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Research could improve diagnosis of dangerous increase in brain pressure


August 8, 2019

MRI images of brainsIncreased pressure in the brain due to swelling or bleeding is a complication of brain injury that can cause additional damage and even death. Inserting a monitor into brain is the best way to detect it. However, this procedure isn’t available in all settings, so many physicians rely on non-invasive tests. A study led by researchers from The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa found that no single non-invasive test was accurate enough on its own to diagnose this dangerous condition. The systematic review and meta-analysis published in The BMJ found that CT scan findings and Transcranial Doppler Indices were most promising for diagnosing increased brain pressure, but more research is needed to improve their accuracy. The research team suggests that doctors use multiple non-invasive methods, or consider transferring patients to centres that can perform invasive monitoring.

Authors: Shannon M. Fernando, Alexandre Tran, Wei Cheng, Bram Rochwerg, Monica Taljaard, Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, Shane W. English, Mypinder S. Sekhon, Donald E. G. Griesdale, Dar Dowlatshahi, Victoria A. McCredie, Eelco F. M. Wijdicks, Saleh A. Almenawer, Kenji Inaba, Venkatakrishna Rajajee, Jeffrey J. Perry.

Source: The BMJ

Core Facilities: Ottawa Methods Centre

Funding: This study received no dedicated funding, but researchers at The Ottawa Hospital are supported by generous donations to the hospital.

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The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s largest learning and research hospitals with over 1,100 beds, approximately 12,000 staff and an annual budget of over $1.2 billion. Our focus on research and learning helps us develop new and innovative ways to treat patients and improve care. As a multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, we deliver specialized care to the Eastern Ontario region, but our techniques and research discoveries are adopted around the world. We engage the community at all levels to support our vision for better patient care. See www.ohri.ca for more information about research at The Ottawa Hospital.

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