9 Apr 2015

Optimising paediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) outcomes

Dr Phil Lewis's research interest is how
the brain regulates blood flow
Dr Philip Lewis completed his PhD during 2014, in which he studied the regulation of blood flow in the brain. Often after traumatic brain injury (TBI), this regulation mechanism is disrupted. As a result, during episodes of low blood pressure the brain cannot prevent a drop in flow. Conversely, during high blood pressure episodes the brain swells as the non-reactive blood vessels stretch. His thesis examined how this mechanism works, and the development of techniques for measuring its deterioration.

Dr Lewis has also been collaborating with the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and Cambridge University (UK), studying children with TBI. The team investigated the pressure reactivity (PR) of cerebral blood vessels in these patients using a technique developed at Cambridge. Disturbance of PR is common after TBI in adults and is predictive of poor outcome, but has not been well studied in children. They found that loss of pressure reactivity was significantly associated with worse outcome, and that continuous monitoring of PR could enable an individualised approach to blood pressure targeting.

Reference: Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
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