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Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)

Normal intracranial pressure Intracranial Pressure Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP Increased ICP Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage is any pressure ≥ 20 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg. Increased ICP Increased ICP Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage Intracranial hemorrhage Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a type of cerebrovascular accident (stroke) resulting from intracranial hemorrhage into the subarachnoid space between the arachnoid and the pia mater layers of the meninges surrounding the brain. Most sahs originate from a saccular aneurysm in the circle of willis but may also occur as a result of trauma, uncontrolled hypertension, vasculitis, anticoagulant use, or stimulant use. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast lesions, cerebral edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption. Increased ICP Increased ICP Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage can lead to brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification herniation Herniation Omphalocele and death if not treated promptly. Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor includes headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess, drowsiness or altered level of consciousness Altered Level of Consciousness Intracerebral Hemorrhage, and papilledema Papilledema Swelling of the optic disk, usually in association with increased intracranial pressure, characterized by hyperemia, blurring of the disk margins, microhemorrhages, blind spot enlargement, and engorgement of retinal veins. Chronic papilledema may cause optic atrophy and visual loss. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. Diagnosis is suspected based on the clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor and confirmed with urgent brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification imaging. Immediate management includes measures to decrease ICP, medications including diuretics Diuretics Agents that promote the excretion of urine through their effects on kidney function. Heart Failure and Angina Medication, and surgery.

Last updated: 27 Sep, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Pathologically increased ICP Increased ICP Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage is a pressure ≥ 20 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg.

Etiology

  • Traumatic brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification injury (TBI)/ diffuse axonal injury Diffuse axonal injury A relatively common sequela of blunt head injury, characterized by a global disruption of axons throughout the brain. Associated clinical features may include neurobehavioral manifestations; persistent vegetative state; dementia; and other disorders. Head Trauma
  • Intracranial hemorrhage Intracranial hemorrhage Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a type of cerebrovascular accident (stroke) resulting from intracranial hemorrhage into the subarachnoid space between the arachnoid and the pia mater layers of the meninges surrounding the brain. Most sahs originate from a saccular aneurysm in the circle of willis but may also occur as a result of trauma, uncontrolled hypertension, vasculitis, anticoagulant use, or stimulant use. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
    • Ruptured aneurysm Aneurysm An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area of a blood vessel that causes an abnormal widening of its diameter > 1.5 times the size of the native vessel. Aneurysms occur more often in arteries than in veins and are at risk of dissection and rupture, which can be life-threatening. Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms
    • Arteriovenous malformations Arteriovenous malformations Congenital vascular anomalies in the brain characterized by direct communication between an artery and a vein without passing through the capillaries. The locations and size of the shunts determine the symptoms including headaches; seizures; stroke; intracranial hemorrhages; mass effect; and vascular steal effect. Intracerebral Hemorrhage (AVMs)
  • Mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast lesions
  • CNS infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
    • Encephalitis Encephalitis Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain parenchyma caused by an infection, usually viral. Encephalitis may present with mild symptoms such as headache, fever, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain or with severe symptoms such as seizures, altered consciousness, and paralysis. Encephalitis
    • Brain abscess Brain abscess Brain abscess is a life-threatening condition that involves the collection of pus in the brain parenchyma caused by infection from bacteria, fungi, parasites, or protozoa. The most common presentation is headache, fever with chills, seizures, and neurological deficits. Brain Abscess
  • Ischemic stroke Ischemic Stroke An ischemic stroke (also known as cerebrovascular accident) is an acute neurologic injury that occurs as a result of brain ischemia; this condition may be due to cerebral blood vessel occlusion by thrombosis or embolism, or rarely due to systemic hypoperfusion. Ischemic Stroke
  • Vasculitis Vasculitis Inflammation of any one of the blood vessels, including the arteries; veins; and rest of the vasculature system in the body. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Increased CSF production
    • Hydrocephalus Hydrocephalus Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
    • Choroid plexus Choroid plexus A villous structure of tangled masses of blood vessels contained within the third, lateral, and fourth ventricles of the brain. It regulates part of the production and composition of cerebrospinal fluid. Ventricular System: Anatomy papilloma Papilloma A circumscribed benign epithelial tumor projecting from the surrounding surface; more precisely, a benign epithelial neoplasm consisting of villous or arborescent outgrowths of fibrovascular stroma covered by neoplastic cells. Cowden Syndrome
  • Hypertensive encephalopathy Encephalopathy Hyper-IgM Syndrome
  • Idiopathic Idiopathic Dermatomyositis intracranial hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension ( pseudotumor cerebri Pseudotumor cerebri Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), also known as pseudotumor cerebri, is a clinical disorder that presents with symptoms due to increased intracranial pressure (ICP; ≥ 20 mm hg) or CSF pressure (> 250 mm H2O), with no structural changes or other attributable causes. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension)
  • Decreased CSF absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption 
    • Communicating hydrocephalus Communicating Hydrocephalus Hydrocephalus in Children
    • Arachnoid granulation Granulation Wound Healing adhesions after meningitis Meningitis Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the protective membranes of the brain, and spinal cord. The causes of meningitis are varied, with the most common being bacterial or viral infection. The classic presentation of meningitis is a triad of fever, altered mental status, and nuchal rigidity. Meningitis
    • Subarachnoid hemorrhage Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a type of cerebrovascular accident (stroke) resulting from intracranial hemorrhage into the subarachnoid space between the arachnoid and the pia mater layers of the meninges surrounding the brain. Most SAHs originate from a saccular aneurysm in the circle of Willis but may also occur as a result of trauma, uncontrolled hypertension, vasculitis, anticoagulant use, or stimulant use. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage ( SAH SAH Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a type of cerebrovascular accident (stroke) resulting from intracranial hemorrhage into the subarachnoid space between the arachnoid and the pia mater layers of the meninges surrounding the brain. Most SAHs originate from a saccular aneurysm in the circle of Willis but may also occur as a result of trauma, uncontrolled hypertension, vasculitis, anticoagulant use, or stimulant use. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage)

