Continuous regional cerebral cortical blood flow monitoring in head-injured patients

Panayiotis J. Sioutos, Josè A. Orozco, L. Philip Carter, Martin E. Weinand, Allan J. Hamilton, Fred C. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


CONTINUOUS REGIONAL CEREBRAL cortical blood flow (rCoBF) was monitored with thermal diffusion flowmetry in 56 severely head-injured patients. Adequate, reliable data were accumulated from 37 patients (21 acute subdural hematomas, 10 cerebral contusions, 4 epidural hematomas, and 2 intracerebral hematomas). The thermal sensor was placed at the time of either craniotomy or burr hole placement. In 15 patients, monitoring was initiated within 8 hours of injury. One-third of the comatose patients monitored within 8 hours had rCoBF measurements of 18 ml per 100 g per minute or less, consistent with previous reports of significant ischemia in the early postinjury period. Initial rCoBF measurements were similar in the patients with Glasgow Coma Scale scores of 3 to 7 and in those with scores of 8 or greater. In patients with poor outcomes, rCoBF measurements did not change significantly from initial measurements; however, in those patients who had better outcomes, final rCoBF measurements were higher than initial rCoBF measurements. The patients who had better outcomes experienced normalization of rCoBF during the period of monitoring, and patients with poor outcomes had markedly reduced final rCoBF. These changes were statistically significant. When management was based strictly upon the intracranial pressure, examples of inappropriate treatment were found. For example, hyperemia and increased intracranial pressure treated with mannitol caused further rCoBF increase, and elevated intracranial pressure with low cerebral blood flow treated with hyperventilation increased the severity of ischemia. In 3 (5%) of 56 patients, wound infections developed. Continuous rCoBF monitoring in head-injured patients offers new therapeutic and prognostic insights into their management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-950
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1995


  • Brain ischemia
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Thermal diffusion flowmetry
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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