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Surg Neurol Int. 2012;3:57. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.96868. Epub 2012 May 31.

Implementation of cerebral microdialysis at a community-based hospital: A 5-year retrospective analysis.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, 2801 N. Gantenbein St., Portland, OR 97227, USA.



Cerebral microdialysis (MD) provides valuable information about brain metabolism under normal and pathologic conditions. The CMA 600 microdialysis analyzer received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for clinical use in the United States in 2005. Since then, cerebral MD has been increasingly utilized nationally in the multimodal monitoring of traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, and brain tumors. We describe a 5-year, single-institutional experience using cerebral MD at a community-based hospital, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center (LEMC). Implications for the adoption and utility of MD in medical centers with limited resources are discussed.


This is a retrospective chart review and data analysis of 174 consecutive patients who had cerebral MD as part of multimodal brain monitoring. All cerebral MD catheters were placed by board-certified, attending neurosurgeons at LEMC. Clinical severity in the TBI patients was reported using initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS); radiologic severity was graded with the Marshall CT grading scale. Measures of the risks of MD placement included post-placement hemorrhage, cerebral infection, and dislodgement.


Between July 2005 and July 2010, 248 cerebral MD catheters were placed in 174 patients undergoing multimodal brain monitoring. One hundred and eighty-five catheters were placed at the time of open craniotomy. None were associated with cranial infection. Patients ranged in age from 5 months to 90 years, with a mean of 49 years. The male to female ratio was 1.4:1. The underlying pathologies were: TBI (126), cerebral vascular accident (24), aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (17), and tumor (7).


Cerebral MD was readily implemented in a community-based hospital. No cerebral hemorrhages or infections were attributed to cerebral MD. Examples of how MD may be a useful adjunct in the clinical decision making of patients with brain injuries are presented.


Brain glucose; microdialysis; multimodal brain monitoring; traumatic brain injury

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