Pathophysiology

Increased ICP Increased ICP Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage may be due to various clinical conditions. Brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema or obstruction of CSF outflow may result in herniation Herniation Omphalocele and death.

Normal physiology

  • The cranial vault is a rigid container filled with 3 components:
    • Brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification parenchyma
    • CSF
    • Blood
  • Monro-Kellie doctrine: if 1 component ↑, the others must ↓ proportionately to keep ICP stable
  • Cerebral perfusion Cerebral Perfusion Syncope pressure (CPP) = mean arterial pressure Mean Arterial Pressure Mean arterial pressure (MAP) is the average systemic arterial pressure and is directly related to cardiac output (CO) and systemic vascular resistance (SVR). The SVR and MAP are affected by the vascular anatomy as well as a number of local and neurohumoral factors. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP) minus ICP
  • Cerebral autoregulation Autoregulation Systemic and Special Circulations: maintains CPP between 50 and 150 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg 

Pathophysiology

  • Accumulation of fluid in the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification (extracellular space) due to:
    • TBI
    • Stroke
    • Tumors
    • Infection
  • Cerebral edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema/relative volume of brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification tissue increase → ICP ↑ and outweighs cerebral autoregulation Autoregulation Systemic and Special Circulations → CPP decreases → ischemic damage
  • Increased pressure on the brainstem → irregular respiration Respiration The act of breathing with the lungs, consisting of inhalation, or the taking into the lungs of the ambient air, and of exhalation, or the expelling of the modified air which contains more carbon dioxide than the air taken in. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy; possible herniation Herniation Omphalocele

Types of cerebral edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema

  • Vasogenic: due to increased capillary permeability resulting in extracellular fluid Extracellular fluid The fluid of the body that is outside of cells. It is the external environment for the cells. Body Fluid Compartments
    • Neurons Neurons The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the nervous system. Nervous System: Histology are not primarily injured.
    • Seen with:
      • Space-occupying lesions: tumors, abscesses, intracranial hematomas
      • CNS infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
      • Infarcts
  • Cytotoxic Cytotoxic Parvovirus B19: intracellular swelling Swelling Inflammation due to direct cell injury Cell injury The cell undergoes a variety of changes in response to injury, which may or may not lead to cell death. Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Cell Injury and Death (e.g., TBI)
  • Interstitial: due to increased CSF hydrostatic pressure Hydrostatic pressure The pressure due to the weight of fluid. Edema (e.g., hydrocephalus Hydrocephalus Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
  • High-altitude cerebral edema High-Altitude Cerebral Edema Altitude Sickness ( HACE HACE Altitude Sickness): both cytotoxic Cytotoxic Parvovirus B19 and vasogenic

Mechanisms of cerebral edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema

Extracellular:

  • Vasogenic edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema (most common): 
    • Increased permeability of the blood–brain barrier Blood–Brain Barrier Meningitis in Children ( BBB BBB Specialized non-fenestrated tightly-joined endothelial cells with tight junctions that form a transport barrier for certain substances between the cerebral capillaries and the brain tissue. Nervous System: Histology) → exudation of a plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products ultrafiltrate into the extracellular space
    • Seen in acute ischemic brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification injury and CNS tumors
  • Interstitial edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema (hydrocephalic): increased CSF pressure → leakage of CSF from the intraventricular space into the cerebral parenchyma

Intracellular:

  • Cytotoxic Cytotoxic Parvovirus B19 edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
    • Depletion of energy and metabolites → dysfunction of Na/K ATPase → accumulation of Na and anions Anions Negatively charged atoms, radicals or groups of atoms which travel to the anode or positive pole during electrolysis. Electrolytes in neurons Neurons The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the nervous system. Nervous System: Histology and glial cells Glial Cells The non-neuronal cells of the nervous system. They not only provide physical support, but also respond to injury, regulate the ionic and chemical composition of the extracellular milieu, participate in the blood-brain barrier and blood-retinal barrier, form the myelin insulation of nervous pathways, guide neuronal migration during development, and exchange metabolites with neurons. Neuroglia have high-affinity transmitter uptake systems, voltage-dependent and transmitter-gated ion channels, and can release transmitters, but their role in signaling (as in many other functions) is unclear. Nervous System: Histology → increased intake of water due to ionic gradient (cellular swelling Swelling Inflammation)
    • Seen with TBI and acute ischemic brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification injury
  • Osmotic edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema:
    • Increased fluid absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption by neural cells due to osmolarity Osmolarity The concentration of osmotically active particles in solution expressed in terms of osmoles of solute per liter of solution. Osmolality is expressed in terms of osmoles of solute per kilogram of solvent. Hypernatremia gradient between cerebral parenchyma and intravascular space 
    • Seen with hyponatremia Hyponatremia Hyponatremia is defined as a decreased serum sodium (sNa+) concentration less than 135 mmol/L. Serum sodium is the greatest contributor to plasma osmolality, which is very tightly controlled via antidiuretic hormone (ADH) release from the hypothalamus and by the thirst mechanism. Hyponatremia and diabetic ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis A life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus, primarily of type 1 diabetes mellitus with severe insulin deficiency and extreme hyperglycemia. It is characterized by ketosis; dehydration; and depressed consciousness leading to coma. Hyperglycemic Crises ( DKA DKA Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) are serious, acute complications of diabetes mellitus. Diabetic ketoacidosis is characterized by hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis due to an absolute insulin deficiency. Hyperglycemic Crises)

Abnormal posturing

  • Decorticate ( flexion Flexion Examination of the Upper Limbs) or decerebrate ( extension Extension Examination of the Upper Limbs) posturing
  • Results from a disconnection between the modulatory higher centers and the cerebellar vestibular nuclei Vestibular nuclei The four cellular masses in the floor of the fourth ventricle giving rise to a widely dispersed special sensory system. Included is the superior, medial, inferior, and lateral vestibular nucleus. Vertigo
  • May be due to the progression of a central herniation Herniation Omphalocele: compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma advancing from the diencephalon Diencephalon The paired caudal parts of the prosencephalon from which the thalamus; hypothalamus; epithalamus; and subthalamus are derived. Development of the Nervous System and Face to the brainstem → decorticate to decerebrate posturing
  • Decerebrate posturing can also be seen with severe/correctable metabolic abnormalities not due to elevated ICP:
    • Electrolyte abnormalities
    • Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia is an emergency condition defined as a serum glucose level ≤ 70 mg/dL (≤ 3.9 mmol/L) in diabetic patients. In nondiabetic patients, there is no specific or defined limit for normal serum glucose levels, and hypoglycemia is defined mainly by its clinical features. Hypoglycemia
    • Infection

Clinical Presentation

Clinical suspicion of increased ICP Increased ICP Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage should be aroused in any patient with headaches and papilledema Papilledema Swelling of the optic disk, usually in association with increased intracranial pressure, characterized by hyperemia, blurring of the disk margins, microhemorrhages, blind spot enlargement, and engorgement of retinal veins. Chronic papilledema may cause optic atrophy and visual loss. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension.

History

  • Intense headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess 
  • Visual symptoms: 
    • Blurry vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam
    • Photophobia Photophobia Abnormal sensitivity to light. This may occur as a manifestation of eye diseases; migraine; subarachnoid hemorrhage; meningitis; and other disorders. Photophobia may also occur in association with depression and other mental disorders. Migraine Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Projectile vomiting Projectile Vomiting Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis
  • Recent medical history: 
    • Trauma
    • Stroke
    • Cancer
    • Metabolic diseases

Physical examination

  • Eye exam: 
  • Cushing triad (possibly due to brainstem compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma):
    • Widened pulse pressure (↑ difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure)
    • Bradycardia Bradycardia Bradyarrhythmia is a rhythm in which the heart rate is less than 60/min. Bradyarrhythmia can be physiologic, without symptoms or hemodynamic change. Pathologic bradyarrhythmia results in reduced cardiac output and hemodynamic instability causing syncope, dizziness, or dyspnea. Bradyarrhythmias
    • Irregular respiration Respiration The act of breathing with the lungs, consisting of inhalation, or the taking into the lungs of the ambient air, and of exhalation, or the expelling of the modified air which contains more carbon dioxide than the air taken in. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy
  • In infants: bulging fontanelle Bulging Fontanelle Meningitis in Children
  • Altered mental status Altered Mental Status Sepsis in Children ( coma Coma Coma is defined as a deep state of unarousable unresponsiveness, characterized by a score of 3 points on the GCS. A comatose state can be caused by a multitude of conditions, making the precise epidemiology and prognosis of coma difficult to determine. Coma in some individuals)
  • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Focal and progressive neurologic changes can be seen due to:

Exam findings for herniation Herniation Omphalocele

Subfalcine herniation Herniation Omphalocele:

  • Cingulate gyrus Cingulate gyrus One of the convolutions on the medial surface of the cerebral hemispheres. It surrounds the rostral part of the brain and corpus callosum and forms part of the limbic system. Limbic System: Anatomy is displaced underneath the falx cerebri to the opposite side.
  • Most common form of cerebral herniation Herniation Omphalocele
  • Compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma of branches of the anterior cerebral artery Anterior cerebral artery Artery formed by the bifurcation of the internal carotid artery. Branches of the anterior cerebral artery supply the caudate nucleus; internal capsule; putamen; septal nuclei; gyrus cinguli; and surfaces of the frontal lobe and parietal lobe. Cerebrovascular System: Anatomy → lower limb weakness
  • Aphasia Aphasia A cognitive disorder marked by an impaired ability to comprehend or express language in its written or spoken form. This condition is caused by diseases which affect the language areas of the dominant hemisphere. Clinical features are used to classify the various subtypes of this condition. General categories include receptive, expressive, and mixed forms of aphasia. Ischemic Stroke due to compromise of the arcuate fasciculus: 
  • May progress → uncal or central transtentorial herniation Herniation Omphalocele

Central transtentorial herniation Herniation Omphalocele:

