The use of transcranial Doppler pulsatility index to guide hyperosmolar therapy.
Management of intracranial hypertension is a major cornerstone of neurocritical care. Apart from traumatic brain injury, there are no clear guidelines for intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring. The insertion of ICP monitors is an invasive procedure with inherent risks and could be contraindicated in case of severe coagulopathy. The transcranial Doppler (TCD) pulsatility index (PI) has emerged as a surrogate marker for ICP. This is a technical report with illustrative cases on the use of PI in the management of high ICP, as a guide for optimal dosing of hyperosmolar agents we use in our institution. The use of TCD PI is a useful adjunct to guide the use of hyperosmolar therapy in various conditions with raised intracranial hypertension. We will discuss the combination of the PI determination with an anatomical evaluation of the optic nerve diameter to eliminate confounding factors in PI determination.