A National Trial on Differences in Cerebral Perfusion Pressure Values by Measurement Location

Molly M. McNett, Mary Kay Bader, Sarah Livesay, Susan Yeager, Cristina Moran, Arianna Barnes, Kimberly R. Harrison, Dai Wai M. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) is a key parameter in management of brain injury with suspected impaired cerebral autoregulation. CPP is calculated by subtracting intracranial pressure (ICP) from mean arterial pressure (MAP). Despite consensus on importance of CPP monitoring, substantial variations exist on anatomical reference points used to measure arterial MAP when calculating CPP. This study aimed to identify differences in CPP values based on measurement location when using phlebostatic axis (PA) or tragus (Tg) as anatomical reference points. The secondary study aim was to determine impact of differences on patient outcomes at discharge. Methods: This was a prospective, repeated measures, multi-site national trial. Adult ICU patients with neurological injury necessitating ICP and CPP monitoring were consecutively enrolled from seven sites. Daily MAP/ICP/CPP values were gathered with the arterial transducer at the PA, followed by the Tg as anatomical reference points. Results: A total of 136 subjects were enrolled, resulting in 324 paired observations. There were significant differences for CPP when comparing values obtained at PA and Tg reference points (p < 0.000). Differences remained significant in repeated measures model when controlling for clinical factors (mean CPP-PA = 80.77, mean CPP-Tg = 70.61, p < 0.000). When categorizing CPP as binary endpoint, 18.8% of values were identified as adequate with PA values, yet inadequate with CPP values measured at the Tg. Conclusion: Findings identify numerical differences for CPP based on anatomical reference location and highlight importance of a standard reference point for both clinical practice and future trials to limit practice variations and heterogeneity of findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalNeurocritical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Brain injury
  • Cerebral perfusion pressure
  • Measurement
  • Neurocritical care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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