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Analysis of intracranial pressure pulse waveform in traumatic brain injury patients: a CENTER-TBI study

Agnieszka Uryga, Arkadiusz Ziółkowski, Agnieszka Kazimierska, Agata Pudełko, Cyprian Mataczyński, Erhard W. Lang, Marek Czosnyka, Magdalena Kasprowicz, and the CENTER-TBI High-Resolution ICU (HR ICU) Sub-Study Participants and Investigators


Intracranial pressure (ICP) pulse waveform analysis may provide valuable information about cerebrospinal pressure-volume compensation in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The authors applied spectral methods to analyze ICP waveforms in terms of the pulse amplitude of ICP (AMP), high frequency centroid (HFC), and higher harmonics centroid (HHC) and also used a morphological classification approach to assess changes in the shape of ICP pulse waveforms using the pulse shape index (PSI).


The authors included 184 patients from the Collaborative European NeuroTrauma Effectiveness Research in Traumatic Brain Injury (CENTER-TBI) High-Resolution Sub-Study in the analysis. HFC was calculated as the average power-weighted frequency within the 4- to 15-Hz frequency range of the ICP power density spectrum. HHC was defined as the center of mass of the ICP pulse waveform harmonics from the 2nd to the 10th. PSI was defined as the weighted sum of artificial intelligence–based ICP pulse class numbers from 1 (normal pulse waveform) to 4 (pathological waveform).


AMP and PSI increased linearly with mean ICP. HFC increased proportionally to ICP until the upper breakpoint (average ICP of 31 mm Hg), whereas HHC slightly increased with ICP and then decreased significantly when ICP exceeded 25 mm Hg. AMP (p < 0.001), HFC (p = 0.003), and PSI (p < 0.001) were significantly greater in patients who died than in patients who survived. Among those patients with low ICP (< 15 mm Hg), AMP, PSI, and HFC were greater in those with poor outcome than in those with good outcome (all p < 0.001).


Whereas HFC, AMP, and PSI could be used as predictors of mortality, HHC may potentially serve as an early warning sign of intracranial hypertension. Elevated HFC, AMP, and PSI were associated with poor outcome in TBI patients with low ICP.