Intracranial pressure

Recurrent syncope due to refractory cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and transient elevations of intracranial pressure

Authors: Larimer P, McDermott MW, Scott BJ, Shih TT, Poisson SN.

Chronic paroxysmal intracranial hypertension leading to syncope is a phenomenon not reported previously in patients with refractory cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. We report a case of paroxysmal intracranial hypertension leading to syncopal episodes in a patient with idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia and venous sinus thrombosis. This case demonstrates that intermittent elevations in intracranial pressure can lead to syncope in patients with venous sinus thrombosis and emphasizes the importance of considering this potentially treatable etiology of syncopal episodes.

Managing children with raised intracranial pressure: part one (introduction and meningitis)

Authors: Paul S, Smith J, Green J, Smith-Collins A, Chinthapalli R.

Intracranial pathologies in children need urgent identification and management. This article is presented in two parts, with part one describing intracranial pressure and outlining the features and management of meningitis. Part two, to be published in February 2014, outlines the features and management of brain tumours and intracranial bleeds. Each condition is accompanied by an illustrative case study to give an idea of what nurses might encounter in a child presenting with raised intracranial pressure.

Intracranial pressure monitoring, cerebral perfusion pressure estimation, and ICP/CPP-guided therapy: a standard of care or optional extra after brain injury?

Authors: Kirkman MA, Smith M.

Measurement of intracranial pressure (ICP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) is used to derive cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) and to guide targeted therapy of acute brain injury (ABI) during neurointensive care. Here we provide a narrative review of the evidence for ICP monitoring, CPP estimation, and ICP/CPP-guided therapy after ABI. Despite its widespread use, there is currently no class I evidence that ICP/CPP-guided therapy for any cerebral pathology improves outcomes; indeed some evidence suggests that it makes no difference, and some that it may worsen outcomes. Similarly, no class I evidence can currently advise the ideal CPP for any form of ABI. 'Optimal' CPP is likely patient-, time-, and pathology-specific. Further, CPP estimation requires correct referencing (at the level of the foramen of Monro as opposed to the level of the heart) for MAP measurement to avoid CPP over-estimation and adverse patient outcomes. Evidence is emerging for the role of other monitors of cerebral well-being that enable the clinician to employ an individualized multimodality monitoring approach in patients with ABI, and these are briefly reviewed. While acknowledging difficulties in conducting robust prospective randomized studies in this area, such high-quality evidence for the utility of ICP/CPP-directed therapy in ABI is urgently required. So, too, is the wider adoption of multimodality neuromonitoring to guide optimal management of ICP and CPP, and a greater understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of the different forms of ABI and what exactly the different monitoring tools used actually represent.

Prognostic correlation of intracranial pressure monitoring in patients with severe craniocerebral injury

Authors: Huang QB, Zhang Y, Su YH, Zhang ZL, Wang GH, Li XG.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the clinical application of intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring and its prognostic correlation in patients with severe craniocerebral injury.
METHODS: A total of 216 severe craniocerebral injury patients with scores of Glasgow coma scale 3-8 underwent craniotomy at Affiliated Qilu Hospital, Shandong University.And 168 cases of ICP monitoring were divided into 3 treatment groups and another 48 cases without ICP monitoring selected as the control group.According to ICP, stepwise treatment was administered to control the level of ICP and maintain the cerebral perfusion pressure to analyze the relationship between ICP monitoring and prognosis.
RESULTS: As compared with the control group, there were significant decreases of disability and mortality rate for patients with ICP monitoring (A, B, C group). Especially group C had a better prognosis than the other groups for statistical significance.In addition, the dose and duration of mannitol of group A, B or C were significantly lower than those of the control group (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: The application of ICP monitoring is capable of reducing mortality, improving prognosis and enhancing success rate of treating severe craniocerebral injury.

Analysis of intracranial pressure signals recorded during infusion studies using the spectral entropy

Authors: Garcia M, Poza J, Abasolo D, Santamarta D, Hornero R.

Hydrocephalus includes a range of disorders characterized by clinical symptoms, abnormal brain imaging and altered cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics. Infusion tests can be used to study CSF circulation in patients with hydrocephalus. In them, intracranial pressure (ICP) is deliberately raised and CSF circulation disorders evaluated through measurements of the resulting ICP. In this study, we analyzed 77 ICP signals recorded during infusion tests using the spectral entropy (SE). Each signal was divided into four artifact-free epochs. The mean SE, <SE>, and the standard deviation of SE, SD, were calculated for each epoch. Statistically significant differences were found between phases of the infusion test using <SE> and SD (p<1.7·10-3, Bonferroni-corrected Wilcoxon tests). Furthermore, we found significantly lower <SE> and SD values in the plateau phase than in the basal phase. These findings suggest that the increase in ICP during infusion studies is associated with a significant decrease in irregularity and variability of the spectral content of ICP signals, measured in terms of SE. We conclude that the spectral analysis of ICP signals could be useful for understanding CSF dynamics in hydrocephalus.

Intraoperative intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure for predicting surgical outcome in severe traumatic brain injury

Authors: Tsai TH, Huang TY, Kung SS, Su YF, Hwang SL, Lieu AS.

Intraoperative intracranial pressure (ICP) and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) were evaluated for use as prognostic indicators after surgery for severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), and threshold ICP and CPP values were determined to provide guidelines for patient management. This retrospective study reviewed data for 66 patients (20 females and 46 males) aged 13-83 years (average age, 48 years) who had received decompressive craniectomy and hematoma evacuation for severe TBI. The analysis of clinical characteristics included Glascow Coma Scale score, trauma mechanism, trauma severity, cerebral hemorrhage type, hematoma thickness observed on computed tomography scan, Glasgow Outcome Scale score, and mortality. Patients whose treatment included ICP monitoring had significantly better prognosis (p < 0.001) and significantly lower mortality (p = 0.016) compared to those who did not receive ICP monitoring. At all three major steps of the procedure, i.e., creation of the burr hole, evacuation of the hematoma, and closing of the wound, intraoperative ICP and CPP values significantly differed. The ICP and CPP values were also significantly associated with surgical outcome in the severe TBI patients. Between hematoma evacuation and wound closure, ICP and CPP values differed by 6.8 ± 4.5 and 6.5 ± 4.6 mmHg, respectively (mean difference, 6 mmHg). Intraoperative thresholds were 14 mmHg for ICP and 56mmH for CPP. Monitoring ICP and CPP during surgery improves management of severe TBI patients and provides an early prognostic indicator. During surgery for severe TBI, early detection of increased ICP is also crucial for enabling sufficiently early treatment to improve surgical outcome. However, further study is needed to determine the optimal intraoperative ICP and CPP thresholds before their use as subjective guidelines for managing severe TBI patients.

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