Increased strain levels and water content in brain tissue after decompressive craniotomy
2012 (English)In: Acta Neurochirurgica, ISSN 0001-6268, E-ISSN 0942-0940, Vol. 154, no 9, 1583-1593 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
At present there is a debate on the effectiveness of the decompressive craniotomy (DC). Stretching of axons was speculated to contribute to the unfavourable outcome for the patients. The quantification of strain level could provide more insight into the potential damage to the axons. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the strain level and water content (WC) of the brain tissue for both the pre- and post-craniotomy period. The stretching of brain tissue was quantified retrospectively based on the computerised tomography (CT) images of six patients before and after DC by a non-linear image registration method. WC was related to specific gravity (SG), which in turn was related to the Hounsfield unit (HU) value in the CT images by a photoelectric correction according to the chemical composition of brain tissue. For all the six patients, the strain level showed a substantial increase in the brain tissue close to the treated side of DC compared with that found at the pre-craniotomy period and ranged from 24 to 55 % at the post-craniotomy period. Increase of strain level was also observed at the brain tissue opposite to the treated side, however, to a much lesser extent. The mean area of craniotomy was found to be 91.1 +/- 12.7 cm(2). The brain tissue volume increased from 27 to 127 ml, corresponding to 1.65 % and 8.13 % after DC in all six patients. Also, the increased volume seemed to correlate with increased strain level. Specifically, the overall WC of brain tissue for two patients evaluated presented a significant increase after the treatment compared with the condition seen before the treatment. Furthermore, the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) improved in four patients after the craniotomy, while two patients died. The GCS did not seem to correlate with the strain level. We present a new numerical method to quantify the stretching or strain level of brain tissue and WC following DC. The significant increase in strain level and WC in the post-craniotomy period may cause electrophysiological changes in the axons, resulting in loss of neuronal function. Hence, this new numerical method provides more insight of the consequences following DC and may be used to better define the most optimal size and area of the craniotomy in reducing the strain level development.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 154, no 9, 1583-1593 p.
Traumatic brain injury, Stroke, Decompressive craniotomy, Strain level, Water content
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-72457DOI: 10.1007/s00701-012-1393-2ISI: 000307957500007ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84865829083OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-72457DiVA: diva2:487614
FunderSwedish Research Council, 621-2008-3400
QC 20120921. Updated from accepted to published.2012-01-312012-01-312012-09-21Bibliographically approved