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Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society > Volume 41(1); 2007 > Article
Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society 2007;41(1): 16-21.
Penetrating Gunshot Injuries to the Brain.
Tae Won Kim, Jung Kil Lee, Kyung Sub Moon, Sung Pil Joo, Jae Hyoo Kim, Soo Han Kim
Department of Neurosurgery, Chonnam National University Hospital, Medical School, Gwangju, Korea. jklee0261@yahoo.com
Civilian gunshot injuries to the brain are relatively rare and study of these injuries has been neglected in South Korea. We present our experience with penetrating gunshot injuries to the brain and review the outcome of surgical management, as well as other clinical predictors influencing the prognosis.
We present a retrospective analysis of 13 patients with penetrating gunshot injuries to the brain who were treated at our hospital over a period of 22 years.
The Glasgow Coma Scale(GCS) score on admission was recorded to be : 3-5 in 1 patient, 6-8 in 3 patients, 9-12 in 2 patients and 13-15 in 7 patients. There were 11 patients who underwent surgical treatment, and the surgical mortality rate was 0%. The admission GCS score was the most valuable prognostic factor. The best results were found to be in patients admitted with an initial GCS higher than 13. There were no favorable outcomes in patients admitted with a GCS of 8 or lower. There was a correlation between the presence of a transventricular or bihemispheric trajectory and poor outcome. The patients admitted with unilobar wounds resulted in better outcome than those with bilobar or multilobar wounds. Retained deep intracranial bone or metal fragments were the most common postoperative complication. However, retained fragments did not increase the risk of infection or seizure.
Our results suggest that a less aggressive approach, consisting of minimal local debridement and removal of the bone and metal fragments that are easily accessible, can be successfully used in civilian gunshot wounds to the brain.
Key Words: Gunshot wounds; Brain injury; Glasgow coma scale; Outcome
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