Cerebral Vascular Changes During Acute Intracranial Pressure Drop

Xiuyun Liu, Lara Zimmermann, Nhi Ho, Paul Vespa, Xiaoling Liao, Xiao Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: This study applied a new external ventricular catheter, which allows intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) drainage simultaneously, to study cerebral vascular responses during acute CSF drainage. Methods: Six patients with 34 external ventricular drain (EVD) opening sessions were retrospectively analyzed. A published algorithm was used to extract morphological features of ICP recordings, and a template-matching algorithm was applied to calculate the likelihood of cerebral vasodilation index (VDI) and cerebral vasoconstriction index (VCI) based on the changes of ICP waveforms during CSF drainage. Power change (∆P) of ICP B-waves after EVD opening was also calculated. Cerebral autoregulation (CA) was assessed through phase difference between arterial blood pressure (ABP) and ICP using a previously published wavelet-based algorithm. Results: The result showed that acute CSF drainage reduced mean ICP (P = 0.016) increased VCI (P = 0.02) and reduced ICP B-wave power (P = 0.016) significantly. VCI reacted to ICP changes negatively when ICP was between 10 and 25 mmHg, and VCI remained unchanged when ICP was outside the 10–25 mmHg range. VCI negatively (r = − 0.44) and VDI positively (r = 0.82) correlated with ∆P of ICP B-waves, indicating that stronger vasoconstriction resulted in bigger power drop in ICP B-waves. Better CA prior to EVD opening triggered bigger drop in the power of ICP B-waves (r = − 0.612). Conclusions: This study demonstrates that acute CSF drainage reduces mean ICP, and results in vasoconstriction which can be detected through an index, VCI. Cerebral vessels actively respond to ICP changes or cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) changes in a certain range; beyond which, the vessels are insensitive to the changes in ICP and CPP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNeurocritical Care
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Cerebral autoregulation
  • Cerebral vascular changes
  • Cerebrospinal fluid drainage
  • ICP B-waves
  • Intracranial pressure waveform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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