, Peter Smielewski PhD, Tommaso Zoerle MD, Prof David K Menon MD
The Lancet volume 16