In the past, measuring metabolic abnormalities in children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been difficult due to its invasive quality. This study measures the oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) to gauge metabolic abnormalities by using a magnetic resonance (MR) technique.
Pediatric patients aged 0 to 17 years, with severe TBI, mild TBI and those without TBI (controls) were assessed two weeks after injury and three months after injury. MRI was performed on the 30 original study enrollees as soon as possible based on clinical stability.
- OEF was decreased in children with TBI.
- Patients with severe TBI had lower OEF than those with mild OEF.
- Findings persisted at 3 months: OEF values at 2 weeks significantly correlated with Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOS-E) and Functional Independence Measure for Children (WeeFIM) scores at three months.
TBI is a leading cause of death and disability in children. While this study was limited by TBI’s low incidence, sample size, and possible health complications, it supports previous studies’ findings: OEF is decreased in TBI patients, and correlates with the severity of the injury.