Initial Diagnosis and Management of Acutely Elevated Intracranial Pressure

Link to article at PubMed

J Intensive Care Med. 2023 Feb 19:8850666231156589. doi: 10.1177/08850666231156589. Online ahead of print.


Acutely elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) may have devastating effects on patient mortality and neurologic outcomes, yet its initial detection remains difficult because of the variety of manifestations that it can cause disease states it is associated with. Several treatment guidelines exist for specific disease processes such as trauma or ischemic stroke, but their recommendations may not apply to other causes. In the acute setting, management decisions must often be made before the underlying cause is known. In this review, we present an organized, evidence-based approach to the recognition and management of patients with suspected or confirmed elevated ICP in the first minutes to hours of resuscitation. We explore the utility of invasive and noninvasive methods of diagnosis, including history, physical examination, imaging, and ICP monitors. We synthesize various guidelines and expert recommendations and identify core management principles including noninvasive maneuvers, neuroprotective intubation and ventilation strategies, and pharmacologic therapies such as ketamine, lidocaine, corticosteroids, and the hyperosmolar agents mannitol and hypertonic saline. Although an in-depth discussion of the definitive management of each etiology is beyond the scope of this review, our goal is to provide an empirical approach to these time-sensitive, critical presentations in their initial stages.

PMID:36802976 | DOI:10.1177/08850666231156589

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