Effectiveness of Pharmacological Therapies for Intracranial Hypertension in Children With Severe Traumatic Brain Injury-Results From an Automated Data Collection System Time-Synched to Drug Administration.

Shein SL, et al. Effectiveness of Pharmacological Therapies for Intracranial Hypertension in Children With Severe Traumatic Brain Injury-Results From an Automated Data Collection System Time-Synched to Drug Administration. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Mar; 17(3):236-45.

OBJECTIVES: To describe acute cerebral hemodynamic effects of medications commonly used to treat intracranial hypertension in children with traumatic brain injury. Currently, data supporting the efficacy of these medications are insufficient.

DESIGN: In this prospective observational study, intracranial hypertension (intracranial pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg for > 5 min) was treated by clinical protocol. Administration times of medications for intracranial hypertension (fentanyl, 3% hypertonic saline, mannitol, and pentobarbital) were prospectively recorded and synchronized with an automated database that collected intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure every 5 seconds. Intracranial pressure crises confounded by external stimulation or mechanical ventilator adjustments were excluded. Mean intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure from epochs following drug administration were compared with baseline values using Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance and Dunn test. Frailty modeling was used to analyze the time to intracranial pressure crisis resolution. Mixed-effect models compared intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure 5 minutes after the medication versus baseline and rates of treatment failure.

SETTING: A tertiary care children’s hospital.

PATIENTS: Children with severe traumatic brain injury (Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤ 8).


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We analyzed 196 doses of fentanyl, hypertonic saline, mannitol, and pentobarbital administered to 16 children (median: 12 doses per patient). Overall, intracranial pressure significantly decreased following the administration of fentanyl, hypertonic saline, and pentobarbital. After controlling for administration of multiple medications, intracranial pressure was decreased following hypertonic saline and pentobarbital administration; cerebral perfusion pressure was decreased following fentanyl and was increased following hypertonic saline administration. After adjusting for significant covariates (including age, Glasgow Coma Scale score, and intracranial pressure), hypertonic saline was associated with a two-fold faster resolution of intracranial hypertension than either fentanyl or pentobarbital. Fentanyl was significantly associated with the most frequent treatment failure.

CONCLUSIONS: Intracranial pressure decreased after multiple drug administrations, but hypertonic saline may warrant consideration as the first-line drug for treating intracranial hypertension, as it was associated with the most favorable cerebral hemodynamics and fastest resolution of intracranial hypertension.


3% Hypertonic Saline Versus Normal Saline in Inpatient Bronchiolitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. (Betters)

Silver AH, et al. 3% Hypertonic Saline Versus Normal Saline in Inpatient Bronchiolitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Pediatrics. 2015 Dec;136(6): 1036-43.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Bronchiolitis, the most common reason for hospitalization in children younger than 1 year in the United States, has no proven therapies effective beyond supportive care. We aimed to investigate the effect of nebulized 3% hypertonic saline (HS) compared with nebulized normal saline (NS) on length of stay (LOS) in infants hospitalized with bronchiolitis.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial in an urban tertiary care children’s hospital in 227 infants younger than 12 months old admitted with a diagnosis of bronchiolitis (190 completed the study); 113 infants were randomized to HS (93 completed the study), and 114 to NS (97 completed the study). Subjects received 4 mL nebulized 3% HS or 4 mL 0.9% NS every 4 hours from enrollment until hospital discharge. The primary outcome was median LOS. Secondary outcomes were total adverse events, subdivided as clinical worsening and readmissions.

RESULTS: Patient characteristics were similar in groups. In intention-to-treat analysis, median LOS (interquartile range) of HS and NS groups was 2.1 (1.2-4.6) vs 2.1 days (1.2-3.8), respectively, P = .73. We confirmed findings with per-protocol analysis, HS and NS groups with 2.0 (1.3-3.3) and 2.0 days (1.2-3.0), respectively, P = .96. Seven-day readmission rate for HS and NS groups were 4.3% and 3.1%, respectively, P = .77. Clinical worsening events were similar between groups (9% vs 8%, P = .97).

