Increased intracranial pressure (ICP) results in enlarged optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD). In this study the authors aimed to assess the association of ONSD and ICP in severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) after decompressive craniotomy (DC).
ONSDs were measured by ocular ultrasonography in 40 healthy control adults. ICPs were monitored invasively with a microsensor at 6 hours and 24 hours after DC operation in 35 TBI patients. ONSDs were measured at the same time in these patients. Patients were assigned to 3 groups according to ICP levels, including normal (ICP ≤ 13 mm Hg), mildly elevated (ICP = 14–22 mm Hg), and severely elevated (ICP > 22 mm Hg) groups. ONSDs were compared between healthy control adults and TBI cases with DC. Then, the association of ONSD with ICP was analyzed using Pearson’s correlation coefficient, linear regression analysis, and receiver operator characteristic curves.
Seventy ICP measurements were obtained among 35 TBI patients after DC, including 25, 27, and 18 measurements in the normal, mildly elevated, and severely elevated ICP groups, respectively. Mean ONSDs were 4.09 ± 0.38 mm in the control group and 4.92 ± 0.37, 5.77 ± 0.41, and 6.52 ± 0.44 mm in the normal, mildly elevated, and severely elevated ICP groups, respectively (p < 0.001). A significant linear correlation was found between ONSD and ICP (r = 0.771, p < 0.0001). Enlarged ONSD was a robust predictor of elevated ICP. With an ONSD cutoff of 5.48 mm (ICP > 13 mm Hg), sensitivity and specificity were 91.1% and 88.0%, respectively; a cutoff of 5.83 mm (ICP > 22 mm Hg) yielded sensitivity and specificity of 94.4% and 81.0%, respectively.
Ultrasonographic ONSD is strongly correlated with invasive ICP measurements and may serve as a sensitive and noninvasive method for detecting elevated ICP in TBI patients after DC.