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J Neurosurg. 2000 Aug;93(2):265-74.

Continuous monitoring of regional cerebral blood flow: experimental and clinical validation of a novel thermal diffusion microprobe.

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Department of Neurosurgery and Anesthesiology, Klinikum Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany.



Current clinical neuromonitoring techniques lack adequate surveillance of cerebral perfusion. In this article, a novel thermal diffusion (TD) microprobe is evaluated for the continuous and quantitative assessment of intraparenchymal regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF).


To characterize the temporal resolution of this new technique, rCBF measured using the TD microprobe (TD-rCBF) was compared with rCBF levels measured by laser Doppler (LD) flowmetry during standardized variations of CBF in a sheep model. For validation of absolute values, the microprobe was implanted subcortically (20 mm below the level of dura) into 16 brain-injured patients, and TD-rCBF was compared with simultaneous rCBF measurements obtained using stable xenon-enhanced computerized tomography scanning (sXe-rCBF). The two techniques were compared using linear regression analysis as well as the Bland and Altman method. Stable TD-rCBF measurements could be obtained throughout all 3- to 5-hour sheep experiments. During hypercapnia, TD-rCBF increased from 49.3+/-15.8 ml/100 g/min (mean +/- standard deviation) to 119.6+/-47.3 ml/100 g/ min, whereas hypocapnia produced a decline in TD-rCBF from 51.2+/-12.8 ml/100 g/min to 39.3+/-5.6 m/100 g/min. Variations in mean arterial blood pressure revealed an intact autoregulation with pressure limits of approximately 65 mm Hg and approximately 170 mm Hg. After cardiac arrest TD-rCBF declined rapidly to 0 ml/100 g/min. The dynamics of changes in TD-rCBF corresponded well to the dynamics of the LD readings. A comparison of TD-rCBF and sXe-rCBF revealed a good correlation (r = 0.89; p < 0.0001) and a mean difference of 1.1+/-5.2 ml/100 g/min between the two techniques.


The novel TD microprobe provides a sensitive, continuous, and real-time assessment of intraparenchymal rCBF in absolute flow values that are in good agreement with sXe-rCBF measurements. This study provides the basis for the integration of TD-rCBF into multimodal monitoring of patients who are at risk for secondary brain injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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