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Neurocrit Care. 2018 Dec 6. doi: 10.1007/s12028-018-0651-4. [Epub ahead of print]

Cerebral Vascular Changes During Acute Intracranial Pressure Drop.

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Department of Physiological Nursing, University of California, 2 Koret Way, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA.
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, Davis, CA, USA.
Department of Physiological Nursing, University of California, 2 Koret Way, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA.
Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.
Chongqing Engineering Laboratory of Nano/Micro Biological Medicine Detection Technology, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Chongqing University of Science and Technology, Chongqing, People's Republic of China.
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, USA.
Institute of Computational Health Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, USA.



This study applied a new external ventricular catheter, which allows intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) drainage simultaneously, to study cerebral vascular responses during acute CSF drainage.


Six patients with 34 external ventricular drain (EVD) opening sessions were retrospectively analyzed. A published algorithm was used to extract morphological features of ICP recordings, and a template-matching algorithm was applied to calculate the likelihood of cerebral vasodilation index (VDI) and cerebral vasoconstriction index (VCI) based on the changes of ICP waveforms during CSF drainage. Power change (∆P) of ICP B-waves after EVD opening was also calculated. Cerebral autoregulation (CA) was assessed through phase difference between arterial blood pressure (ABP) and ICP using a previously published wavelet-based algorithm.


The result showed that acute CSF drainage reduced mean ICP (P = 0.016) increased VCI (P = 0.02) and reduced ICP B-wave power (P = 0.016) significantly. VCI reacted to ICP changes negatively when ICP was between 10 and 25 mmHg, and VCI remained unchanged when ICP was outside the 10-25 mmHg range. VCI negatively (r = - 0.44) and VDI positively (r = 0.82) correlated with ∆P of ICP B-waves, indicating that stronger vasoconstriction resulted in bigger power drop in ICP B-waves. Better CA prior to EVD opening triggered bigger drop in the power of ICP B-waves (r = - 0.612).


This study demonstrates that acute CSF drainage reduces mean ICP, and results in vasoconstriction which can be detected through an index, VCI. Cerebral vessels actively respond to ICP changes or cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) changes in a certain range; beyond which, the vessels are insensitive to the changes in ICP and CPP.


Cerebral autoregulation; Cerebral vascular changes; Cerebrospinal fluid drainage; ICP B-waves; Intracranial pressure waveform


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