Repository logo

An overview of clinical cerebral microdialysis in acute brain injury.

Published version

Change log


Stovell, Matthew G 
Helmy, Adel 
Thelin, Eric P 
Jalloh, Ibrahim 
Hutchinson, Peter J 


Cerebral microdialysis may be used in patients with severe brain injury to monitor their cerebral physiology. In this article we provide a concise synopsis with illustrations and original images of catheter types, their structure, and how they function. Where and how catheters are inserted, their identification on imaging modalities (CT and MRI), together with the roles of glucose, lactate/pyruvate ratio, glutamate, glycerol and urea are summarized in acute brain injury. The research applications of microdialysis including pharmacokinetic studies, retromicrodialysis, and its use as a biomarker for efficacy of potential therapies are outlined. Finally, we explore limitations and pitfalls of the technique, as well as potential improvements and future work that is needed to progress and expand the use of this technology.


Peer reviewed: True

Acknowledgements: We thank the patients who support microdialysis studies, including the patient whose imaging contributed to Figure 2.


brain injury, cerebral microdialysis, cerebral physiology, neurocritical care, subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Journal Title

Front Neurol

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Frontiers Media SA
Medical Research Council (G0802251)