Omer Doron, Tal Or, Limor Battino, Guy Rosenthal and Ofer Barnea
Augmenting brain perfusion or reducing intracranial pressure (ICP) dose is the end target of many therapies in the neuro-critical care unit. Many present therapies rely on aggressive systemic interventions that may lead to untoward effects. Previous studies have used a cardiac-gated intracranial balloon pump (ICBP) to model hydrocephalus or to flatten the ICP waveform. The authors sought to sought to optimize ICBP activation parameters to improve cerebral physiological parameters in a swine model of raised ICP.
The authors developed a cardiac-gated ICBP in which the volume, timing, and duty cycle (time relative to a single cardiac cycle) of balloon inflation could be altered. They studied the ICBP in a swine model of elevated ICP attained by continuous intracranial fluid infusion with continuous monitoring of systemic and cerebral physiological parameters, and defined two specific protocols of ICBP activation.
Eleven swine were studied, 3 of which were studied to define the optimal timing, volume, and duty cycle of balloon inflation. Eight swine were studied with two defined protocols at baseline and with ICP gradually raised to a mean of 30.5 mm Hg. ICBP activation caused a consistent modification of the ICP waveform. Two ICBP activation protocols were used. Balloon activation protocol A led to a consistent elevation in cerebral blood flow (8%–25% above baseline, p < 0.00001). Protocol B resulted in a modest reduction of ICP over time (8%–11%, p < 0.0001) at all ICP levels. Neither protocol significantly affected systemic physiological parameters.
The preliminary results indicate that optimized protocols of ICBP activation may have beneficial effects on cerebral physiological parameters, with minimal effect on systemic parameters. Further studies are warranted to explore whether ICBP protocols may be of clinical benefit in patients with brain injuries with increased ICP.
Omer Doron, Ofer Barnea, Nino Stocchetti, Tal Or, Erez Nossek and Guy Rosenthal
Previous studies have demonstrated the importance of intracranial elastance; however, methodological difficulties have limited widespread clinical use. Measuring elastance may offer potential benefit in helping to identify patients at risk for untoward intracranial pressure (ICP) elevation from small rises in intracranial volume. The authors sought to develop an easily used method that accounts for the changing ICP that occurs over a cardiac cycle and to assess this method in a large-animal model over a broad range of ICPs.
The authors used their previously described cardiac-gated intracranial balloon pump and swine model of cerebral edema. In the present experiment they measured elastance at 4 points along the cardiac cycle—early systole, peak systole, mid-diastole, and end diastole—by using rapid balloon inflation to 1 ml over an ICP range of 10–30 mm Hg.
The authors studied 7 swine with increasing cerebral edema. Intracranial elastance rose progressively with increasing ICP. Peak-systolic and end-diastolic elastance demonstrated the most consistent rise in elastance as ICP increased. Cardiac-gated elastance measurements had markedly lower variance within swine compared with non–cardiac-gated measures. The slope of the ICP–elastance curve differed between swine. At ICP between 20 and 25 mm Hg, elastance varied between 8.7 and 15.8 mm Hg/ml, indicating that ICP alone cannot accurately predict intracranial elastance.
Measuring intracranial elastance in a cardiac-gated manner is feasible and may offer an improved precision of measure. The authors’ preliminary data suggest that because elastance values may vary at similar ICP levels, ICP alone may not necessarily best reflect the state of intracranial volume reserve capacity. Paired ICP–elastance measurements may offer benefit as an adjunct “early warning monitor” alerting to the risk of untoward ICP elevation in brain-injured patients that is induced by small increases in intracranial volume.