Measurement and management of increased intracranial pressure

Ali Sadoughi, Igor Rybinnik, Rubin Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Increased intracranial pressure (ICP) is a serious complication of a variety of neurologic injuries and is a major challenge in intensive care units. The most common causes of increased ICP are: traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, neoplasms, hydrocephalus, hepatic encephalopathy, CNS venous return impairment, encephalitis, and abscesses. Prompt diagnosis and intensive monitoring and therapy of this condition are essential for successful management of this potentially devastating condition. Recent technical innovations in neuromonitoring may allow for improvement in morbidity and mortality rates attributable to elevated ICP. Normal ICP ranges from 3-15 mmHg. In routine intensive care unit (ICU) practice, the goal of ICP management is to maintain levels below 20 mmHg. Noninvasive and metabolic monitoring of ICP including imaging-clinical examination has been studied and suggested to be as efficient as the care based on invasive ICP monitoring; however its application in clinical practice is to be established. Raised intracranial pressure correlates with decreased survival and is often the only remediable element of brain pathology. While elimination of the cause of elevated ICP remains the definitive approach, there are maneuvers that should be used to decrease ICP urgently. Surgical decompression of mass effect may rapidly improve ICP elevation. Osmolar therapy, maintenance of euvolemia, cerebral metabolic suppression, and temperature control are part of the advanced management of elevated ICP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-65
Number of pages10
JournalOpen Critical Care Medicine Journal
Issue numberSPEC. ISSUE.1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Hyperosmolar therapy
  • Intracranial pressure
  • Neurologic intensive care
  • Neuromonitoring
  • Transcranial doppler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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