Critically elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) represents the important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with intracranial pathology, but measuring it has long been a problem because doing it effectively has required invasive methods that are not exactly practical on the sidelines of a football field or by a bedside.
Third Eye Diagnostics out of Bethlehem, PA has been developing a promising device called Cerepress that measures central retinal venous pressure (CRVP) and how fast blood is flowing through the ophthalmic artery, which together correlate well with intracranial pressure (Pearson’s correlation coefficient r=0.94, according to the company). The CRVP is itself derived from the intraocular pressure combined with images taken of the central retinal vein. A clinician places the device over the eye socket after which a probe extends and touches the eye, increasing the intraocular pressure and completely compressing the central retinal vein. When that happens, intraocular pressure equals the CRVP, so the system measures the IOP like any traditional tonometer. A Doppler ultrasound probe is the used to measure the blood velocity in the ophthalmic artery and the reading is combined with the CRVP to derive the intracranial pressure.
The National Science Foundation has given the company a half million dollar grant to continue development of the technology that will hopefully prove itself on the battlefield or the football field.
Device info page: Cerepress…