Cerebral edema, or the build-up of fluid inside the skull and around the brain, may occur after seizures or other traumatic brain injuries. The fluid buildup may lead to an increase in intercranial pressure (ICP), causing permanent tissue damage or even death when left untreated. Traditionally, patients seen as high risk for edema must undergo an invasive craniectomy to preempt brain damage.
Researchers at UCR have developed a process that uses optical coherence tomography (OCT) on specific regions of the cranium to detect the onset of edema before severe damage can be done to the brain. By scanning various regions of the brain with OCT, the early stages of cerebral edema may be visualized at a far earlier time point than otherwise possible. The scattering pattern of reflected light changes in a predictable manner when brain water content increases. This allows for a quick and accurate determination of a patient’s risk for developing dangerous ICP levels, thus eliminating the need for a invasive precautionary craniectomy.
Fig. 1: diagram of the OCT apparatus being used to measure edema in a mouse brain
Fig. 2: table demonstrating the time between OCT detection of artificially induced edema and onset of increased ICP
|United States Of America||Published Application||20140296693||10/02/2014||2011-693|