Background: Monitoring patients with acute brain injury is crucial in neurocritical care. Intracranial compliance (ICC) has been studied to complement the interpretation of intracranial pressure (ICP) and help the neurocritical care team to anticipate brain function deterioration. ICC has been found to be related to compensatory mechanisms that maintain the stability of ICP (e.g., the higher the compensation, the higher the compliance of intracranial content to adapt to changes in volume and pressure). However, ICC has not been properly translated to clinical practice and has remained a critical technology gap in clinical neuroscience. The objective of this study is to establish a protocol for a scoping review to map the key concepts of ICC in the literature. In addition, this study is designed to characterize the relationship between ICC and ICP, as well as systematically describe the outcomes that are used to assess ICC, considering both the invasive and noninvasive methods.
Methods: The scoping review protocol will be conducted according to the Joanna Briggs Institute’s recommendation. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Extension for Scoping Reviews will be followed. Animals and humans are considered as the population to be investigated. No age criteria or health condition will be considered. ICC, as well as the relationship between ICC and ICP, will be considered as a core concept in this review. Information will be screened based on the context of neurocritical care. Several databases (PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, EMBASE, Epistemonikos, Grey Literature Report, clinical trial registries, and Cochrane Clinical Trials) will be searched to identify literature using a combination of keywords and descriptors, and there will be no restriction on the time frame. Data will be extracted systematically by the research team and the results will be summarized.
Discussion: No systematic review has mapped the concepts of ICC and its relationship with ICP. Providing the key concepts of ICC and the methods of assessment might show its possible applications in clinical practice and the gaps in research.
Systematic review registration: Currently, scoping review protocols are not eligible for registration in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Review database.