Emerging evidence suggests unique age-dependent responses following pediatric traumatic brain injury. The anesthesiologist plays a pivotal role in the acute treatment of the head-injured pediatric patient. This review provides important updates on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and age-appropriate acute management of infants and children with severe traumatic brain injury. Areas of important clinical and basic science investigations germane to the anesthesiologist, such as the role of anesthetics and apoptosis in the developing brain, are discussed. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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