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Kai Arnell, Lars-Owe D. Koskinen, Jan Malm and Anders Eklund

Object

The authors investigated and compared the in vitro characteristics of 2 CSF shunts, the Strata NSC and the Codman Hakim, and their corresponding antisiphon devices (ASDs).

Methods

Six new CSF shunts and the corresponding ASDs for each model were tested in an automated, computerized experimental setup based on pressure regulation. Opening pressure accuracy, resistance, sensitivity to abdominal pressure, antisiphon effect, and the influence of different ASD positions were determined.

Results

In general the shunts performed according to the manufacturers' specifications. However, at the lowest setting, the opening pressure of the Strata NSC was close to 0, and in the Codman Hakim shunt, it was higher than specified. The resistance in the Codman Hakim shunt (5.4 mm Hg/ml/min) was much higher than that in the Strata NSC (3.6 mm Hg/ml/min). Abdominal pressure affected opening pressure in both valves. Positioning the Strata ASD above or below the ventricular catheter tip resulted in higher and lower opening pressures, respectively, than when it was placed in line with the catheter. The positioning of the Codman Hakim ASD did not influence the opening pressure.

Conclusions

Both CSF shunts work properly, but at the lowest setting the opening pressure of the Strata NSC was near 0 and in the Codman Hakim it was twice the manufacturer's specifications. The resistance in the Strata NSC was below the normal physiological range, and in the Codman Hakim device it was in the lower range of normal. The ASD did not change the shunt characteristics in the lying position and therefore might not do so in children. If this is the case, then a shunt system with an integrated ASD could be implanted at the first shunt insertion, thus avoiding a second operation and the possibility of infection.

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Magnus Olivecrona, Zandra Wildemyr and Lars-Owe D. Koskinen

Object

In this paper, the authors' goal was to study the influence of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele on the clinical outcome in patients treated for severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) with an intracranial pressure (ICP)–targeted therapy based on the Lund concept.

Methods

The authors conducted a prospective double-blinded randomized trial in which they examined patients with severe TBI. Inclusion criteria consisted of a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score ≤ 8 at the time of intubation and sedation, patient age between 15 and 70 years, an initial cerebral perfusion pressure > 10 mm Hg, and arrival to the hospital < 24 hours after trauma. Blood samples for the analysis of apolipoprotein E allele types were collected. Independent staff members evaluated outcomes by obtaining Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores at 3, 12, and 24 months.

Results

The occurrence of the ε4 allele was analyzed in 46 patients (mean age 35 ± 2.2 years with a median GCS score of 6 [range 3–8]). The ε4 allele was present in 39.1% of the patients. The ICP, cerebral perfusion pressure, and injury severity score were not statistically significantly different between the groups. The median GOS score at 3 months was 3.5, and at 12 and 24 months was 4 (range 1–5). Except for the GOS score at 3 months, which was dichotomized as favorable (GOS Score 4 or 5) and unfavorable (GOS Scores 1–3), no statistically significant differences in outcome, irrespective of GOS dichotomization used, were found between the patients with the ε4 allele and those without. The presence of the ε4 allele did not predict for clinical outcome, but GCS and ICP did.

Conclusions

The presence of ε4 is not associated with long-term clinical outcome in patients with severe TBI treated with an ICP targeted therapy, based on the Lund concept.

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Nina Sundström, Marcus Lagebrant, Anders Eklund, Lars-Owe D. Koskinen and Jan Malm

OBJECTIVE

Subdural hematoma (SDH) is the most common serious adverse event in patients with shunts. Adjustable shunts are used with increasing frequency and make it possible to noninvasively treat postoperative SDH. The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence and treatment preferences of SDHs, based on fixed or adjustable shunt valves, in a national cohort of patients with shunted idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH), as well as to evaluate the effect of SDH and treatment on long-term survival.

METHODS

Patients with iNPH who received a CSF shunt in Sweden from 2004 to 2015 were included in a prospective quality registry (n = 1846) and followed regarding SDH, its treatment, and mortality. The treatment of SDH was categorized into surgery, opening pressure adjustments, or no treatment.

RESULTS

During the study period, the proportion of adjustable shunts increased from 75% to 95%. Ten percent (n = 184) of the patients developed an SDH. In 103 patients, treatment was solely opening pressure adjustment. Surgical treatment was used in 66 cases (36%), and 15 (8%) received no treatment. In patients with fixed shunt valves, 90% (n = 17) of SDHs were treated surgically compared with 30% (n = 49) in patients with adjustable shunts (p < 0.001). There was no difference in long-term patient survival between the SDH and non-SDH groups or between different treatments.

CONCLUSIONS

SDH remains a common complication after shunt surgery, but adjustable shunts reduced the need for surgical interventions. SDH and treatment did not significantly affect survival in this patient group, thus the noninvasive treatment offered by adjustable shunts considerably reduces the level of severity for this common adverse event.

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Bo Lundkvist, Anders Eklund, Bo Kristensen, Markku Fagerlund, Lars-Owe D. Koskinen and Jan Malm

Object. Few studies have been performed to investigate the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hydrodynamic profile in patients with idiopathic adult hydrocephalus syndrome (IAHS) before and after shunt implantation. The authors compared the in vivo CSF hydrodynamic properties, including the degree of gravity-induced CSF flow, of a shunt with an antisiphon device with a standard shunt.

Methods. Twelve patients with IAHS underwent insertion of shunts with Delta valves. Clinical testing, magnetic resonance imaging, and CSF hydrodynamic investigations were conducted with intracranial pressure (ICP), gravity effect, and pressure—flow curve of the shunt estimated at baseline and at 3 and 12 months postoperatively. No shunt was revised.

Despite postoperative clinical improvement in all patients who received Delta valves, the mean ICP was only moderately reduced (mean decrease at 3 months 0.3 kPa [p = 0.02], at 12 months 0.2 kPa [not significant]). Patients with the greatest increase in ICP preoperatively had the most pronounced decrease postoperatively. The hydrostatic effect of the Delta valves was significantly lower than with the Hakim shunts (0.1–0.2 kPa compared with 0.6 kPa). The increased conductance (that is, lowered resistance) was up to 14 times higher with the Delta valves compared with preoperative levels.

Conclusions. The function of a CSF shunt may be more complicated than previously thought; the subcutaneous pressure acting on the antisiphon device can modify the shunt characteristics. A compensatory increase in CSF production may counteract the increased outflow through the shunt. The improved CSF outflow conductance may increase the intracranial compliance and thereby dampen a pathological ICP waveform.

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Magnus Olivecrona, Bo Zetterlund, Marie Rodling-Wahlström, Silvana Naredi and Lars-Owe D. Koskinen

Object

The authors prospectively studied the occurrence of clinical and nonclinical electroencephalographically verified seizures during treatment with an intracranial pressure (ICP)–targeted protocol in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Methods

All patients treated for TBI at the Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Umeå, Sweden, were eligible for the study. The inclusion was consecutive and based on the availability of the electroencephalographic (EEG) monitoring equipment. Patients were included irrespective of pupil size, pupil reaction, or level of consciousness as long as their first measured cerebral perfusion pressure was > 10 mm Hg. The patients were treated in a protocol-guided manner with an ICP-targeted treatment based on the Lund concept. The patients were continuously sedated with midazolam, fentanyl, propofol, or thiopental, or combinations thereof. Five-lead continuous EEG monitoring was performed with the electrodes at F3, F4, P3, P4, and a midline reference. Sensitivity was set at 100 μV per cm and filter settings 0.5–70 Hz. Amplitude-integrated EEG recording and relative band power trends were displayed. The trends were analyzed offline by trained clinical neurophysiologists.

Results

Forty-seven patients (mean age 40 years) were studied. Their median Glasgow Coma Scale score at the time of sedation and intubation was 6 (range 3–15). In 8.5% of the patients clinical seizures were observed before sedation and intubation. Continuous EEG monitoring was performed for a total of 7334 hours. During this time neither EEG nor clinical seizures were observed.

