Regional pressure and temperature variations across the injured human brain: Comparisons between paired intraparenchymal and ventricular measurements

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Introduction: Intraparenchymal, multimodality sensors are commonly used in the management of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). The 'gold standard', based on accuracy, reliability and cost for intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring is within the cerebral ventricle (external strain gauge). There are no standards yet for intracerebral temperature monitoring and little is known of temperature differences between brain tissue and ventricle. The aim of the study therefore was to determine pressure and temperature differences at intraparenchymal and ventricular sites during five days of continuous neuromonitoring. Methods: Patients with severe TBI requiring emergency surgery. Inclusion criteria: patients who required ICP monitoring were eligible for recruitment. Two intracerebral probe types were used: a) intraventricular, dual parameter sensor (measuring pressure, temperature) with inbuilt catheter for CSF drainage: b) multiparameter intraparenchymal sensor measuring pressure, temperature and oxygen partial pressure. All sensors were inserted during surgery and under aseptic conditions. Results: Seventeen patients, 12 undergoing neurosurgery (decompressive craniectomy n = 8, craniotomy n = 4) aged 21-78 years were studied. Agreement of measures for 9540 brain tissue-ventricular temperature 'pairs' and 10,291 brain tissue-ventricular pressure 'pairs' were determined using mixed model to compare mean temperature and pressure for longitudinal data. There was no significant overall difference for mean temperature (p = 0.92) or mean pressure readings (p = 0.379) between tissue and ventricular sites. With 95.8 % of paired temperature readings within 2SD (-0.4 to 0.4 °C) differences in temperature between brain tissue and ventricle were clinically insignificant. For pressure, 93.5 % of readings pairs fell within the 2SD range (-9.4756 to 7.8112 mmHg). However, for individual patients, agreement for mean tissue-ventricular pressure differences was poor on occasions. Conclusions: There is good overall agreement between paired temperature measurements obtained from deep white matter and brain ventricle in patients with and without early neurosurgery. For paired ICP measurements, 93.5 % of readings were within 2SD of mean difference. Whilst the majority of paired readings were comparable (within 10 mmHg) clinically relevant tissue-ventricular dissociations were noted. Further work is required to unravel the events responsible for short intervals of pressure dissociation before tissue pressure readings can be definitively accepted as a reliable surrogate for ventricular pressure.




Childs, C., & Shen, L. (2015). Regional pressure and temperature variations across the injured human brain: Comparisons between paired intraparenchymal and ventricular measurements. Critical Care, 19(1).

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