Cerebral microdialysis: research technique or clinical tool

Br J Anaesth. 2006 Jul;97(1):18-25. doi: 10.1093/bja/ael109. Epub 2006 May 12.


Cerebral microdialysis is a well-established laboratory tool that is increasingly used as a bedside monitor to provide on-line analysis of brain tissue biochemistry during neurointensive care. This review describes the principles of cerebral microdialysis and the rationale for its use in the clinical setting, including discussion of the most commonly used microdialysis biomarkers of acute brain injury. Potential clinical applications are reviewed and future research applications identified. Microdialysis has the potential to become an established part of mainstream multi-modality monitoring during the management of acute brain injury but at present should be considered a research tool for use in specialist centres.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Brain Injuries / metabolism*
  • Critical Care / methods
  • Humans
  • Microdialysis / methods*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods


  • Biomarkers