Conclusions

Our protocol-guided ICP targeted treatment seems to protect patients with severe TBI from clinical and subclinical seizures and thus reduces the risk of secondary brain injury.

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Anders Eklund, Aina Ågren-Wilsson, Nina Andersson, A. Tommy Bergenheim, Lars-Owe D. Koskinen and Jan Malm

Object. Slow and rhythmic oscillations in intracranial pressure (ICP), also known as B waves, have been claimed to be one of the best preoperative predictive factors in idiopathic adult hydrocephalus syndrome (IAHS). Definitions of B waves vary widely, and previously reported results must be treated with caution. The aims of the present study were to develop a definition of B waves, to develop a method to estimate the B-wave content in an ICP recording by using computer algorithms, and to validate these procedures by comparison with the traditional visual interpretation.

Methods. In eight patients with IAHS, ICP was continuously monitored for approximately 20 hours. The ICP B-wave activity as a percentage of total monitoring time (B%) was estimated by using visual estimation according to the definition given by Lundberg, and also by using two computer algorithms (Methods I and II). In Method I each individual wave was classified as a B wave or not, whereas Method II was used to estimate the B-wave content by evaluating the B-wave power in 10-minute blocks of ICP recordings.

Conclusions. The two computerized algorithms produced similar results. However, with the amplitude set to 1 mm Hg, Method I yielded the highest correlation with the visual analysis (r = 0.74). At least 5 hours of monitoring time was needed for an acceptable approximation of the B% in an overnight ICP recording. The advantages of using modern technology in the analysis of B-wave content of ICP are obvious and these methods should be used in future studies.

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Zofia Czosnyka, Marek Czosnyka and John D. Pickard

Abstract

Object. The appearance of numerous B waves during intracranial pressure (ICP) registration in patients with idiopathic adult hydrocephalus syndrome (IAHS) is considered to predict good outcome after shunt surgery. The aim of this study was to describe which physical parameters of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) system B-waves reflect and to find a method that could replace long-term B-wave analysis.

Methods. Ten patients with IAHS were subjected to long-term registration of ICP and a lumbar constant-pressure infusion test. The B-wave presence, CSF outflow resistance (Rout), and relative pulse pressure coefficient (RPPC) were assessed using computerized analysis. The RPPC was introduced as a parameter reflecting the joint effect of elastance and pulsatory volume changes on ICP and was determined by relating ICP pulse amplitudes to mean ICP.

Conclusions. The B-wave presence on ICP registration correlates strongly with RPPC (r = 0.91, p < 0.001, 10 patients) but not with CSF Rout. This correlation indicates that B waves—like RPPC—primarily reflect the ability of the CSF system to reallocate and store liquid rather than absorb it. The RPPC-assessing lumbar short-term CSF pulse pressure method could replace the intracranial long-term B-wave analysis.

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Niklas Lenfeldt, Nina Andersson, Aina Ågren-Wilsson, A. Tommy Bergenheim, Lars-Owe D. Koskinen, Anders Eklund and Jan Malm

Object. The appearance of numerous B waves during intracranial pressure (ICP) registration in patients with idiopathic adult hydrocephalus syndrome (IAHS) is considered to predict good outcome after shunt surgery. The aim of this study was to describe which physical parameters of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) system B-waves reflect and to find a method that could replace long-term B-wave analysis.

Methods. Ten patients with IAHS were subjected to long-term registration of ICP and a lumbar constant-pressure infusion test. The B-wave presence, CSF outflow resistance (Rout), and relative pulse pressure coefficient (RPPC) were assessed using computerized analysis. The RPPC was introduced as a parameter reflecting the joint effect of elastance and pulsatory volume changes on ICP and was determined by relating ICP pulse amplitudes to mean ICP.

Conclusions. The B-wave presence on ICP registration correlates strongly with RPPC (r = 0.91, p < 0.001, 10 patients) but not with CSF Rout. This correlation indicates that B waves—like RPPC—primarily reflect the ability of the CSF system to reallocate and store liquid rather than absorb it. The RPPC-assessing lumbar short-term CSF pulse pressure method could replace the intracranial long-term B-wave analysis.