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Effects of decompressive craniectomy on brain tissue oxygen in patients with intracranial hypertension
  1. M Jaeger,
  2. M Soehle,
  3. J Meixensberger
  1. Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr M Jaeger, Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Leipzig, Johannisallee 34, 04103 Leipzig, Germany; 


This report examined the intraoperative course of partial pressure of brain tissue oxygen (PtiO2) and intracranial pressure (ICP) during surgical decompressive craniectomy for medically intractable intracranial hypertension due to diffuse brain swelling in three patients after severe subarachnoid haemorrhage and aneurysm coiling. The mean ICP decreased from 59 mm Hg to 10 mm Hg in a two step fashion, relating to bone flap removal and dural opening. Simultaneously, PtiO2 increased rapidly from 0.8 kPa (6 mm Hg) to 3.07 kPa (23 mm Hg). PtiO2 and ICP remained at non-critical ranges postoperatively. Despite these beneficial effects on ICP and PtiO2, the patients’ clinical status remained poor with two in a persistent vegetative state and one dead.

  • brain tissue
  • decompressive craniectomy
  • ICP, intracranial pressure
  • PtiO2, partial pressure of brain tissue oxygen
  • SAH, subarachnoid haemorrhage

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  • Competing interests: none declared.