Neurocritical Care

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 514–525 | Cite as

A Continuous Correlation Between Intracranial Pressure and Cerebral Blood Flow Velocity Reflects Cerebral Autoregulation Impairment During Intracranial Pressure Plateau Waves

  • Philip M. Lewis
  • Peter Smielewski
  • Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld
  • John D. Pickard
  • Marek Czosnyka
Original Article



In the healthy brain, small oscillations in intracranial pressure (ICP) occur synchronously with those in cerebral blood volume (CBV), cerebrovascular resistance, and consequently cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV). Previous work has shown that the usual synchrony between ICP and CBFV is lost during intracranial hypertension. Moreover, a continuously computed measure of the ICP/CBFV association (Fix index) was a more sensitive predictor of outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI) than a measure of autoregulation (Mx index). In the current study we computed Fix during ICP plateau waves, to observe its behavior during a defined period of cerebrovascular vasodilatation.


Twenty-nine recordings of arterial blood pressure (ABP), ICP, and CBFV taken during ICP plateau waves were obtained from the Addenbrooke’s hospital TBI database. Raw data was filtered prior to computing Mx and Fix according to previously published methods. Analyzed data was segmented into three phases (pre, peak, and post), and a median value of each parameter was stored for analysis.


ICP increased from a median of 22–44 mmHg before falling to 19 mmHg. Both Mx and Fix responded to the increase in ICP, with Mx trending toward +1, while Fix trended toward −1. Mx and Fix correlated significantly (Spearman’s R = −0.89, p < 0.000001), however, Fix spanned a greater range than Mx. A plot of Mx and Fix against CPP showed a plateau (Mx) or trough (Fix) consistent with a zone of “optimal CPP”.


The Fix index can identify complete loss of cerebral autoregulation as the point at which the normally positive CBF/CBV correlation is reversed. Both CBF and CBV can be monitored noninvasively using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), suggesting that a noninvasive method of monitoring autoregulation using only NIRS may be possible.


Intracranial pressure Cerebral perfusion pressure Cerebral blood volume Cerebral autoregulation Transcranial Doppler Near-infrared spectroscopy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip M. Lewis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter Smielewski
    • 3
  • Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld
    • 1
    • 2
  • John D. Pickard
    • 3
  • Marek Czosnyka
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryAlfred HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Neurosurgery, Addenbrooke’s HospitalUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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