Complications of Intracranial Multimodal Monitoring for Neurocritical Care: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Neurocrit Care. 2023 Nov 22. doi: 10.1007/s12028-023-01885-0. Online ahead of print.


Intracranial multimodal monitoring (iMMM) is increasingly used for neurocritical care. However, concerns arise regarding iMMM invasiveness considering limited evidence in its clinical significance and safety profile. We conducted a synthesis of evidence regarding complications associated with iMMM to delineate its safety profile. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis (PROSPERO Registration Number: CRD42021225951) according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis and Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies guidelines to retrieve evidence from studies reporting iMMM use in humans that mention related complications. We assessed risk of bias using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and funnel plots. The primary outcomes were iMMM complications. The secondary outcomes were putative risk factors. Of the 366 screened articles, 60 met the initial criteria and were further assessed by full-text reading. We included 22 studies involving 1206 patients and 1434 iMMM placements. Most investigators used a bolt system (85.9%) and a three-lumen device (68.8%), mainly inserting iMMM into the most injured hemisphere (77.9%). A total of 54 postoperative intracranial hemorrhages (pooled rate of 4%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0-10%; I2 86%, p < 0.01 [random-effects model]) was reported, along with 46 misplacements (pooled rate of 6%; 95% CI 1-12%; I2 78%, p < 0.01) and 16 central nervous system infections (pooled rate of 0.43%; 95% CI 0-2%; I2 64%, p < 0.01). We found 6 system breakings, 18 intracranial bone fragments, and 5 cases of pneumocephalus. Currently, iMMM systems present a similar safety profile as intracranial devices commonly used in neurocritical care. Long-term outcomes of prospective studies will complete the benefit-risk assessment of iMMM in neurocritical care. Consensus-based reporting guidelines on iMMM use are needed to bolster future collaborative efforts.

Keywords: Brain tissue oxygen; Complications; Intracranial electroencephalography; Intracranial multimodal monitoring; Microdialysis.

Publication types

  • Review