We recently reported that in an experimental setting the zero pressure level of solid intracranial pressure (ICP) sensors can be altered by electrostatics discharges. Changes in the zero pressure level would alter the ICP level (mean ICP); whether spontaneous changes in mean ICP happen in clinical settings is not known. This can be addressed by comparing the ICP parameters level and waveform of simultaneous ICP signals. To this end, we retrieved our recordings in patients with cerebral bleeds wherein the ICP had been recorded simultaneously from two different sensors. Materials and Methods: During a time period of 10 years, 17 patients with cerebral bleeds were monitored with two ICP sensors simultaneously; sensor 1 was always a solid sensor while Sensor 2 was a solid -, a fluid - or an air-pouch sensor. The simultaneous signals were analyzed with automatic identification of the cardiac induced ICP waves. The output was determined in consecutive 6-s time windows, both with regard to the static parameter mean ICP and the dynamic parameters (mean wave amplitude, MWA, and mean wave rise time, MWRT). Differences in mean ICP, MWA and MWRT between the two sensors were determined. Transfer functions between the sensors were determined to evaluate how sensors reproduce the ICP waveform.
Comparing findings in two solid sensors disclosed major differences in mean ICP in 2 of 5 patients (40%), despite marginal differences in MWA, MWRT, and linear phase magnitude and phase. Qualitative assessment of trend plots of mean ICP and MWA revealed shifts and drifts of mean ICP in the clinical setting. The transfer function analysis comparing the solid sensor with either the fluid or air-pouch sensors revealed more variable transfer function magnitude and greater differences in the ICP waveform derived indices.
Simultaneous monitoring of ICP using two solid sensors may show marked differences in static ICP but close to identity in dynamic ICP waveforms. This indicates that shifts in ICP baseline pressure (sensor zero level) occur clinically; trend plots of the ICP parameters also confirm this. Solid sensors are superior to fluid – and air pouch sensors when evaluating the dynamic ICP parameters.