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The Impact of Early Hormonal Therapy in Catastrophic Brain-Injured Patients and Its Effect on Organ Procurement

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of early hormonal therapy on organ procurement from catastrophic brain-injured patients. All catastrophic brain-injured patients admitted to a high-volume academic Level I trauma center who underwent successful organ procurement over a 3-year period (2006 to 2008) were reviewed. Patients were divided into two groups, those who received hormone therapy (HT) before brain death (BD) declaration and those who received HT after BD declaration. Thirty-two (60.4%) received HT before BD and 21 (39.6%) HT after BD. Trauma was the most common cause of brain injury in both groups (before BD 96.9 vs after BD 90.5%, P = 0.324). There were no significant differences in demographics and clinical data. Patients receiving HT before BD were more hypotensive on admission (28.2 vs 9.5%, P = 0.048); however, they required vasopressors less frequently (62.5 vs 100.0%, P = 0.001), for a shorter duration (17.2 ± 16.3 hours vs 33.1 ± 34.9 hours, P = 0.043), and at a lower dosage. Time from admission to procurement did not differ between the two groups (109.8 ± 83.1 hours vs 125.0 ± 79.9 hours, P = 0.505). Patients receiving HT before BD had significantly more organs procured (4.5 ± 1.5 vs 3.5 ± 1.3, P = 0.023). Although catastrophic brain-injured patients receiving early hormonal therapy were more hypotensive, they required less vasopressors and had higher procurement rates. The early use of hormonal therapy may decrease the need for vasopressors and increase the salvage of potentially transplantable organs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Acute Care Surgery and Surgical Critical Care, Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA 2: U.S. Air Force Base, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl, Germany 3: Division of Trauma and Critical Care, Los Angeles, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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