  • Midline herniation Herniation Omphalocele of the frontal Frontal The bone that forms the frontal aspect of the skull. Its flat part forms the forehead, articulating inferiorly with the nasal bone and the cheek bone on each side of the face. Skull: Anatomy or occipital Occipital Part of the back and base of the cranium that encloses the foramen magnum. Skull: Anatomy lobes
  • Bilateral pinpoint pupils
  • Positive Babinski sign Babinski sign A reflex found in normal infants consisting of dorsiflexion of the hallux and abduction of the other toes in response to cutaneous stimulation of the plantar surface of the foot. In adults, it is used as a diagnostic criterion, and if present is a neurologic manifestation of dysfunction in the central nervous system. Posterior Cord Syndrome
  • Increased muscle tone Muscle tone The state of activity or tension of a muscle beyond that related to its physical properties, that is, its active resistance to stretch. In skeletal muscle, tonus is dependent upon efferent innervation. Skeletal Muscle Contraction
  • Hyperventilation Hyperventilation A pulmonary ventilation rate faster than is metabolically necessary for the exchange of gases. It is the result of an increased frequency of breathing, an increased tidal volume, or a combination of both. It causes an excess intake of oxygen and the blowing off of carbon dioxide. Respiratory Alkalosis
  • Decorticate posturing

Uncal herniation Herniation Omphalocele:

  • The medial aspect of the temporal lobe Temporal lobe Lower lateral part of the cerebral hemisphere responsible for auditory, olfactory, and semantic processing. It is located inferior to the lateral fissure and anterior to the occipital lobe. Cerebral Cortex: Anatomy is compressed against the tentorium cerebelli.
  • Fixed and dilated pupil Pupil The pupil is the space within the eye that permits light to project onto the retina. Anatomically located in front of the lens, the pupil’s size is controlled by the surrounding iris. The pupil provides insight into the function of the central and autonomic nervous systems. Pupil: Physiology and Abnormalities (“blown pupil Pupil The pupil is the space within the eye that permits light to project onto the retina. Anatomically located in front of the lens, the pupil’s size is controlled by the surrounding iris. The pupil provides insight into the function of the central and autonomic nervous systems. Pupil: Physiology and Abnormalities”)—due to compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma of ipsilateral parasympathetic fibers of the oculomotor nerve Oculomotor nerve The 3D cranial nerve. The oculomotor nerve sends motor fibers to the levator muscles of the eyelid and to the superior rectus, inferior rectus, and inferior oblique muscles of the eye. It also sends parasympathetic efferents (via the ciliary ganglion) to the muscles controlling pupillary constriction and accommodation. The motor fibers originate in the oculomotor nuclei of the midbrain. The 12 Cranial Nerves: Overview and Functions
  • Motor Motor Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells. Nervous System: Histology paralysis—due to compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma of the contralateral pyramidal tract

Cerebellotonsillar herniation Herniation Omphalocele:

Types of brain herniation

Types of brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification herniation Herniation Omphalocele:
A. Subfalcine
B. External
C. Central (transtentorial)
D. Uncal
E. Downward cerebellotonsillar

Image by Lecturio.

Abnormal posturing

  • Abnormal responses to noxious stimuli on exam → stereotypical movements of the trunk and extremities
  • Decorticate “in” = flexion Flexion Examination of the Upper Limbs posturing—due to lesions above the red nucleus Nucleus Within a eukaryotic cell, a membrane-limited body which contains chromosomes and one or more nucleoli (cell nucleolus). The nuclear membrane consists of a double unit-type membrane which is perforated by a number of pores; the outermost membrane is continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum. A cell may contain more than one nucleus. The Cell: Organelles in the midbrain Midbrain The middle of the three primitive cerebral vesicles of the embryonic brain. Without further subdivision, midbrain develops into a short, constricted portion connecting the pons and the diencephalon. Midbrain contains two major parts, the dorsal tectum mesencephali and the ventral tegmentum mesencephali, housing components of auditory, visual, and other sensorimotor systems. Brain Stem: Anatomy 
  • Decerebrate “out” = extensor posturing—due to lesions below the red nucleus Nucleus Within a eukaryotic cell, a membrane-limited body which contains chromosomes and one or more nucleoli (cell nucleolus). The nuclear membrane consists of a double unit-type membrane which is perforated by a number of pores; the outermost membrane is continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum. A cell may contain more than one nucleus. The Cell: Organelles in the midbrain Midbrain The middle of the three primitive cerebral vesicles of the embryonic brain. Without further subdivision, midbrain develops into a short, constricted portion connecting the pons and the diencephalon. Midbrain contains two major parts, the dorsal tectum mesencephali and the ventral tegmentum mesencephali, housing components of auditory, visual, and other sensorimotor systems. Brain Stem: Anatomy 

