Patient-specific thresholds of intracranial pressure in severe traumatic brain injury

J Neurosurg. 2014 Apr;120(4):893-900. doi: 10.3171/2014.1.JNS131292. Epub 2014 Feb 7.


Object: Based on continuous monitoring of the pressure reactivity index (PRx), the authors defined individualized intracranial pressure (ICP) thresholds by graphing the relationship between ICP and PRx. These investigators hypothesized that an "ICP dose" based on individually assessed ICP thresholds would correlate more closely with the 6-month outcome when compared with ICP doses derived by the recommended universal thresholds of 20 and 25 mm Hg.

Methods: This study was a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data from 327 patients with severe traumatic brain injury.

Results: Individualized thresholds were visually identified from graphs of PRx versus ICP; PRx > 0.2 was the cutoff. Intracranial pressure doses were then computed as the cumulative area under the curve above the defined thresholds in graphing ICP versus time. The term "Dose 20" (D20) was used to refer to an ICP threshold of 20 mm Hg; the markers D25 and DPRx were calculated similarly. Separate logistic regression models were fit with death as the outcome and each dose as the predictor, both alone and adjusted for covariates. The discriminative ability of each dose for mortality was assessed by receiver operating characteristic AUC analysis in which 5-fold cross-validation was used. A clearly identifiable PRx-based threshold was possible in 224 patients (68%). The DPRx (AUC 0.81, 95% CI 0.74-0.87) was found to have the highest area under the curve (AUC) over both D20 (0.75, 95% CI 0.68-0.81) and D25 (0.77, 95% CI 0.70-0.83); in the cross-validation model, DPRx remained the best discriminator of mortality (DPRx: AUC 0.77 [95% CI 0.68-0.89]; D20: 0.72 [95% CI 0.66-0.81]; and D25: 0.65 [95% CI 0.56-0.73]).

Conclusions: The authors explored the importance of different ICP thresholds for outcome by calculating patient-specific ICP doses based on the continuous monitoring of cerebrovascular pressure reactivity. They found that these individualized doses of intracranial hypertension were stronger predictors of death than doses derived from the universal thresholds of 20 and 25 mm Hg. The PRx could offer a method that can be directed toward individualizing the ICP threshold.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / mortality
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hypertension / mortality
  • Intracranial Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Intracranial Pressure / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies