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Critical Care Research and Practice
Volume 2017, Article ID 6097265, 8 pages
Review Article

Brain Multimodality Monitoring: A New Tool in Neurocritical Care of Comatose Patients

1Department of Neurology, Stroke Division, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA
2Department of Neurosurgery, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Santiago Ortega-Gutierrez; ude.awoiu@agetro-ytnas

Received 17 December 2016; Revised 11 March 2017; Accepted 29 March 2017; Published 7 May 2017

Academic Editor: Samir G. Sakka

Copyright © 2017 Nudrat Tasneem et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neurocritical care patients are at risk of developing secondary brain injury from inflammation, ischemia, and edema that follows the primary insult. Recognizing clinical deterioration due to secondary injury is frequently challenging in comatose patients. Multimodality monitoring (MMM) encompasses various tools to monitor cerebral metabolism, perfusion, and oxygenation aimed at detecting these changes to help modify therapies before irreversible injury sets in. These tools include intracranial pressure (ICP) monitors, transcranial Doppler (TCD), Hemedex™ (thermal diffusion probe used to measure regional cerebral blood flow), microdialysis catheter (used to measure cerebral metabolism), Licox™ (probe used to measure regional brain tissue oxygen tension), and continuous electroencephalography. Although further research is needed to demonstrate their impact on improving clinical outcomes, their contribution to illuminate the black box of the brain in comatose patients is indisputable. In this review, we further elaborate on commonly used MMM parameters, tools used to measure them, and the indications for monitoring per current consensus guidelines.