Intracranial pressure monitor in patients with traumatic brain injury

Andrew Tang, Viraj Pandit, Vernard Fennell, Trevor Jones, Bellal Joseph, Terence O'Keeffe, Randall S. Friese, Peter Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) guidelines recommend intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring for traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 8 or less with an abnormal head computed tomography, or a normal head computed tomography scan with systolic blood pressure ≤90 mm Hg, posturing, or in patients of age ≥40. The benefits of these guidelines on outcome remain unproven. We hypothesized that adherence to BTF guidelines for ICP monitoring does not improve outcomes in patients with TBI. Methods All TBI patients with an admission Glasgow Coma Scale ≤8 admitted to our level I trauma center over a 3-y period were identified. Adherence to the individual components of our institutional TBI Bundle (ICP monitoring, SpO2 ≥95%, PaCO2 30-39 mm Hg, systolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg, cerebral perfusion pressure ≥60 mm Hg, ICP ≤25 mm Hg, and temperature 36;degdeg&C) was assessed. Patients were stratified into two groups as follows: patients with ICP monitoring (ICP) and patients without ICP monitoring (no-ICP). Outcome measures were survival and discharge disposition. Multivariate regression analysis was performed. Results We identified 2618 TBI patients, 261 of whom met the BTF criteria for ICP monitoring. After excluding those with nonsurvivable injuries (n = 67), 194 patients were available for analysis. The two groups were similar in demographics and severity of head injury. Survival rate was higher in the no-ICP group compared with that in the ICP group (98% versus 76%, P < 0.004). Non-monitored patients were discharged with higher levels of function per discharge location (28% home versus 4% home; P < 0.001). Patients without ICP monitoring were 1.21 times more likely to survive compared with that of patients with ICP monitoring (odds ratio: 1.21, 95% confidence interval [1.1-1.9], P = 0.01). In the ICP group, the overall compliance rate to the ICP and cerebral perfusion pressure goals as required by the BTF guidelines was poor. Conclusions Our data suggest that there is a subset of patients meeting BTF criteria for ICP monitoring that do well without ICP monitoring. This finding should provoke reevaluation of the indication and utility of ICP monitoring in TBI patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-570
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Brain trauma foundation
  • Intracranial pressure monitoring
  • Mortality after traumatic brain injury
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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