Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 152, Issue 10, pp 1763–1769 | Cite as

Slow vasogenic fluctuations of intracranial pressure and cerebral near infrared spectroscopy—an observational study

  • Ruwan A. WeerakkodyEmail author
  • Marek Czosnyka
  • Christian Zweifel
  • Gianluca Castellani
  • Piotr Smielewski
  • Nicole Keong
  • Christina Haubrich
  • John Pickard
  • Zofia Czosnyka
Clinical research



Increased slow-wave activity in intracranial pressure (ICP) signifies an exhausted cerebrospinal compensatory reserve across a range of conditions. In this study, we attempted to describe synchronisation between slow waves of ICP and of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) variables during controlled elevation of ICP.


Nineteen patients presenting with symptomatic hydrocephalus underwent a Computerised Infusion Test. NIRS-derived indices, ICP and arterial blood pressure (ABP) were recorded simultaneously.


ICP increased from 9.3 (6.0) mmHg to a 17.1 (8.9) mmHg during infusion. Slow waves in ICP were accompanied by concurrent waves in each NIRS variable (including deoxygenated haemoglobin (Hb) and oxygenated haemoglobin (HbO2)) with a mean coherence of >0.7 and no significant phase shift. In the same bandwidth (0.3–1.8 min−1), ABP fluctuations occurred with a coherence of 0.77 and phase lead of 40° with respect to ICP. The power of ICP slow waves increased significantly during infusion plateau with a corresponding increase in power of Hb waves.


Slow fluctuations in cerebral oximetry as detected by NIRS coincide with and are implicated in the origin of ICP slow waves and increases during periods of exhausted cerebrospinal compensatory reserve. NIRS may be used as a non-invasive marker of increased ICP slow waves (and therefore reduced CSF compensatory reserve).


Autoregulation Cerebral blood flow Cerebral haemodynamics Hydrocephalus Spectroscopy Near infrared 



The project was supported by the National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research centre, Cambridge University Hospital Foundation Trust—Neurosciences Theme.

JDP is supported by the NIHR Senior Investigator Award.

CZ is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (PBBSP3-125550), Bern, Switzerland.

NK is supported by the Joint Royal College of Surgeons/Dunhill Medical Trust Fellowship and the Tunku Abdul Rahman Project Grant

Conflicts of interest and disclosures

ICM + software ( is licenced by the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Enterprise Ltd. PS and MC have a financial interest in a part of the licencing fee.

CZ received a travel grant from Hamamatsu Photonics, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, UK.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruwan A. Weerakkody
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marek Czosnyka
    • 1
  • Christian Zweifel
    • 1
  • Gianluca Castellani
    • 1
  • Piotr Smielewski
    • 1
  • Nicole Keong
    • 1
  • Christina Haubrich
    • 1
  • John Pickard
    • 1
  • Zofia Czosnyka
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Cambridge Academic Neurosurgery Unit, Addenbrooke’s HospitalCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, The Alfred HospitalMelbourneAustralia

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