Intracranial hypertension and impaired cerebral autoregulation are common causes of secondary injuries in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The primary outcome of this study was to assess whether a noninvasive method to estimate intracranial pressure (ICP) based on the ultrasonography of the optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) measured at the time of neurocritical care unit (NCCU) admission is correlated with the mean ICP during NCCU stay. Secondary outcomes were to assess whether ONSD is correlated with the dose of ICP > 20 mm Hg and impaired autoregulation during NCCU stay and with instantaneous ICP and whether ONSD is associated with NCCU mortality.
This prospective observational monocentric study included adults with severe TBI. ONSD was measured at NCCU admission, immediately after invasive ICP insertion. ONSD-predicted noninvasive ICP (nICPONSD) was calculated according the formula: nICPONSD = 5 × ONSD − 14 (nICPONSD in mm Hg, ONSD in mm). Autoregulation was measured using the pressure reactivity index (PRx).
In total, 100 patients were included in this study. ONSD was significantly correlated with mean ICP (r = 0.46, p < 0.0001), with mean PRx (r = 0.21, p = 0.04), and with the dose of ICP > 20 mm Hg during NCCU stay (r = 0.49, p < 0.0001). Admission nICPONSD was shown to be significantly correlated with instantaneous ICP (r = 0.85, p < 0.001). ONSD at admission was significantly correlated with NCCU mortality (p = 0.02).
ONSD measured at NCCU admission can give important information about patients at risk of developing intracranial hypertension and impaired autoregulation. ONSD examination could be useful to screen patients at admission to determine who would benefit from further invasive ICP monitoring.