Telemetry in intracranial pressure monitoring: sensor survival and drift

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:21372144

Telemetric intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring enable long-term ICP monitoring on patients during normal day activities and may accordingly be of use during evaluation and treatment of complicated ICP disorders. However, the benefits of such equipment depend strongly on the validity of the recordings and how often the telemetric sensor needs to be re-implanted. This study investigates the clinical and technical sensor survival time and drift of the telemetric ICP sensor: Raumedic Neurovent-P-tel.

Methods Implanted telemetric ICP sensors in the period from January 2011 to December 2017 were identified, and medical records reviewed for complications, explantation reasons, and parameters relevant for determining clinical and technical sensor survival time. Explanted sensors were tested in an experimental setup to study baseline drift.

Results In total, implantation of 119 sensors were identified. Five sensors (4.2%) were explanted due to skin dResultsamage, three (2.5%) due to wound infection, and two (1.7%) due to ethylene oxide allergy. No other complications were observed. The median clinical sensor survival time was 208 days (95% CI 150–382). The median technical sensor survival time was 556 days (95% CI 382–605). Explanted sensors had a median baseline drift of 2.5 mmHg (IQR 2.0–5.5).

Conclusion In most cases, the ICP sensor provides reliable measurements beyond the approved implantation time of 90 days. Thus, the sensor should not be routinely removed after this period, if ICP monitoring is still indicated. However, some sensors showed technical malfunction prior to the CE-approval, underlining that caution should always be taken when analyzing telemetric ICP curves.