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A composite outcome for mild traumatic brain injury in trials of hyperbaric oxygen

Introduction: Global outcomes can strengthen inferences from clinical trials. We evaluate global outcomes for persistent post-concussive symptoms (PCS) after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in two clinical trials of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) in United States service members.

Methods: During study design, outcomes of symptom, cognitive, and functional impairments planned for a trial of HBO2 for PCS (HOPPS) were weighted and grouped into different domains to formulate the composite outcome total score. The composite outcome was compared between the intervention groups in HOPPS and those in a subsequent HBO2 trial (BIMA) for validation. Additionally, two post hoc global outcome measures were explored, including one composed of components that demonstrated favorable characteristics in both studies and another via components used in another TBI randomized trial (COBRIT). 

Results: In total, 143 active-duty or veteran military personnel were randomized across the two studies. Composite total scores improved from baseline for HBO2 (mean±SD -2.9±9.0) and sham (-2.9±6.6) groups in HOPPS but did not differ significantly between groups (p=0.33). In BIMA, 13-week changes from baseline favored the HBO2 group (-3.6±6.4) versus sham (-0.3±5.2; p=0.02). No between-group differences were found when COBRIT composite scoring was applied to BIMA. Overall, HBO2 effects were maximized when the post hoc global measure derived from both studies was applied to the data.

Conclusions: Composite total scores in HOPPS and BIMA were consistent with primary study results. The global measures considered may offer utility as endpoints to achieve maximal HBO2 effect in future trials of the mTBI population. 

Identifier: NCT01611194 (BIMA)
and NCT01306968 (HOPPS)

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