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J Neurosurg. 1990 Mar;72(3):482-7.

Evaluation of a fiberoptic intracranial pressure monitor.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.


The fiberoptic device is a relatively new type of intracranial pressure (ICP) monitor which appears to offer certain advantages over conventional monitoring systems, particularly its ability to measure brain parenchymal pressures. This study was undertaken to analyze the accuracy and drift characteristics of the fiberoptic device and to compare pressures in the subdural, intraparenchymal, and intraventricular compartments. The device was accurate to +/- 3 mm Hg over a 0- to 30-mm Hg range in vitro. The maximum daily drift was +/- 2.5 mm Hg, with an average daily drift of +/- 0.6 mm Hg and an average drift over a 5-day period of +/- 2.1 mm Hg. In vivo, the pressures and waveform characteristics obtained with the fiberoptic device and with a strain-gauge transducer connected to a ventriculostomy were very similar. Alterations in ICP were induced by various therapeutic and pathological manipulations, and the pressures in the three intracranial compartments were compared. Changes in ICP appeared to be reflected simultaneously and equally in all three compartments. Furthermore, changes in ICP secondary to a unilateral mass lesion were identical in both supratentorial parenchymal compartments when measured simultaneously. It is concluded that the fiberoptic device is an accurate and reliable system for ICP monitoring; the pressures recorded in the subdural, intraparenchymal, and intraventricular compartments paralleled each other in all of the physiological and pathological states tested. Although the drift associated with this device is less than that reported for previously available systems, its maximal cumulative drift over a 5-day period of +/- 6 mm Hg is significant. Since the fiberoptic device cannot be recalibrated in situ, it is suggested that the device be replaced if monitoring is to be continued for periods longer than 5 days.

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