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Intracranial pressure monitoring in the ICU 

Intracranial pressure monitoring in the ICU
Intracranial pressure monitoring in the ICU

Jonathan K. J. Rhodes

and Peter J. D. Andrews

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date: 18 May 2022

Intracranial pressure (ICP) measurement is an established monitoring modality in the ICU and can aid prognostication after acute brain injury. ICP monitoring is recommended in all patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), and an abnormal cranial computed tomographic (CT) scan and the ability to control ICP is associated with improved outcome after TBI. The lessons from TBI studies can also be applied to other acute pathologies of the central nervous system where ICP can be increased. ICP measurement can warn of impending disaster and allow intervention. Furthermore, measurement of ICP allows the calculation of cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) and maintenance of CPP may help to ensure adequate cerebral oxygen delivery. Various systems exist to monitor ICP. A recent trial in two South American countries suggested that ICP-guided management and management guided by clinical examination and repeated imaging produced equivalent outcomes. Although this trial currently provides the best evidence regarding the impact of monitoring ICP on outcome following TBI, but because of the inadequate power and questionable external validity, the generalizability of the results remain to be confirmed.

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