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Hyperoxemia and long-term outcome after traumatic brain injury

Rahul Raj1*, Stepani Bendel2, Matti Reinikainen3, Riku Kivisaari1, Jari Siironen1, Maarit Lång2 and Markus Skrifvars14

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Topeliuksenkatu 5 FI-00029 HUS Helsinki,Finland

2 Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital and Kuopio University, Puijonlaaksontie 2, 70211 Kuopio, Finland

3 Department of Intensive Care Medicine, North Karelia Central Hospital, Tikkamäentie 16, 80210 Joensuu, Finland

4 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland

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Critical Care 2013, 17:R177  doi:10.1186/cc12856

Published: 19 August 2013



The relationship between hyperoxemia and outcome in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) is controversial. We sought to investigate the independent relationship between hyperoxemia and long-term mortality in patients with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury.


The Finnish Intensive Care Consortium database was screened for mechanically ventilated patients with a moderate-to-severe TBI. Patients were categorized, according to the highest measured alveolar-arterial O2 gradient or the lowest measured PaO2 value during the first 24 hours of ICU admission, to hypoxemia (<10.0 kPa), normoxemia (10.0 to 13.3 kPa) and hyperoxemia (>13.3 kPa). We adjusted for markers of illness severity to evaluate the independent relationship between hyperoxemia and 6-month mortality.


A total of 1,116 patients were included in the study, of which 16% (n = 174) were hypoxemic, 51% (n = 567) normoxemic and 33% (n = 375) hyperoxemic. The total 6-month mortality was 39% (n = 435). A significant association between hyperoxemia and a decreased risk of mortality was found in univariate analysis (P = 0.012). However, after adjusting for markers of illness severity in a multivariate logistic regression model hyperoxemia showed no independent relationship with 6-month mortality (hyperoxemia vs. normoxemia OR 0.88, 95% CI 0. 63 to 1.22, P = 0.43; hyperoxemia vs. hypoxemia OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.63 to 1.50, P = 0.90).


Hyperoxemia in the first 24 hours of ICU admission after a moderate-to-severe TBI is not predictive of 6-month mortality.

Arterial oxygen tension; Neurocritical care; Oxygenation; Traumatic brain injury; Hyperoxemia; Intensive care; Mortality; Mechanical ventilation