Improved Pressure Equalization Ratio Following Mannitol Administration in Patients With Severe TBI: A Preliminary Study of a Potential Bedside Marker for Response to Therapy

Omer Doron, J. Claude Hemphill, Geoffrey Manley, Guy Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Performing a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage challenge can be used to measure the pressure equalization (PE) ratio, which describes the extent to which CSF drainage can equalize pressure to the height of the external ventricular drain and may serve as a correlate of cerebral edema. We sought to assess whether treatment with mannitol improves PE ratio in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) with elevated intracranial pressure (ICP). Methods: We studied consecutive patients with TBI and brain edema on computed tomography scan and an external ventricular drain (EVD), admitted to the neurointensive care unit. PE ratio, defined as ICP prior to CSF drainage minus ICP after CSF drainage divided by ICP prior to CSF drainage minus EVD height, was measured as previously described. Patients were treated with mannitol for raised ICP based on clinical indication and PE ratio measured before and after mannitol administration. Results: We studied 20 patients with severe TBI with raised ICP. Mean ICP prior to mannitol treatment was 29 ± 7 mm Hg. PE ratio rose substantially after mannitol treatment (0.62 ± 0.24 vs. 0.29 ± 0.20, p < 0.0001), indicating an improved ability to drain CSF and equalize ICP with the preset height of the EVD. The combination of mannitol and CSF drainage led to an improved reduction in ICP compared with that seen before mannitol therapy (11 ± 2 mm Hg vs. 6 ± 2 mm Hg, p < 0.01), and led to a decrease in ICP below the 20 mm Hg threshold in 77% of cases. Conclusions: Treatment with mannitol leads to a substantial improvement in PE ratio that reflects the ability to achieve a greater decrease in ICP when CSF drainage is performed after mannitol administration. This preliminary study raises the possibility that PE ratio may be useful to follow response to therapy in patients with cerebral edema and raised ICP. Further studies to determine whether PE ratio may serve as an easily obtained and clinically useful surrogate marker for the extent of brain edema are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-526
Number of pages8
JournalNeurocritical Care
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • External ventricular drain
  • Intracranial pressure
  • Mannitol
  • Pressure equalization ratio
  • Response to therapy
  • Traumatic brain injury

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