Impact of acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome after traumatic brain injury in the United States

Fred Rincon, Sayantani Ghosh, Saugat Dey, Mitchell Maltenfort, Matthew Vibbert, Jacqueline Urtecho, William McBride, Michael Moussouttas, Rodney Bell, John K. Ratliff, Jack Jallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of disability, morbidity, and mortality. The effect of the acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute lung injury (ARDS/ALI) on in-hospital mortality after TBI remains controversial. OBJECTIVE: To determine the epidemiology of ARDS/ALI, the prevalence of risk factors, and impact on in-hospital mortality after TBI in the United States. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of admissions of adult patients >18 years with a diagnosis of TBI and ARDS/ALI from 1988 to 2008 identified through the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. RESULTS: During the 20-year study period, the prevalence of ARDS/ALI increased from 2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.1%-2.4%) in 1988 to 22% (95% CI, 21%-22%) in 2008 (P <.001). ARDS/ALI was more common in younger age; males; white race; later year of admission; in conjunction with comorbidities such as congestive heart failure, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic renal and liver failure, sepsis, multiorgan dysfunction; and nonrural, medium/large hospitals, located in the Midwest, South, and West continental US location. Mortality after TBI decreased from 13% (95% CI, 12%-14%) in 1988 to 9% (95% CI, 9%-10%) in 2008 (P <.001). ARDS/ALI-related mortality after TBI decreased from 33% (95% CI, 33%-34%) in 1988 to 28% (95% CI, 28%-29%) in 2008 (P <.001). Predictors of in-hospital mortality after TBI were older age, male sex, white race, cancer, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, chronic liver disease, congestive heart failure, ARDS/ALI, and organ dysfunctions. CONCLUSION: Our analysis demonstrates that ARDS/ALI is common after TBI. Despite an overall reduction of in-hospital mortality, ARDS/ALI carries a higher risk of in-hospital death after TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-803
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012


  • Administrative database
  • Epidemiology
  • Hypoxia
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Nationwide Inpatient Sample
  • Outcome
  • Respiratory failure


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