Cerebral blood flow changes during palpation of external airway structures in healthy volunteers
Previous studies demonstrate increased intracranial pressure (ICP) during direct laryngoscopy in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Worse outcomes in TBI have been associated with increased ICP. It remains unclear if the same effect occurs during cricothyrotomy. We evaluated changes in cerebral blood flow and hemodynamic changes that occurred during preparation for cricothyrotomy in healthy volunteers. An emergency medicine trainee performed routine anatomical procedural palpation with
... ural palpation with simultaneous transcranial doppler (TCD) measurements of cerebral blood flow velocities (CBFV) from bilateral middle cerebral arteries (MCAs). Mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR) were recorded throughout event. Our primary outcome was changes in pulsatility index (PI) and CBFV by TCD during palpation. TCD measurements were used as a surrogate for ICP. We enrolled 20 healthy volunteers for this study. No significant differences were found in pulsatility index [Right MCA -0.02 (95% confidence interval, -0.09 to 0.06), left MCA -0.02 (95% confidence interval, -0.011 to 0.07)] or mean CBFV [right MCA -0.70 mm/s (95% confidence interval, -10.15 to 8.75) left MCA -1.20 mm/s (95% confidence interval, -10.68 to 8.28)] during palpation. No significant change in HR was found [-1.1 bpm ((95% confidence interval, -2.4 to 0.1)]. A change in MAP was observed [1.3 mmHg (95% confidence interval, -0.1 to 2.4)]. In healthy individuals, no clinically significant change in cerebral blood flow velocities, ICP, or change heart rate was observed during palpation for cricothyrotomy.