Increased intracranial pressure

Management of increased intracranial pressure

Authors: Sandsmark DK, Sheth KN.


After brain injury, neurologic intensive care focuses on the detection and treatment of secondary brain insults that may compound the initial injury. Increased intracranial pressure (ICP) contributes to secondary brain injury by causing brain ischemia, hypoxia, and metabolic dysfunction. Because ICP is easily measured at the bedside, it is the target of numerous pharmacologic and surgical interventions in efforts to improve brain physiology and limit secondary injury. However, ICP may not adequately reflect the metabolic health of the underlying brain tissue, particularly in cases of focal brain injury. As a result, ICP control alone may be insufficient to impact patients' long-term recovery. Further studies are needed to better understand the combination of cerebral, hemodynamic, and metabolic markers that are best utilized to ensure optimal brain and systemic recovery and overall patient outcome after brain injury.

Patterns of Retinal Hemorrhage Associated With Increased Intracranial Pressure in Children

Authors: Binenbaum G, Rogers DL, Forbes BJ, Levin AV, Clark SA, Christian CW, Liu GT, Avery R.

OBJECTIVE:Raised intracranial pressure (ICP) has been proposed as an isolated cause of retinal hemorrhages (RHs) in children with suspected traumatic head injury. We examined the incidence and patterns of RHs associated with increased ICP in children without trauma, measured by lumbar puncture (LP).METHODS:Children undergoing LP as part of their routine clinical care were studied prospectively at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and retrospectively at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Inclusion criteria were absence of trauma, LP opening pressure (OP) ≥20 cm of water (cm H2O), and a dilated fundus examination by an ophthalmologist or neuro-ophthalmologist.RESULTS:One hundred children were studied (mean age: 12 years; range: 3-17 years). Mean OP was 35 cm H2O (range: 20-56 cm H2O); 68 (68%) children had OP >28 cm H2O. The most frequent etiology was idiopathic intracranial hypertension (70%). Seventy-four children had papilledema. Sixteen children had RH: 8 had superficial intraretinal peripapillary RH adjacent to a swollen optic disc, and 8 had only splinter hemorrhages directly on a swollen disc. All had significantly elevated OP (mean: 42 cm H2O).CONCLUSIONS:Only a small proportion of children with nontraumatic elevated ICP have RHs. When present, RHs are associated with markedly elevated OP, intraretinal, and invariably located adjacent to a swollen optic disc. This peripapillary pattern is distinct from the multilayered, widespread pattern of RH in abusive head trauma. When RHs are numerous, multilayered, or not near a swollen optic disc (eg, elsewhere in the posterior pole or in the retinal periphery), increased ICP alone is unlikely to be the cause.

Paradoxical presentation of orthostatic headache associated with increased intracranial pressure in patients with cerebral venous thrombosis

Authors: Kim JB, Kwon DY, Park MH, Kim BJ, Park KW.

Headache is the most common symptom of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT); however, the detailed underlying mechanisms and characteristics of headache in CVT have not been well described. Here, we report two cases of CVT whose primary and lasting presentation was orthostatic headache, suggestive of decreased intracranial pressure. Contrary to our expectations, the headaches were associated with elevated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure. Magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance venography showed characteristic voiding defects consistent with CVT. We suggest that orthostatic headache can be developed in a condition of decreased intracranial CSF volume in both intracranial hypotensive and intracranial hypertensive states. In these cases, orthostatic headache in CVT might be caused by decreased intracranial CSF volume that leads to the inferior displacement of the brain and traction on pain-sensitive intracranial vessels, despite increased CSF pressure on measurement. CVT should be considered in the differential diagnosis when a patient complains of orthostatic headache.

The White Cerebellum Sign: An Under Recognized Sign of Increased Intracranial Pressure

Authors: Chalela JA, Rothlisberger J, West B, Hays A.

