Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The role of optic nerve ultrasonography in the diagnosis of elevated intracranial pressure
  1. Abdullah Sadik Girisgin1,
  2. Erdal Kalkan1,
  3. Sedat Kocak1,
  4. Basar Cander1,
  5. Mehmet Gul1,
  6. Mustafa Semiz2
  1. 1Selçuk University, Meram Faculty of Medicine, Emergency Medicine Department Konya, Turkey
  2. 2Selçuk University, Faculty of Art and Science, Department of Statistics, Konya, Turkey
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor A S Girisgin
 Selcuk University, Meram Faculty of Medicine, Meram Konya 42090, Turkey; sgirisgin{at}


Objective: To evaluate the convenience and utility of optic nerve ultrasonography (ONUS) in the evaluation of emergency patients with elevated intracranial pressure (EICP) due to traumatic or non-traumatic causes.

Methods: This study was conducted between May 2005 and December 2005 in the emergency department of Meram Faculty of Medicine, Selcuk University. Patients with traumatic or non-traumatic EICP were included in the study. Among these, 28 patients with EICP determined on cranial computed tomography (CCT) and a control group of 26 patients with no disease had the vertical and horizontal diameters of the optic nerves (ONs) of both eyes measured by ultrasonography (US). The measurements were done by wetting the closed eyelids and using a 7.5-MHz linear probe.

Results: Horizontal and vertical diameters of both ONs of the 54 patients were measured and the averages calculated. The mean (SD) ON diameter for the group suspected of having EICP was found to be 6.4 (0.7) mm, and that for the control group to be 4.6 (0.3) mm. In the statistical analysis carried out between these two groups (t test), the difference was found to be significant at p<0.001.

Conclusions: In detection and follow-up of EICP cases, such as cerebrovascular accident and trauma, ONUS is a practical, risk-free, inexpensive, convenient and, if performed by experts, reliable method. As a result, although CCT may be more useful in diagnosis, ONUS may be more efficient in detecting EICP. In those cases where CCT and other conventional imaging methods are not available, ONUS can facilitate the diagnosis and help in treatment.

  • CCT, cranial computed tomography
  • EICP, elevated intracranial pressure
  • ICP, intracranial pressure
  • ON, optic nerve
  • ONSD, optic nerve sheath diameter
  • ONUS, optic nerve ultrasonography
  • US, ultrasonography

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests: None declared.