CONCLUSIONS: Among infants admitted to the hospital with bronchiolitis, treatment with nebulized 3% HS compared with NS had no difference in LOS or 7-day readmission rates.

7% hypertonic saline in acute bronchiolitis: a randomized controlled trial. (Vats)

Jacobs JD, Foster M, Wan J, Pershad J. 7% hypertonic saline in acute bronchiolitis: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2014 Jan;133(1):e8-e13.

BACKGROUND: Research suggests that hypertonic saline (HS) may improve mucous flow in infants with acute bronchiolitis. Data suggest a trend favoring reduced length of hospital stay and improved pulmonary scores with increasing concentration of nebulized solution to 3% and 5% saline as compared with 0.9% saline mixed with epinephrine. To our knowledge, 7% HS has not been previously investigated.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial in 101 infants presenting with moderate to severe acute bronchiolitis. Subjects received either 7% saline or 0.9% saline, both with epinephrine. Our primary outcome was a change in bronchiolitis severity score (BSS), obtained before and after treatment, and at the time of disposition from the emergency department (ED). Secondary outcomes measured were hospitalization rate, proportion of admitted patients discharged at 23 hours, and ED and inpatient length of stay.

RESULTS: At baseline, study groups were similar in demographic and clinical characteristics. The decrease in mean BSS was not statistically significant between groups (2.6 vs 2.4 for HS and control groups, respectively). The difference between the groups in proportion of admitted patients (42% in HS versus 49% in normal saline), ED or inpatient length of stay, and proportion of admitted patients discharged at 23 hours was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: In moderate to severe acute bronchiolitis, inhalation of 7% HS with epinephrine does not appear to confer any clinically significant decrease in BSS when compared with 0.9% saline with epinephrine.

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Complications associated with prolonged hypertonic saline therapy in children with elevated intracranial pressure. (Krohn)

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2013 Jul;14(6):610-20. PMID: 23823197

OBJECTIVES: Safe upper limits for therapeutic hypernatremia in the treatment of intracranial hypertension have not been well established. We investigated complications associated with hypernatremia in children who were treated with prolonged infusions of hypertonic saline.

DESIGN: Retrospective chart analysis.

SETTING: PICU in university-affiliated children’s hospital.

PATIENTS: All children from 2004 to 2009 requiring intracranial pressure monitoring (external ventricular drain or fiberoptic intraparenchymal monitor) for at least 4 days who were treated with hypertonic saline infusion for elevated intracranial pressure and did not meet exclusion criteria.

INTERVENTION: Continuous hypertonic saline infusion on a sliding scale was used to achieve target sodium levels that would keep intracranial pressure less than 20 mm Hg once the conventional therapies failed.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Eighty-eight children met inclusion criteria. Etiologies of elevated intracranial pressure included trauma (n = 48), ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke (n = 20), infection (n = 8), acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (n = 5), neoplasm (n = 2), and others (n = 5). The mean peak serum sodium was 171.3 mEq/L (range, 150-202). The mean Glasgow Outcome Score was 2.8 (± 1.1) at time of discharge from the hospital. Overall mortality was 15.9%. Children with sustained (> 72 hr) serum sodium levels above 170 mEq/L had a significantly higher occurrence of thrombocytopenia (p < 0.001), renal failure (p < 0.001), neutropenia (p = 0.006), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (p = 0.029) after controlling for variables of age, gender, Pediatric Risk of Mortality score, duration of barbiturate-induced coma, duration of intracranial pressure monitoring, vasopressor requirements, and underlying pathology. Children with sustained serum sodium levels greater than 165 mEq/L had a significantly higher prevalence of anemia (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Children treated by continuous hypertonic saline infusion for intracranial hypertension whose serum sodium levels exceeded certain thresholds experienced significantly more events of acute renal failure, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, anemia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome than those whose sodium level was maintained below these thresholds.

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