Feasibility of Telemetric Intracranial Pressure Monitoring in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit

Lilja-Cyron A, Kelsen J, Andresen M, Fugleholm K & Juhler M

This paper investigates the feasibility of telemetric ICP monitoring in the acute phase of neurosurgical emergencies, with the intention to perform long-term monitoring of ICP in patients at high risk of developing complications related to ICP and CSF flow.

The paper is part of Alexander Lilja-Cyron’s PhD project involving long-term monitoring of ICP in patients treated with decompressive craniectomy.


Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring is crucial in the management of acute neurosurgical conditions such as traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, pathological ICP may persist beyond the admission to the neuro intensive care unit (NICU). We investigated the feasibility of telemetric ICP monitoring in the NICU, as this technology provides the possibility of long-term ICP assessment beyond NICU discharge. In this prospective investigation, we implanted telemetric ICP sensors (Raumedic Neurovent-P-tel) instead of conventional, cabled ICP sensors in patients undergoing decompressive craniectomy. We recorded ICP curves, duration of ICP monitoring, signal quality, and complications. Seventeen patients were included (median age 55 years) and diagnoses were: severe TBI (8), malignant middle cerebral artery infarction (8), and spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (1). In total, 3015 h of ICP monitoring were performed, and the median duration of ICP monitoring was 188 h (interquartile range [IQR] 54–259). The ICP signal was lost 613 times (displacement of the reader unit on the skin) for a median of 1.5 min, corresponding to 0.8% of the total monitoring period. When the signal was lost, it could always be restored by realignment of the reader unit on the skin above the telemetric sensor. Sixteen of 17 patients survived the NICU admission, and ICP gradually decreased from 10.7 mm Hg (IQR 7.5–13.6) during the first postoperative day to 6.3 mm Hg (IQR 4.0–8.3) after 1 week in the NICU. All 17 implanted telemetric sensors functioned throughout the NICU admission, and no wound infections were observed. Therefore, telemetric ICP monitoring in an acute neurosurgical setting is feasible. Signal quality and stability are sufficient for clinical decision making based on mean ICP. The low sampling frequency (5 Hz) does not permit analysis of intracranial pulse wave morphology, but resolution is sufficient for calculation of derived indices such as the pressure reactivity index (PRx).

Read the full paper in Journal of Neurotrauma (click here).