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Continuous Thermal Diffusion-Based Cerebral Blood Flow Monitoring in Adult Traumatic Brain Injury: A Scoping Systematic Review.

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Mathieu, François 
Khellaf, Abdelhakim 
Thelin, Eric P 
Zeiler, Frederick A 


Thermal diffusion flowmetry (TDF) is an appealing candidate for monitoring of cerebral blood flow (CBF) in neurocritical-care patients as it provides absolute measurements with a high temporal resolution, potentially allowing for bedside intervention that could mitigate secondary injury. We performed a systematic review of TDF-regional(r)CBF measurements and their association with (1) patient functional outcome, (2) other neurophysiological parameters, and (3) imaging-based tissue outcomes. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, BIOSIS, GlobalHealth, and the Cochrane Databases from inception to October 2018 and relevant conference proceedings published over the last 5 years. Nine articles that explored the relationship between TDF-rCBF, mortality, and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) or GOS-Extended (GOS-E) at various intervals were included. Despite being based on an overall weak body of evidence, our analysis suggests a link between sustained low or high CBF and poor functional outcome. Twenty-five studies reporting associations with neurophysiological parameters were included. The available data also point to an association between low or high TDF-rCBF and intracranial hypertension. TDF-rCBF appears to correlate well with regional brain tissue oxygenation measurements. We found no studies reporting on imaging-based tissue outcome in relation to TDF. In conclusion, despite being based on a relatively weak body of evidence, the available literature suggests a link between consistently abnormal TDF-rCBF values, intracranial hypertension, and poor functional outcome. TDF-rCBF also appears to correlate well with regional measurements of brain tissue oxygenation. Currently, such monitoring should be considered experimental, requiring much further evaluation prior to widespread adoption.



cerebral blood flow, monitoring, thermal diffusion flowmetry, traumatic brain injury, Adult, Brain, Brain Injuries, Traumatic, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Female, Humans, Male, Neurophysiological Monitoring, Recovery of Function, Rheology, Thermal Diffusion

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J Neurotrauma

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Mary Ann Liebert Inc


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FAZ has received salary support for dedicated research time, during which this project was completed. Such salary support came from: the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship and the University of Manitoba Clinician Investigator Program. FAZ's research program is supported through the University of Manitoba Thorlakson Chair in Surgical Research Establishment Fund. EPT received post-doctoral grants from the Swedish Society for Medical Research. FM has received salary support for dedicated research time from the Canada Cambridge Scholarship sponsored by the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust.