Change in Blood Flow Velocity Pulse Waveform during Plateau Waves of Intracranial Pressure.
A reliable method for non-invasive detection of dangerous intracranial pressure (ICP) elevations is still unavailable. In this preliminary study, we investigate quantitatively our observation that superimposing waveforms of transcranial Doppler blood flow velocity (FV) and arterial blood pressure (ABP) may help in non-invasive identification of ICP plateau waves. Recordings of FV, ABP and ICP in 160 patients with severe head injury (treated in the Neurocritical Care Unit at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, UK) were reviewed retrospectively. From that cohort, we identified 18 plateau waves registered in eight patients. A "measure of dissimilarity" (Dissimilarity/Difference Index, DI) between ABP and FV waveforms was calculated in three following steps: 1. fragmentation of ABP and FV signal according to cardiac cycle; 2. obtaining the normalised representative ABP and FV cycles; and finally; 3. assessing their difference, represented by the area between both curves. DI appeared to discriminate ICP plateau waves from baseline episodes slightly better than conventional pulsatility index did: area under ROC curve 0.92 vs. 0.90, sensitivity 0.81 vs. 0.69, accuracy 0.88 vs. 0.84, respectively. The concept of DI, if further tested and improved, might be used for non-invasive detection of ICP plateau waves.