Intracranial pressure was estimated by a new pneumatic applanation fontanometer in babies in intensive care. A close correlation with cerebrospinal fluid pressure was found on 35 separate occasions. In 12 control babies the mean (SD) fontanelle pressure was 5.2 (2.2) cm H2O, in eight with a hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy it was 12.6 (4.3) cm H2O, and in nine with post-haemorrhagic hydrocephalus it was 10.8 (4.3) cm H2O. In four babies monitored continuously over seven days the correlation remained good. The fontanometer enables pressure to be monitored accurately, continuously, and non-invasively in neonates at risk of raised intracranial pressure.
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