Intracranial pressure

Assessment of intracranial dynamics in hydrocephalus: effects of viscoelasticity on the outcome of infusion tests

Authors: Bottan S, Schmid Daners M, de Zelicourt D, Fellner N, Poulikakos D, Kurtcuoglu V.

Object The treatment of hydrocephalus requires insight into the intracranial dynamics in the patient. Resistance to CSF outflow (R0) is a clinically obtainable parameter of intracranial fluid dynamics that quantifies the apparent resistance to CSF absorption. It is used as a criterion for the selection of shunt candidates and serves as an indicator of shunt performance. The R0 is obtained clinically by performing 1 of 3 infusion tests: constant flow, constant pressure, or bolus infusion. Among these, the bolus infusion method has the shortest examination times and provides the shortest time of exposure of patients to artificially increased intracranial pressure (ICP) levels. However, for unknown reasons, the bolus infusion method systematically underestimates the R0. Here, the authors have tested and verified the hypothesis that this underestimation is due to lack of accounting for viscoelasticity of the craniospinal space in the calculation of the R0. Methods The authors developed a phantom model of the human craniospinal space in order to reproduce in vivo pressure-volume (PV) relationships during infusion testing. The phantom model followed the Marmarou exponential PV equation and also included a viscoelastic response to volume changes. Parameters of intracranial fluid dynamics, such as the R0, could be controlled and set independently. In addition to the phantom model, the authors designed a computational framework for virtual infusion testing in which viscoelasticity can be turned on or off in a controlled manner. Constant flow, constant pressure, and bolus infusion tests were performed on the phantom model, as well as on the virtual computational platform, using standard clinical protocols. Values for the R0 were derived from each infusion test by using both a standard method based on the Marmarou PV equation and a novel method based on a system identification approach that takes into account viscoelastic behavior. Results Experiments with the phantom model confirmed clinical observations that both the constant flow and constant pressure infusion tests, but not the bolus infusion test, yield correct R0 values when they are determined with the standard method according to Marmarou. Equivalent results were obtained using the computational framework. When the novel system identification approach was used to determine the R0, all of the 3 infusion tests yielded correct values for the R0. Conclusions The authors' investigations demonstrate that intracranial dynamics have a substantial viscoelastic component. When this viscoelastic component is taken into account in calculations, the R0, is no longer underestimated in the bolus infusion test.

Research on simulation and experiment of noninvasive intracranial pressure monitoring based on acoustoelasticity effects

Authors: Wu J, He W, Chen WM, Zhu L.

The real-time monitoring of intracranial pressure (ICP) is very important for craniocerebrally critically ill patients, but it is very difficult to realize long-time monitoring for the traditional invasive method, which very easily infects patients. Many noninvasive methods have emerged, but these have not been able to monitor ICP for long periods in real time, and they are not ready for clinical application. In order to realize long-time, online, real-time, noninvasive monitoring for ICP, a new method based on acoustoelasticity of ultrasound is herein proposed. Experimental models were devised to research the new method for experiment and simulation. Polymethyl methacrylate and hydrogel were adopted for the experiment, and their mechanical properties were very close to the real brain. A numerical solution for acoustoelasticity theory was acquired by simulating calculation based on a finite-element method. This was compared to the experimental value. The results showed a consistent match between theoretical solution and experimental value, with maximum error at most 5%. Thus, the effectiveness of the new method was verified. Theoretical and practical foundation is provided for this new method, and it could be used for animal experimentation or clinical testing in further research.

Study of therapeutic hypothermia (32 to 35°C) for intracranial pressure reduction after traumatic brain injury (the Eurotherm3235Trial): outcome of the pilot phase of the trial

Authors: Andrews PJ, Sinclair LH, Harris B, Baldwin MJ, Battison CG, Rhodes JK, Murray G, De Backer D.

BACKGROUND: Clinical trials in traumatic brain injury (TBI) are challenging. Previous trials of complex interventions were conducted in high-income countries, reported long lead times for site setup and low screened-to-recruitment rates.In this report we evaluate the internal pilot phase of an international, multicentre TBI trial of a complex intervention to assess: design and implementation of an online case report form; feasibility of recruitment (sites and patients); feasibility and effectiveness of delivery of the protocol.
METHODS: All aspects of the pilot phase of the trial were conducted as for the main trial. The pilot phase had oversight by independent Steering and Data Monitoring committees.
RESULTS: Forty sites across 12 countries gained ethical approval. Thirty seven of 40 sites were initiated for recruitment. Of these, 29 had screened patients and 21 randomized at least one patient. Lead times to ethics approval (6.8 weeks), hospital approval (18 weeks), interest to set up (61 weeks), set up to screening (11 weeks), and set up to randomization (31.6 weeks) are comparable with other international trials. Sixteen per cent of screened patients were eligible. We found 88% compliance rate with trial protocol.
CONCLUSION: The pilot data demonstrated good feasibility for this large international multicentre randomized controlled trial of hypothermia to control intracranial pressure. The sample size was reduced to 600 patients because of homogeneity of the patient group and we showed an optimized cooling intervention could be delivered.Trial registration Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN34555414.

