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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1996;138(5):531-41; discussion 541-2.

Significance of intracranial pressure waveform analysis after head injury.

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MRC Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair, Addenbrooke's Hospital, University of Cambridge, U.K.


The authors have investigated the relationships between the amplitude of the ICP pulse wave, the mean values of ICP and CPP, and the outcome of 56 head injured ventilated patients. The ICP was monitored continuously using a Camino transducer (35 patients) or subdural catheter (21 patients). The mean Glasgow Coma Score was 6 (range 3-13; 5 patients had a GCS > 8 after resuscitation). Patients were grouped according to their Glasgow Outcome Score assessed at 12 months after injury. The amplitude of ICP pulse waveform was assessed using the fundamental harmonic of the pulse waveform (AMP) to avoid distortion caused by different frequency responses of the pressure transducers used in the study. Statistical analysis revealed that in patients with fatal outcome the ICP pulse amplitude increased when the mean ICP increased to 25 mmHg and then began to decrease. The upper breakpoint of the AMP-ICP relationship was not present in patients with good/moderate outcome. The moving correlation coefficient between the fundamental harmonic of ICP pulse wave and the mean ICP (RAP: R-symbol of correlation between A-amplitude and P-pressure) was introduced to describe the time-dependent changes in correlation between amplitude and mean ICP. The RAP was significantly lower in patients who died or remained in the vegetative state. In 7 patients who died from uncontrollable intracranial hypertension RAP was oscillating or decreased to 0 or negative values well before brain-stem herniation. The combination of an ICP above 20 mmHg for a period longer than 6 hours with low correlation between the amplitude and pressure (RAP < 0.5) was described as an predictive index of an unfavourable outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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