Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 159, Issue 4, pp 615–622 | Cite as

Intracranial pressure monitoring after primary decompressive craniectomy in traumatic brain injury: a clinical study

  • Edoardo Picetti
  • Maria Luisa Caspani
  • Corrado Iaccarino
  • Giulia Pastorello
  • Pierpaolo Salsi
  • Edoardo Viaroli
  • Franco Servadei
Original Article - Brain Injury



Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring represents an important tool in the management of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Although current information exists regarding ICP monitoring in secondary decompressive craniectomy (DC), little is known after primary DC following emergency hematoma evacuation.


Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. Inclusion criteria were age ≥18 years and admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) for TBI and ICP monitoring after primary DC. Exclusion criteria were ICU length of stay (LOS) <1 day and pregnancy. Major objectives were: (1) to analyze changes in ICP/cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) after primary DC, (2) to evaluate the relationship between ICP/CPP and neurological outcome and (3) to characterize and evaluate ICP-driven therapies after DC.


A total of 34 patients were enrolled. Over 308 days of ICP/CPP monitoring, 130 days with at least one episode of intracranial hypertension (26 patients, 76.5%) and 57 days with at least one episode of CPP <60 mmHg (22 patients, 64.7%) were recorded. A statistically significant relationship was discovered between the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores and mean post-decompression ICP (p < 0.04) and between GOS and CPP minimum (CPPmin) (p < 0.04). After DC, persisting intracranial hypertension was treated with: barbiturate coma (n = 7, 20.6%), external ventricular drain (EVD) (n = 4, 11.8%), DC diameter widening (n = 1, 2.9%) and removal of newly formed hematomas (n = 3, 8.8%).


Intracranial hypertension and/or low CPP occurs frequently after primary DC; their occurence is associated with an unfavorable neurological outcome. ICP monitoring appears useful in guiding therapy after primary DC.


Intracranial pressure Cerebral perfusion pressure Monitoring Primary decompressive craniectomy Traumatic brain injury Outcome 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.I Servizio Anestesia RianimazioneAzienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di ParmaParmaItaly
  2. 2.Neurochirugia e NeurotraumatologiaAzienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Parma and Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova di Reggio EmiliaParma and Reggio EmiliaItaly
  3. 3.Servizio di Anestesia e RianimazioneArcispedale Santa Maria Nuova di Reggio EmiliaReggio EmiliaItaly

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