New marker for raised intracranial pressure

Sep 11, 2008

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of the thickness of the optic nerve sheath are a good marker for raised intracranial pressure (ICP). New research published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care shows that a retro-bulbar optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) above 5.82mm predicts raised ICP in 90% of cases.

The dural sheath surrounding the optic nerve communicates with the subarachnoid space and distends when ICP is elevated. Thomas Geeraerts, from Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, led a team who investigated whether MRI can be used to precisely measure the diameter of the optic nerve and its sheath.

He said, "Raised ICP is frequent in conditions such as stroke, liver failure and meningitis. It is associated with increased mortality and poor neurological outcomes. As a result, the early detection and treatment of raised ICP is critical, but often challenging. Our MRI-based technique provides a useful, non-invasive solution".

The early detection of raised ICP can be very difficult when invasive devices are not available. As the authors report, "Clinical signs of raised ICP such as headache, vomiting and drowsiness are not specific and are often difficult to interpret. In sedated patients, clinical signs frequently appear well after the internal damage has been done. Optic nerve sheath distension could be an early, reactive and sensitive sign of raised ICP".

The authors carried out a retrospective blinded analysis of brain MR images in a prospective cohort of 38 patients requiring ICP monitoring after traumatic brain injury and 36 healthy controls. Geeraerts said, "We found that ONSD measurement was able to provide a quantitative estimate of the likelihood of significant cranial hypertension".

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Exploring 3-D printing to make organs for transplants

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Illuminating the dark side of the genome

27 minutes ago

Almost 50 percent of our genome is made up of highly repetitive DNA, which makes it very difficult to be analysed. In fact, repeats are discarded in most genome-wide studies and thus, insights into this part ...

T-Mobile deal helps Rhapsody hit 2M paying subs

53 minutes ago

(AP)—Rhapsody International Inc. said Tuesday its partnership with T-Mobile US Inc. has helped boost its number of paying subscribers to more than 2 million, up from 1.7 million in April.

Airbnb woos business travelers

1 hour ago

Airbnb on Monday set out to woo business travelers to its service that lets people turn unused rooms in homes into de facto hotel space.

Recommended for you

Exploring 3-D printing to make organs for transplants

1 hour ago

Printing whole new organs for transplants sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the real-life budding technology could one day make actual kidneys, livers, hearts and other organs for patients ...

High frequency of potential entrapment gaps in hospital beds

3 hours ago

A survey of beds within a large teaching hospital in Ireland has shown than many of them did not comply with dimensional standards put in place to minimise the risk of entrapment. The report, published online in the journal ...

Key element of CPR missing from guidelines

Jul 29, 2014

Removing the head tilt/chin lift component of rescue breaths from the latest cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines could be a mistake, according to Queen's University professor Anthony Ho.

Burnout impacts transplant surgeons (w/ Video)

Jul 28, 2014

Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a new national study on transplant surgeon ...

User comments : 0