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  • Author or Editor: Pelle Nilsson x
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Tim Howells, Kristin Elf, Patricia A. Jones, Elisabeth Ronne-Engström, Ian Piper, Pelle Nilsson, Peter Andrews and Per Enblad

Object. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of two different treatment protocols on physiological characteristics and outcome in patients with brain trauma. One protocol was primarily oriented toward reducing intracranial pressure (ICP), and the other primarily on maintaining cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP).

Methods. A series of 67 patients in Uppsala were treated according to a protocol aimed at keeping ICP less than 20 mm Hg and, as a secondary target, CPP at approximately 60 mm Hg. Another series of 64 patients in Edinburgh were treated according to a protocol aimed primarily at maintaining CPP greater than 70 mm Hg and, secondarily, ICP less than 25 mm Hg for the first 24 hours and 30 mm Hg subsequently.

The ICP and CPP insults were assessed as the percentage of monitoring time that ICP was greater than or equal to 20 mm Hg and CPP less than 60 mm Hg, respectively. Pressure reactivity in each patient was assessed based on the slope of the regression line relating mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) to ICP. Outcome was analyzed at 6 months according to the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS).

The prognostic value of secondary insults and pressure reactivity was determined using linear methods and a neural network. In patients treated according to the CPP-oriented protocol, even short durations of CPP insults were strong predictors of death. In patients treated according to the ICP-oriented protocol, even long durations of CPP insult—mostly in the range of 50 to 60 mm Hg—were significant predictors of favorable outcome (GOS Score 4 or 5). Among those who had undergone ICP-oriented treatment, pressure-passive patients (MABP/ICP slope ≥ 0.13) had a better outcome. Among those who had undergone CPP-oriented treatment, the more pressure-active (MABP/ICP slope < 0.13) patients had a better outcome.

Conclusions. Based on data from this study, the authors concluded that ICP-oriented therapy should be used in patients whose slope of the MABP/ICP regression line is at least 0.13, that is, in pressure-passive patients. If the slope is less than 0.13, then hypertensive CPP therapy is likely to produce a better outcome.

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Elisabeth Ronne-Engström, Kristina Giuliana Cesarini, Per Enblad, Göran Hesselager, Niklas Marklund, Pelle Nilsson, Konstantin Salci, Lennart Persson and Lars Hillered

Object. When evaluating the results of intracerebral microdialysis, the in vivo performance of the microdialysis probe must be considered, because this determines the fraction of the interstitial concentration obtained in the microdialysis samples. The in vivo performance is dependent on several factors, for example, the interstitial compartment's diffusion characteristics, which may vary during the course of the acute brain injury process. In the present study the authors investigated the method of controlling the in vivo performance by using urea, which is evenly distributed in all body fluid compartments, as an endogenous reference compound and by comparing the urea levels in three compartments: the brain (CNS), abdominal subcutaneous tissue (SC), and blood serum (BS).

Methods. Sixty-nine patients with traumatic brain injury or cerebrovascular disease were included in the study. In 63 of these patients a CNS probe was used, an SC probe was used in 40, and both were used in 34. Urea was measured by enzymatic methods, at bedside for the microdialysis samples and in routine clinical laboratory studies for the BS samples, with the probe calibrated to give identical results. The correlation coefficient for CNS/SC urea was 0.88 (2414 samples), for CNS/BS urea it was 0.89 (180 samples), and for SC/BS urea it was 0.98 (112 samples).

Conclusions. Urea levels in the CNS, SC, and BS were highly correlated, which supports the assumption that urea is evenly distributed. The CNS/SC urea ratio can therefore be used for monitoring the CNS probe's in vivo performance. Fluctuations in other substances measured with microdialysis are probably caused by biological changes in the brain, as long as the CNS/SC urea ratio remains constant.