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Intracranial volume-pressure relationship in man

Part 1: Calculation of the pressure-volume index

Joseph Th. J. Tans and Dick C. J. Poortvliet

✓ The pressure-volume index (PVI) was determined in 40 patients who underwent continuous monitoring of ventricular fluid pressure. The PVI value was calculated using different mathematical models. From the differences between these values, it is concluded that a monoexponential relationship with a constant term provides the best approximation of the PVI.

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Intracranial volume-pressure relationship in man

Part 2: Clinical significance of the pressure-volume index

Joseph Th. J. Tans and Dick C. J. Poortvliet

✓ Pressure-volume indices (PVI's) were determined for a heterogeneous group of 40 patients who underwent continuous monitoring of ventricular fluid pressure (VFP). The main purpose was to investigate the relationship between VFP and PVI and to establish the significance of the measured PVI values. Determinations of PVI appear to be useful only when baseline VFP is under 20 mm Hg, maximum VFP is under 30 mm Hg, A-waves are absent, and B-waves do not occur numerously. The authors advocate starting with 1-ml bolus infusions, and then, when the resulting pressure rise exceeds 4 mm Hg, additional bolus infusions can be omitted. Results indicate that 13 ml and 10 ml are the key values for the PVI. A PVI of less than 13 ml indicates the need for either reduction of VFP and improvement of compliance or intensive monitoring of both the VFP and the volume-pressure relationship; if the PVI is below 10 ml, anti-hypertensive treatment is almost always necessary. Values of PVI's between 13 and 18 ml, although pathological, usually have no therapeutic consequences.

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Derk J. Hofstee, Johanna M. M. Gijtenbeek, Peter H. Hoogland, Hans C. van Houwelingen, Alfred Kloet, Freek Lötters and Joseph Th. J. Tans

Object. The authors conducted a study to compare the efficacies of three nonsurgical treatment strategies in patients with sciatica. Their hypothesis was that bed rest, physiotherapy, and continuation of activities of daily living (ADLs) (control treatment) are each of equivalent efficacy.

Methods. This randomized controlled trial was designed for comparison of bed rest, physiotherapy, and continuation of ADLs. The setting was an outpatient clinic. General practitioners were asked to refer patients for treatment as soon as possible. The authors enrolled 250 patients (< 60 years of age) with sciatica of less than 1-month's duration and who had not yet been treated with bed rest or physiotherapy. Primary outcome measures were radicular pain (based on a visual analog pain scale [VAPS]) and hampered ADLs (Quebec Disability Scale [QDS]). Secondary outcome measures were the rates of treatment-related failure and surgical treatment. Measures were assessed at baseline and during follow up at 1, 2, and 6 months.

Mean differences in VAPS and QDS scores between bed rest and control treatment were 2.5 (95% confidence interval [CI] −6.4 to 11.4) and −4.8 (95% CI −10.6 to 0.9) at 1 month and 0.9 (95% CI −8.7 to 10.4) and −2.7 (95% CI −9.9 to 4.4) at 2 months, respectively. The respective differences between physiotherapy and control treatment were 0.8 (95% CI −8.2 to 9.8) and −0.5 (95% CI −6.3 to 5.3) at 1 month and −0.3 (95% CI −9.4 to 10) and 0.0 (95% CI −7.2 to 7.3) at 2 months. The respective odds ratios for treatment failure and surgical treatment of bed rest compared with control treatment were 1.6 (95% CI 0.8–3.5) and 1.5 (95% CI 0.7–3.6) at 6 months. When physiotherapy was compared with control treatment, these ratios were 1.5 (95% CI 0.7–3.2) and 1.2 (95% CI 0.5–2.9) at 6 months, respectively.

Conclusions. Bed rest and physiotherapy are not more effective in acute sciatica than continuation of ADLs.