Effects of Nursing Interventions on Intracranial Pressure

Authors: Olson DM, McNett MM, Lewis LS, Riemen KE, Bautista C.

Background Intracranial pressure is a frequent target for goal-directed therapy to prevent secondary brain injury. In critical care settings, nurses deliver many interventions to patients having intracranial pressure monitored, yet few data documenting the immediate effect of these interventions on intracranial pressure are available. Objective To examine the relationship between intracranial pressure and specific nursing interventions observed during routine care. Methods Secondary analysis of prospectively collected observational data. Results During 3118 minutes of observation, 11 specific nursing interventions were observed for 28 nurse-patient dyads from 16 hospitals. Family members talking in the room, administering sedatives, and repositioning the patient were associated with a significantly lower intracranial pressure. However, intracranial pressure was sometimes higher, lower, or unchanged after each intervention observed. Conclusion Response of intracranial pressure to nursing interventions is inconsistent. Most interventions were associated with inconsistent changes in intracranial pressure at 1 or 5 minutes after the intervention.

Intracranial pressure monitoring in severe head injury: compliance with Brain Trauma Foundation guidelines and effect on outcomes: a prospective study

Authors: Talving P, Karamanos E, Teixeira PG, Skiada D, Lam L, Belzberg H, Inaba K, Demetriades D.

Object The Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) has established guidelines for intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring in severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study assessed compliance with these guidelines and the effect on outcomes. Methods This is a prospective, observational study including patients with severe blunt TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤ 8, head Abbreviated Injury Scale score ≥ 3) between January 2010 and December 2011. Demographics, clinical characteristics, laboratory profile, head CT scans, injury severity indices, and interventions were collected. The study population was stratified into 2 study groups: ICP monitoring and no ICP monitoring. Primary outcomes included compliance with BTF guidelines, overall in-hospital mortality, and mortality due to brain herniation. Secondary outcomes were ICU and hospital lengths of stay. Multiple regression analyses were deployed to determine the effect of ICP monitoring on outcomes. Results A total of 216 patients met the BTF guideline criteria for ICP monitoring. Compliance with BTF guidelines was 46.8% (101 patients). Patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage and those who underwent craniectomy/craniotomy were significantly more likely to undergo ICP monitoring. Hypotension, coagulopathy, and increasing age were negatively associated with the placement of ICP monitoring devices. The overall in-hospital mortality was significantly higher in patients who did not undergo ICP monitoring (53.9% vs 32.7%, adjusted p = 0.019). Similarly, mortality due to brain herniation was significantly higher for the group not undergoing ICP monitoring (21.7% vs 12.9%, adjusted p = 0.046). The ICU and hospital lengths of stay were significantly longer in patients subjected to ICP monitoring. Conclusions Compliance with BTF ICP monitoring guidelines in our study sample was 46.8%. Patients managed according to the BTF ICP guidelines experienced significantly improved survival.

Massive cerebral involvement in fat embolism syndrome and intracranial pressure management

Authors: Kellogg RG, Fontes RB, Lopes DK.

Fat embolism syndrome (FES) is a common clinical entity that can occasionally have significant neurological sequelae. The authors report a case of cerebral fat embolism and FES that required surgical management of intracranial pressure (ICP). They also discuss the literature as well as the potential need for neurosurgical management of this disease entity in select patients. A 58-year-old woman presented with a seizure episode and altered mental status after suffering a right femur fracture. Head CT studies demonstrated hypointense areas consistent with fat globules at the gray-white matter junction predominantly in the right hemisphere. This CT finding is unique in the literature, as other reports have not included imaging performed early enough to capture this finding. Brain MR images obtained 3 days later revealed T2-hyperintense areas with restricted diffusion within the same hemisphere, along with midline shift and subfalcine herniation. These findings steered the patient to the operating room for decompressive hemicraniectomy. A review of the literature from 1980 to 2012 disclosed 54 cases in 38 reports concerning cerebral fat embolism and FES. Analysis of all the cases revealed that 98% of the patients presented with mental status changes, whereas only 22% had focal signs and/or seizures. A good outcome was seen in 57.6% of patients with coma and/or abnormal posturing on presentation and in 90.5% of patients presenting with mild mental status changes, focal deficits, or seizure. In the majority of cases ICP was managed conservatively with no surgical intervention. One case featured the use of an ICP monitor, while none featured the use of hemicraniectomy.

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