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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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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.