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Diagnosis

Diagnosis is urgent for a patient presenting with symptoms and signs of increased ICP Increased ICP Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Increased ICP Increased ICP Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage is a medical emergency regardless of the cause, and immediate measures to reduce ICP acutely should be started until definitive management can be accomplished.

  • Urgent neuroimaging Neuroimaging Non-invasive methods of visualizing the central nervous system, especially the brain, by various imaging modalities. Febrile Infant: brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification CT or MRI
    • Signs of brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema:
      • Loss of gray/ white matter White Matter The region of central nervous system that appears lighter in color than the other type, gray matter. It mainly consists of myelinated nerve fibers and contains few neuronal cell bodies or dendrites. Brown-Séquard Syndrome differentiation
      • Compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma of the ventricles
      • Obliteration of sulci
      • Localized edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema = midline shift
    • Herniation Herniation Omphalocele 
  • Lumbar puncture Lumbar Puncture Febrile Infant (LP):
    • Indicated if there are no structural abnormalities on neuroimaging Neuroimaging Non-invasive methods of visualizing the central nervous system, especially the brain, by various imaging modalities. Febrile Infant
    • Done after brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification imaging to avoid herniation Herniation Omphalocele from a rapid decrease in ICP
    • Elevated opening pressure (> 250 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma H2O) confirms the diagnosis
    • CSF studies for infection, blood, other testing
  • Labs