BACKGROUND: The "white cerebellum" sign is a rare imaging finding described mainly in children with hypoxic brain injury.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Single case report and review of the literature.
FINDINGS: We describe a child with acute bacterial meningitis in whom plain CT and MRI showed the white cerebellum sign. The subtle imagings findings were not recognized and a lumbar puncture was performed. Markedly increased intracranial pressure was documented by lumbar puncture and by placement of an intraparenchymal monitor. Contrary to most prior descriptions the patient made a very good recovery.
CONCLUSIONS: The white cerebellum sign is a subtle imaging finding seen in patients with diffuse cerebral edema, such finding may not be as ominous as previously thought.

A 6-Year-Old Girl with Fever, Rash, and Increased Intracranial Pressure

Authors: Ravish ME, Krowchuk DP, Zapadka M, Shetty AK.

BACKGROUND: Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a well-described, potentially lethal, tick-borne zoonotic infection and has very effective therapy. However, the diagnosis might not be made early enough, often leading to worse outcomes.
OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to discuss the diagnostic dilemmas facing the physician when evaluating patients with suspected RMSF.
METHODS: We report a case of RMSF in a 6-year-old girl who presented to our hospital with a 7-day history of fever, headache, and a petechial rash. After blood cultures were obtained, the patient was treated empirically with doxycycline, vancomycin, and ceftriaxone. During the next 24 h, her clinical status worsened, with acute onset of altered mental status, posturing, and fixed and dilated pupils. A computed tomography scan of the brain demonstrated diffuse cerebral edema with evidence of tonsillar herniation. She died 24 h after admission. A serum specimen tested positive for immunoglobulin G to Rickettsia rickettsii at a titer of 128 dilutions, confirming recent infection.
CONCLUSIONS: We present this case to raise awareness of RMSF in patients who present with a nonspecific febrile illness in tick-endemic areas in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment with doxycycline before day 5 of illness is essential and can prevent morbidity and mortality.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Novel Methods to Predict Increased Intracranial Pressure During Intensive Care and Long-Term Neurological Outcome After Traumatic Brain Injury: Development and Validation in a Multicenter Dataset.

Authors: Güiza F, Depreitere B, Piper I, Van den Berghe G, Meyfroidt G.

OBJECTIVE: Intracranial pressure monitoring is standard of care after severe traumatic brain injury. Episodes of increased intracranial pressure are secondary injuries associated with poor outcome. We developed a model to predict increased intracranial pressure episodes 30 mins in advance, by using the dynamic characteristics of continuous intracranial pressure and mean arterial pressure monitoring. In addition, we hypothesized that performance of current models to predict long-term neurologic outcome could be substantially improved by adding dynamic characteristics of continuous intracranial pressure and mean arterial pressure monitoring during the first 24 hrs in the ICU. DESIGN:: Prognostic modeling. Noninterventional, observational, retrospective study. SETTING AND PATIENTS:: The Brain Monitoring with Information Technology dataset consisted of 264 traumatic brain injury patients admitted to 22 neuro-ICUs from 11 European countries. INTERVENTIONS:: None. MEASUREMENTS:: Predictive models were built with multivariate logistic regression and Gaussian processes, a machine learning technique. Predictive attributes were Corticosteroid Randomisation After Significant Head Injury-basic and International Mission for Prognosis and Clinical Trial design in TBI-core predictors, together with time-series summary statistics of minute-by-minute mean arterial pressure and intracranial pressure. MAIN RESULTS:: Increased intracranial pressure episodes could be predicted 30 mins ahead with good calibration (Hosmer-Lemeshow p value 0.12, calibration slope 1.02, calibration-in-the-large -0.02) and discrimination (area under the receiver operating curve = 0.87) on an external validation dataset. Models for prediction of poor neurologic outcome at six months (Glasgow Outcome Score 1-2) based only on static admission data had 0.72 area under the receiver operating curve; adding dynamic information of intracranial pressure and mean arterial pressure during the first 24 hrs increased performance to 0.90. Similarly, prediction of Glasgow Outcome Score 1-3 was improved from 0.68 to 0.87 when including dynamic information. CONCLUSION:: The dynamic information in continuous mean arterial pressure and intracranial pressure monitoring allows to accurately predict increased intracranial pressure in the neuro-ICU. Adding information of the first 24 hrs of intracranial pressure and mean arterial pressure monitoring to known baseline risk factors allows very accurate prediction of long-term neurologic outcome at 6 months.


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