Measurement of intracranial pressure in children: a critical review of current methods

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007 Dec;49(12):935-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2007.00935.x.


Assessment of intracranial pressure (ICP) is essential in the management of acute intracranial catastrophe to limit or actively reduce ICP. This article provides background information and reviews the current literature on methods of measuring ICP in children. Indications for ICP measurement are described for children with traumatic brain injury, shunt insertion or malfunction, arachnoid cyst, craniosynostosis, and prematurity. Various methods of ICP monitoring are detailed: non-invasive, indirect (lumbar puncture, visual-evoked potentials, fontanelle compression, and optic nerve sheath), and direct assessment (ventricular cannulation, and epidural, subdural, and intraparenchymal devices). Normal levels of ICP will depend on the age and position of the child during monitoring. This article provides clinical and research-based evidence in this area where there is currently limited guidance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Hypertension / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Hypertension / surgery
  • Spinal Puncture
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed