Evalution of an Epidural Intracranial Pressure Monitoring System in Cats


  • Funded by the Companion Animal Health Center, University of California, Davis, California 95616.

Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery College of Veterinary Medicine Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 778434474.


The accuracy of an inexpensive, easily implantable, epidural intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring system was assessed in six normal cats by comparing measurements from this system to those obtained with a fiberoptic intraparenchymal monitoring system. The epidural monitoring system consisted of a three-way stopcock and saline-filled extension tubing, connected to a standard blood pressure transducer. Each cat was placed under halothane anesthesia and mechanically ventilated. Both an epidural and a fiberoptic intraparenchymal monitoring device were placed in the left cranium of each cat; correct placement was verified by computed tomography. Mean ICP values were simultaneously recorded from both monitoring devices. After obtaining baseline ICP measurements, the ICP was manipulated via ventilation, jugular compression, and pharmacologic agents. Arterial blood pressure levels, arterial blood gas values, end-tidal carbon dioxide levels, and end-tidal halothane levels were recorded throughout the study. Cerebral perfusion pressure was calculated for each level of ICP. Repeated measures analysis of variance method was used to compare mean ICP values between the two monitoring systems. No significant differences in ICP values obtained from the two systems were found (p>0.05) at any level of ICP. The results of this study show that the epidural monitoring system is a reliable alternative to the fiberoptic intraparenchymal ICP monitoring system in normal cats. The accuracy of the epidural monitoring system in pathologic states needs to be investigated.