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Chiara Robba, Joseph Donnelly, Danilo Cardim, Tamara Tajsic, Manuel Cabeleira, Giuseppe Citerio, Paolo Pelosi, Peter Smielewski, Peter Hutchinson, David K. Menon and Marek Czosnyka

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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).

RESULTS

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).

CONCLUSIONS

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.

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Hakseung Kim, Hack-Jin Lee, Young-Tak Kim, Yunsik Son, Peter Smielewski, Marek Czosnyka and Dong-Joo Kim

OBJECTIVE

Failure of cerebral autoregulation and subsequent hypoperfusion is common during the acute phase of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The cerebrovascular pressure-reactivity index (PRx) indirectly reflects cerebral autoregulation and has been used to derive optimal cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP). This study provides a method for the use of a combination of PRx, CPP, and intracranial pressure (ICP) to better evaluate the extent of cerebral hypoperfusion during the first 24 hours after TBI, allowing for a more accurate prediction of mortality risk.

METHODS

Continuous ICP and arterial blood pressure (ABP) signals acquired from 295 TBI patients during the first 24 hours after admission were retrospectively analyzed. The CPP at the lowest PRx was determined as the optimal CPP (CPPopt). The duration of a severe hypoperfusion event (dHP) was defined as the cumulative time that the PRx was > 0.2 and the CPP was < 70 mm Hg with the addition of intracranial hypertension (ICP > 20 or > 22 mm Hg). The outcome was determined as 6-month mortality.

RESULTS

The cumulative duration of PRx > 0.2 and CPP < 70 mm Hg exhibited a significant association with mortality (p < 0.001). When utilized with basic clinical information available during the first 24 hours after admission (i.e., Glasgow Coma Scale score, age, and mean ICP), a dHP > 25 minutes yielded a significant predictive capacity for mortality (p < 0.05, area under the curve [AUC] = 0.75). The parameter was particularly predictive of mortality for patients with a mean ICP > 20 or > 22 mm Hg (AUC = 0.81 and 0.87, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

A short duration (25 minutes) of severe hypoperfusion, evaluated as lowered CPP during worsened cerebrovascular reactivity during the 1st day after TBI, is highly indicative of mortality.

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Ewa Szczepek and Waldemar Koszewski

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Afroditi Despina Lalou, Marek Czosnyka, Joseph Donnelly, John D. Pickard, FMedSci, Eva Nabbanja, Nicole C. Keong, Matthew Garnett and Zofia H. Czosnyka

OBJECTIVE

Normal pressure hydrocephalus is not simply the result of a disturbance in CSF circulation, but often includes cardiovascular comorbidity and abnormalities within the cerebral mantle. In this study, the authors have examined the relationship between the global autoregulation pressure reactivity index (PRx), the profile of disturbed CSF circulation and pressure-volume compensation, and their possible effects on outcome after surgery.

METHODS

The authors studied a cohort of 131 patients in whom a clinical suspicion of normal pressure hydrocephalus was investigated. Parameters describing CSF compensation and circulation were calculated during the CSF infusion test, and PRx was calculated from CSF pressure and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) recordings. A simple scale was used to mark the patients’ outcome 6 months after surgery (improvement, temporary improvement, and no improvement).

RESULTS

The PRx was negatively correlated with resistance to CSF outflow (R = −0.18; p = 0.044); patients with normal CSF circulation tended to have worse autoregulation. The correlation for patients who were surgically treated (n = 83) was R = −0.28; p = 0.01, and it was stronger in patients who experienced sustained improvement after surgery (n = 48, R = −0.43; p = 0.002). In patients who did not improve, the correlation was not significantly different from zero (n = 19, R = −0.07; p = 0.97). There was a trend toward higher values for PRx in nonresponders than in responders (0.16 ± 0.04 vs 0.09 ± 0.02, respectively; p = 0.061), associated with higher MAP values (107.2 ± 8.2 in nonresponders vs 89.5 ± 3.5 in responders; p = 0.195). The product of MAP × (1 + PRx), which was proposed as a measure of combined arterial hypertension and deranged autoregulation, showed a significant association with outcome (greater value in nonresponders; p = 0.013).

CONCLUSIONS

Autoregulation proves to associate with CSF circulation and appears strongest in shunt responders. Outcome following CSF diversion is possibly most favorable when CSF outflow resistance is increased and global cerebral autoregulation is intact, in combination with arterial normotension.

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Nicole C. H. Keong, Alonso Pena, Stephen J. Price, Marek Czosnyka, Zofia Czosnyka and John D. Pickard

The pathophysiology of NPH continues to provoke debate. Although guidelines and best-practice recommendations are well established, there remains a lack of consensus about the role of individual imaging modalities in characterizing specific features of the condition and predicting the success of CSF shunting. Variability of clinical presentation and imperfect responsiveness to shunting are obstacles to the application of novel imaging techniques. Few studies have sought to interpret imaging findings in the context of theories of NPH pathogenesis. In this paper, the authors discuss the major streams of thought for the evolution of NPH and the relevance of key imaging studies contributing to the understanding of the pathophysiology of this complex condition.

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Hakseung Kim, Eun-Jin Jeong, Dae-Hyeon Park, Zofia Czosnyka, Byung C. Yoon, Keewon Kim, Marek Czosnyka and Dong-Joo Kim

OBJECT

Periventricular lucency (PVL) is often observed in the hydrocephalic brain on CT or MRI. Earlier studies have proposed the extravasation of ventricular CSF into the periventricular white matter or transependymal CSF absorption as possible causes of PVL in hydrocephalus. However, there is insufficient evidence for either theory to be conclusive.

