An Introduction To Intracranial Catheter Tip Pressure Transducers

Increased intracranial pressure (ICP) is a life threatening condition that can be caused by a variety of different circumstances. Some of the more common include cerebral vascular accidents, severe head trauma, brain tumors, and meningitis. Early detection, close monitoring, and proper treatment are essential for a good outcome. One of the best ways to monitor intracranial pressure is by direct measurement using an ICP sensor.

ICP Measurement Devices Used in Neurosurgery

There are several different types of ICP measurement devices in use today. These can be placed in various locations including the epidural, subdural, subarachnoid, parenchyma, or ventricular areas of the brain. The epidural method uses an intracranial catheter tip pressure transducer. Advantages of the epidural ICT include ease of placement, fewer incidences of hemorrhage, and a lower risk of infection since the dura does not need to be opened. This system is not dependent on a fluid column and it does not depend on an external transducer. This is a major advantage since it allows movement of the patient with the ICT in place.

Intracranial Catheter Tips for Pressure Measurement

The intracranial catheter tip pressure transducer (ICT) consists of a pressure sensing diaphragm covered by a flat silicone rubber membrane. The diaphragm senses pressure using strain gauges. These strain gauges are connected by tiny wires extending the entire length of the flexible tube. The strain gauges operate on the principle that applied force or pressure known as stress results in an increase in length which is known as strain. This stretching of the fine wires increases electrical resistance while shortening decreases resistance.

Pressure Measurement Using an Intracranial Catheter Tip Pressure Transducer

These ICT also give clinicians the ability to check zero drift in-vivo. To do this a small amount of air is injected which raises the membrane from the surface of the sensor. At the same time an equal amount of pressure is applied to the back of the sensor. At this point the strain sensors pick up equal pressure. By injecting air, the pressure sensor is undeflected which checks the zero of both the transducer and amplifier.

ICP Monitoring Devices for Clinical Pressure Measurement

ICP monitoring is an essential tool in the care of patients with intracranial hypertension. The intracranial catheter tip pressure transducer has been found to be as accurate as more invasive procedures such as the ventricular catheter allowing clinicians to determine the best course of treatment for those with raised intracranial pressure.

Interested in finding out more info about medical devices for urology, gastroenterology, neurosurgery and ano-rectal manometry? Visit Gaeltec Devices Ltd which features specifications of miniature pressure sensors and other medical pressure measurement equipment.

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