Comparing model performance for survival prediction using total Glasgow Coma Scale and its components in traumatic brain injury

Mehdi Moazzez Lesko, Tom Jenks, Sara J O'Brien, Charmaine Childs, Omar Bouamra, Maralyn Woodford, Fiona Lecky

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score is used in clinical practice for patient assessment and communication among clinicians and also in outcome prediction models such as the Trauma and Injury Severity Score (TRIS). The objective of this study is to determine which GCS subscore is best associated with outcome, taking time of assessment into account. Records of patients with brain injury who presented after 1989 were extracted from the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN) database. Using logistic regression, a baseline model was derived with age, Injury Severity Score (ISS), and year of injury as covariates and survival at discharge as the dependent variable. Total GCS, its subscores, and their combinations at various time points were separately added to the baseline model to compare their effect on model performance. The dataset contained 21,657 cases. The total GCS score at scene and its subscores had significantly lower predictive power compared with those recorded on arrival at the Emergency Department (ED) (scene total GCS: Area Under the Curve-AUC: 0.89; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.89-0.90) and Nagelkerke R(2) of 0.55, admission total GCS: AUC of 0.91; 95% CI: 0.91-0.91, and Nagelkerke R(2) of 0.59). Eye and verbal subscores had significantly lower performances compared with total GCS, motor subscore, and various combinations of subscores. Motor subscore and total GCS appeared to have similar predictive performance (admission total and motor GCS both had AUC of 0.91 (95% CI: 0.91-0.92) and Nagelkerke R(2) of 0.59 and 0.58, respectively). Motor subscore contains most of the predictive power of the total score. GCS on arrival is a significantly better predictor of outcome than that recorded at scene.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17-22
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of neurotrauma
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


    • Adult
    • Brain Injuries/diagnosis
    • Emergency Service, Hospital
    • Female
    • Glasgow Coma Scale
    • Humans
    • Injury Severity Score
    • Male
    • Middle Aged
    • Models, Statistical
    • Predictive Value of Tests
    • Prognosis
    • Registries
    • Young Adult


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