METHODS

A finite element (FE) model of the hydrocephalic brain with detailed anatomical geometry was constructed to investigate the possible mechanism of PVL in hydrocephalus. The initiation of hydrocephalus was modeled by applying a transmantle pressure gradient (TPG). The model was exposed to varying TPGs to investigate the effects of different geometrical characteristics on the distribution of PVL. The edema map was derived based on the interstitial pore pressure.

RESULTS

The model simulated the main radiological features of hydrocephalus, i.e., ventriculomegaly and PVL. The degree of PVL, assessed by the pore pressure, was prominent in mild to moderate ventriculomegaly. As the degree of ventriculomegaly exceeded certain values, the pore pressure across the cerebrum became positive, thus inducing the disappearance of PVL.

CONCLUSIONS

The results are in accordance with common clinical findings of PVL. The degree of ventriculomegaly significantly influences the development of PVL, but two factors were not linearly correlated. The results are indicative of the transependymal CSF absorption as a possible cause of PVL, but the extravasation theory cannot be formally rejected.

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Georgios V. Varsos, Melissa C. Werndle, Zofia H. Czosnyka, Peter Smielewski, Angelos G. Kolias, Isaac Phang, Samira Saadoun, B. Anthony Bell, Argyro Zoumprouli, Marios C. Papadopoulos and Marek Czosnyka

OBJECT

In contrast to intracranial pressure (ICP) in traumatic brain injury (TBI), intraspinal pressure (ISP) after traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) has not received the same attention in terms of waveform analysis. Based on a recently introduced technique for continuous monitoring of ISP, here the morphological characteristics of ISP are observationally described. It was hypothesized that the waveform analysis method used to assess ICP could be similarly applied to ISP.

METHODS

Data included continuous recordings of ISP and arterial blood pressure (ABP) in 18 patients with severe TSCI.

RESULTS

The morphology of the ISP pulse waveform resembled the ICP waveform shape and was composed of 3 peaks representing percussion, tidal, and dicrotic waves. Spectral analysis demonstrated the presence of slow, respiratory, and pulse waves at different frequencies. The pulse amplitude of ISP was proportional to the mean ISP, suggesting a similar exponential pressure-volume relationship as in the intracerebral space. The interaction between the slow waves of ISP and ABP is capable of characterizing the spinal autoregulatory capacity.

CONCLUSIONS

This preliminary observational study confirms morphological and spectral similarities between ISP in TSCI and ICP. Therefore, the known methods used for ICP waveform analysis could be transferred to ISP analysis and, upon verification, potentially used for monitoring TSCI patients.

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Georgios V. Varsos, Angelos G. Kolias, Peter Smielewski, Ken M. Brady, Vassilis G. Varsos, Peter J. Hutchinson, John D. Pickard and Marek Czosnyka

OBJECT

Cerebral blood flow is associated with cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), which is clinically monitored through arterial blood pressure (ABP) and invasive measurements of intracranial pressure (ICP). Based on critical closing pressure (CrCP), the authors introduce a novel method for a noninvasive estimator of CPP (eCPP).

METHODS

Data from 280 head-injured patients with ABP, ICP, and transcranial Doppler ultrasonography measurements were retrospectively examined. CrCP was calculated with a noninvasive version of the cerebrovascular impedance method. The eCPP was refined with a predictive regression model of CrCP-based estimation of ICP from known ICP using data from 232 patients, and validated with data from the remaining 48 patients.

RESULTS

Cohort analysis showed eCPP to be correlated with measured CPP (R = 0.851, p < 0.001), with a mean ± SD difference of 4.02 ± 6.01 mm Hg, and 83.3% of the cases with an estimation error below 10 mm Hg. eCPP accurately predicted low CPP (< 70 mm Hg) with an area under the curve of 0.913 (95% CI 0.883–0.944). When each recording session of a patient was assessed individually, eCPP could predict CPP with a 95% CI of the SD for estimating CPP between multiple recording sessions of 1.89–5.01 mm Hg.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, CrCP-based eCPP was strongly correlated with invasive CPP, with sensitivity and specificity for detection of low CPP that show promise for clinical use.

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Hakseung Kim, Byoung-Kyong Min, Dae-Hyeon Park, Stanley Hawi, Byung-Jo Kim, Zofia Czosnyka, Marek Czosnyka, Michael P. F. Sutcliffe and Dong-Joo Kim

OBJECT

Brain deformation can be seen in hydrocephalus and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) via medical images. The phenomenology of local effects, brain shift, and raised intracranial pressure and herniation are textbook concepts. However, there are still uncertainties regarding the specific processes that occur when brain tissue is subject to the mechanical stress of different temporal and spatial profiles of the 2 neurological disorders. Moreover, recent studies suggest that IIH and hydrocephalus may be diseases with opposite pathogenesis. Nevertheless, the similarities and differences between the 2 subjects have not been thoroughly investigated.

METHODS

An anatomical porohyperelastic finite element model was used to assess the brain tissue responses associated with hydrocephalus and IIH. The same set of boundary conditions, with the exception of brain loading for development of the transmantle pressure gradient, was applied for the 2 models. The distribution of stress and strain during tissue distortion is described by the mechanical parameters.

RESULTS

The results of both the hydrocephalus and IIH models correlated with pathological characteristics. For the hydrocephalus model, periventricular edema was associated with the presence of positive volumetric strain and void ratio in the lateral ventricle horns. By contrast, the IIH model revealed edema across the cerebral mantle, including the centrum semiovale, with a positive void ratio and volumetric strain.

CONCLUSIONS

The model simulates all the clinical features in correlation with the MR images obtained in patients with hydrocephalus and IIH, thus providing support for the role of the transmantle pressure gradient and capillary CSF absorption in CSF-related brain deformation. The finite element methods can be used for a better understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of neurological disorders associated with parenchymal volumetric fluctuation.