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Anesth Analg. 2008 Jan;106(1):240-8. doi: 10.1213/01.ane.0000297296.52006.8e.

Monitoring intracranial pressure in traumatic brain injury.

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National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK.


Increased intracranial pressure (ICP) is an important cause of secondary brain injury, and ICP monitoring has become an established component of brain monitoring after traumatic brain injury. ICP cannot be reliably estimated from any specific clinical feature or computed tomography finding and must actually be measured. Different methods of monitoring ICP have been described but intraventricular catheters and microtransducer systems are most widely used in clinical practice. ICP is a complex variable that links ICP and cerebral perfusion pressure and provides additional information from identification and analysis of pathologic ICP wave forms. ICP monitoring can also be augmented by measurement of indices describing cerebrovascular pressure reactivity and pressure-volume compensatory reserve. There is considerable variability in the use of ICP monitoring and treatment modalities among head injury centers. However, there is a large body of clinical evidence supporting the use of ICP monitoring to detect intracranial mass lesions early, guide therapeutic interventions, and assess prognosis, and it is recommended by consensus guidelines for head injury management. There remains a need for a prospective, randomized, controlled trial to identify the value of ICP monitoring and management after head injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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