Analysis of intracranial pressure: Past, present, and future

Antonio Di Ieva*, Erika M. Schmitz, Michael D. Cusimano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The monitoring of intracranial pressure (ICP) is an important tool in medicine for its ability to portray the brain's compliance status. The bedside monitor displays the ICP waveform and intermittent mean values to guide physicians in the management of patients, particularly those having sustained a traumatic brain injury. Researchers in the fields of engineering and physics have investigated various mathematical analysis techniques applicable to the waveform in order to extract additional diagnostic and prognostic information, although they largely remain limited to research applications. The purpose of this review is to present the current techniques used to monitor and interpret ICP and explore the potential of using advanced mathematical techniques to provide information about system perturbations from states of homeostasis. We discuss the limits of each proposed technique and we propose that nonlinear analysis could be a reliable approach to describe ICP signals over time, with the fractal dimension as a potential predictive clinically meaningful biomarker. Our goal is to stimulate translational research that can move modern analysis of ICP using these techniques into widespread practical use, and to investigate to the clinical utility of a tool capable of simplifying multiple variables obtained from various sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-603
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • fractal analysis
  • intracranial pressure
  • neuromonitoring
  • nonlinear analysis
  • time series
  • traumatic brain injury

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