Evaluation of the traumatic coma data bank computed tomography classification for severe head injury

P E Vos, A C van Voskuilen, T Beems, P F Krabbe, O J Vogels

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    This study determines the interrater and intrarater reliability of the Traumatic Coma Data Bank (TCDB) computed tomography (CT) scan classification for severe head injury. This classification grades the severity of the injury as follows: I = normal, II = diffuse injury, III = diffuse injury with swelling, IV = diffuse injury with shift, V = mass lesion surgically evacuated, or VI = mass lesion not operated. Patients with severe closed head injury were included. Outcome was assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Score (GOS) at 3 and 6 months. Four observers, two of them classifying the scans twice, independently evaluated CT scans. Of the initial CT scans of 63 patients (36 males, 27 females; age, 34+/-24 years), 6.3% were class I, 26.9% class II, 28.6% class III, 6.3% class IV, 22.2% were class V, and 9.6% class VI. The overall interrater and intrarater reliability was 0.80 and 0.85, respectively. Separate analyses resulted in higher inter- and intrarater reliabilities for the mass lesion categories (V and VI), 0.94 and 0.91, respectively, than the diffuse categories (I-IV) 0.71 and 0.67. Merging category III with IV, and V with VI resulted in inter- and intrarater reliabilities of 0.93 and 0.78, respectively. Glasgow outcome scores after 6 months were as follows: 19 dead (30%), one vegetative (2%), five severely disabled (8%), 17 moderately disabled (27%), and 21 good recovery (33%). Association measures (Sommers' D) between CT and GOS scores were statistically significant for all observers. This study shows a high intra- and interobserver agreement in the assessment of CT scan abnormalities and confirms the predictive power on outcome when the TCDB classification is used.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)649-655
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul-2004


    • Adolescent
    • Adult
    • Aged
    • Aged, 80 and over
    • Analysis of Variance
    • Child
    • Child, Preschool
    • Databases as Topic
    • Female
    • Glasgow Outcome Scale
    • Head Injuries, Closed
    • Humans
    • Male
    • Middle Aged
    • Observer Variation
    • Predictive Value of Tests
    • ROC Curve
    • Reproducibility of Results
    • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
    • Trauma Severity Indices

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