Measurement of Intracranial Pressure in Freely Moving Rats

  • Michael R. Williamson
  • Roseleen F. John
  • Frederick ColbourneEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1717)


Brain injury, such as from stroke and trauma, can be complicated by elevated intracranial pressure (ICP). Although raised ICP can be a significant determinant of morbidity and mortality, clinical studies often report widely varying ICP measurements depending on location of measurement and technique used. For the same reasons, reported ICP measurements also vary widely in animal models. The need for anesthesia or tethered connections with some methods of ICP measurement in animals may introduce additional confounds. Moreover, these methods are not well suited for prolonged, continuous measurement. Here, we describe an approach to continually measure ICP in awake, freely moving rats for several days. This technique uses a commercially available, wireless pressure sensor mounted on the head to measure ICP from the epidural space via a fluid-filled catheter. We have demonstrated that this approach reliably detects elevations in ICP that last for several days after ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes in rat.

Key words

Stroke Trauma ICP Intracranial pressure Telemetry Rodent Animal model Blood pressure sensor Brain injury 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Williamson
    • 1
  • Roseleen F. John
    • 1
  • Frederick Colbourne
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Neuroscience and Mental Health InstituteUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Mental Health InstituteUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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