gms | German Medical Science

59th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
3rd Joint Meeting with the Italian Neurosurgical Society (SINch)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

1 - 4 June 2008, Würzburg

Measurement of intracranial pressure in children during different clinical scenarios

Kindliche Hirndruckmessung bei verschiedenen Indikationen

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author C. Wiegand - Neurochirurgie St. Augustin, St. Augustin, Germany
  • P. Richards - Department of Paediatric Neurosurgery, Oxford Children’s Hospital, Oxford, UK

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Società Italiana di Neurochirurgia. 59. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), 3. Joint Meeting mit der Italienischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (SINch). Würzburg, 01.-04.06.2008. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2008. DocMO.12.06

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: May 30, 2008

© 2008 Wiegand et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: There is no clear guidance on when and where to measure ICP in routine clinical practice in children. This abstract is targeted to give a clinically orientated overview of daily practice of ICP monitoring in a variety of situations.

Methods: N=589 Codman MicroSensor devices were inserted through a twist drill hole without bolt from 1995 to Juli 2007, and tunnelled to exit the scalp at a 4–5cm distance to the burr hole to minimize infection risk. Storage of data and inspection of wave forms and patterns, at least 24 h in a continuous fashion was provided by bedside laptop computers. In borderline cases measuring was extended up to 48 and 72 hrs. When assessing ICP a baseline consistently above 15 mmHg or more than three B-waves in a 24-hour period were considered to be indicative of raised ICP.

Results: There were basically two main indications for measuring ICP in children: Diagnostic uncertainty of potentially raised ICP after clinical and radiological evaluation and management of acutely raised ICP in children with encephalitis or head injury.

Devices were placed in cases (age 0-16 yrs., mean age 8,9 yrs) of head injury (14%, n=82), Shunt (dys)function (38%, n=224), arachnoid cysts (3%, n=18), premature neonates (2%, n=12), craniosynostosis (37%, n=218), Pseudotumor cerebri (3%, n=18), encephalitis (3%, n=18). No child experienced intracranial haemorrhage. There were n=2 episodes of neck stiffness within 7 days of the procedure presumingly due to infective meningitis and treated as such (0.34% of all inserted ICP devices).

Conclusions: Assessment of intracranial pressure (ICP) is essential in the management of acutely raised ICP. We would recommend that all children who are ventilated following head injury should have ICP monitoring. Early objective measurement of ICP allows decision making on the potential value of decompressive craniectomy, warning of intracranial haematomas or hydrocephalus, and helped to maximise CPP. ICP measurement is helpful where there is diagnostic uncertainty whether ICP is actually raised and to what level. The use of direct ICP monitoring was useful in determining the optimal amount and frequency of CSF drainage from infants with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus. A sustained ICP over 7 mmHg was indicative of intracranial hypertension. Direct intraparenchymal ICP monitoring is technically straightforward, accurate, and carries a low risk.