Noninvasive intracranial pressure assessment using otoacoustic emissions: An application in glaucoma

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The theory that glaucoma patients have a lower intracranial pressure (ICP) than healthy subjects is a controversial one. The aim of this study was to assess ICP noninvasively by determining the relationship between distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) phase and body position and to compare this relationship between patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), patients with normal tension glaucoma (NTG), and controls. The relationship was also calibrated using published data regarding invasive measurements of ICP versus body position. DPOAEs were measured in 30 controls and 32 glaucoma patients (17 POAG, 15 NTG) at the following body positions (assuming 90 degrees as upright): 45, 30, 20, 10, 0 (supine), -10, and -20 degrees. DPOAE phase had a clear, nonlinear relationship with body position. The mean DPOAE phase shifts between the two most extreme body positions (45 to -20 degrees) were 73.6, 80.7, and 66.3 degrees for healthy, POAG, and NTG, respectively (P = 0.73), and the groups showed the same, nonlinear behaviour. This indicates that there is no evidence that glaucoma patients have a reduced ICP. When calibrated with invasive data, ICP and DPOAE phase were linearly related over an ICP of 3 mmHg. This suggests that, more broadly, DPOAEs could be used in the future to monitor changes in ICP in a clinical setting and to measure dynamic changes in ICP such as diurnal fluctuations or changes induced by certain medications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0204939
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1-Oct-2018



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