Management and Complications

Management

  • Initial management:
    • Immediate support of oxygenation and blood pressure
    • Paralytic agents and adequate sedation to minimize further increases in ICP (if intubation Intubation Peritonsillar Abscess is needed)
    • Close monitoring of vitals and ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG)
    • Avoid hypotonic Hypotonic Solutions that have a lesser osmotic pressure than a reference solution such as blood, plasma, or interstitial fluid. Renal Sodium and Water Regulation fluids to prevent worsening of brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema.
  • Measures to decrease ICP:
    • Elevate the head of the bed > 30º → promotes venous return
    • Hyperventilation Hyperventilation A pulmonary ventilation rate faster than is metabolically necessary for the exchange of gases. It is the result of an increased frequency of breathing, an increased tidal volume, or a combination of both. It causes an excess intake of oxygen and the blowing off of carbon dioxide. Respiratory Alkalosis (decrease pCO2 to 25–30 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg) → increases cerebral blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure (CBF)
    • Mannitol Mannitol A diuretic and renal diagnostic aid related to sorbitol. It has little significant energy value as it is largely eliminated from the body before any metabolism can take place. It can be used to treat oliguria associated with kidney failure or other manifestations of inadequate renal function and has been used for determination of glomerular filtration rate. Mannitol is also commonly used as a research tool in cell biological studies, usually to control osmolarity. Osmotic Diuretics: reduces intravascular volume → results in osmotic gradient → fluid moves from the extracellular to the intravascular space → brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema is reduced
    • Hypertonic saline Hypertonic saline Hypertonic sodium chloride solution. A solution having an osmotic pressure greater than that of physiologic salt solution (0. 9 g NaCl in 100 ml purified water). Hyponatremia (bolus or continuous infusion): 
      • Tonicity Tonicity Plasma tonicity refers to the concentration of only the osmotically active solutes in blood Renal Sodium and Water Regulation of the blood increases → concentration gradient is created → fluid moves from the extracellular to the intravascular space → brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema is reduced
      • Monitor serum Na
      • Maintain euvolemia Euvolemia Volume Depletion and Dehydration
    • Acetazolamide Acetazolamide One of the carbonic anhydrase inhibitors that is sometimes effective against absence seizures. It is sometimes useful also as an adjunct in the treatment of tonic-clonic, myoclonic, and atonic seizures, particularly in women whose seizures occur or are exacerbated at specific times in the menstrual cycle. However, its usefulness is transient often because of rapid development of tolerance. Its antiepileptic effect may be due to its inhibitory effect on brain carbonic anhydrase, which leads to an increased transneuronal chloride gradient, increased chloride current, and increased inhibition. Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors = a diuretic to decrease the production of CSF
    • Induced coma Coma Coma is defined as a deep state of unarousable unresponsiveness, characterized by a score of 3 points on the GCS. A comatose state can be caused by a multitude of conditions, making the precise epidemiology and prognosis of coma difficult to determine. Coma ( propofol Propofol An intravenous anesthetic agent which has the advantage of a very rapid onset after infusion or bolus injection plus a very short recovery period of a couple of minutes. Propofol has been used as anticonvulsants and antiemetics. Intravenous Anesthetics): reduces sympathetic activity and metabolic demand 
    • Anticonvulsants if seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures 
    • Antipyretics if febrile (e.g., with encephalitis Encephalitis Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain parenchyma caused by an infection, usually viral. Encephalitis may present with mild symptoms such as headache, fever, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain or with severe symptoms such as seizures, altered consciousness, and paralysis. Encephalitis)
  • ICP monitoring:
    • Intraventricular = gold standard
    • Intraparenchymal
    • Subarachnoid
    • Epidural
  • Removal of CSF: if hydrocephalus Hydrocephalus Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage is identified → ventriculostomy Ventriculostomy Surgical creation of an opening in a cerebral ventricle. Neurosurgery drainage
  • Surgery: decompressive craniectomy Decompressive Craniectomy Excision of part of the skull. This procedure is used to treat elevated intracranial pressure that is unresponsive to conventional treatment. Neurosurgery
    • Normalizes ICP by opening the skull Skull The skull (cranium) is the skeletal structure of the head supporting the face and forming a protective cavity for the brain. The skull consists of 22 bones divided into the viscerocranium (facial skeleton) and the neurocranium. Skull: Anatomy
    • Definitive treatment for masses (e.g., blood clots, tumors)

Complications

  • Diffuse anoxic brain injury Anoxic Brain Injury Persistent Vegetative State: due to impairment of cerebral perfusion Cerebral Perfusion Syncope
  • Stroke: due to ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage from decreased cerebral perfusion Cerebral Perfusion Syncope
  • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Coma Coma Coma is defined as a deep state of unarousable unresponsiveness, characterized by a score of 3 points on the GCS. A comatose state can be caused by a multitude of conditions, making the precise epidemiology and prognosis of coma difficult to determine. Coma
  • Respiratory arrest: due to pressure on the brainstem
  • Ophthalmologic complications: due to papilledema Papilledema Swelling of the optic disk, usually in association with increased intracranial pressure, characterized by hyperemia, blurring of the disk margins, microhemorrhages, blind spot enlargement, and engorgement of retinal veins. Chronic papilledema may cause optic atrophy and visual loss. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
  • Death

Prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

  • Highly variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables: depending on the etiology and the degree of compromise
  • Good prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas with reversible causes (e.g., DKA DKA Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) are serious, acute complications of diabetes mellitus. Diabetic ketoacidosis is characterized by hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis due to an absolute insulin deficiency. Hyperglycemic Crises)
  • Herniation Herniation Omphalocele can be fatal and is the most significant cause of mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status.
  • Survival after a head injury if presenting with abnormal posturing:
    •  Approximately 37% with decorticate posturing
    •  Approximately 10% with decerebrate posturing

Differential Diagnosis

  • Meningitis Meningitis Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the protective membranes of the brain, and spinal cord. The causes of meningitis are varied, with the most common being bacterial or viral infection. The classic presentation of meningitis is a triad of fever, altered mental status, and nuchal rigidity. Meningitis or encephalitis Encephalitis Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain parenchyma caused by an infection, usually viral. Encephalitis may present with mild symptoms such as headache, fever, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain or with severe symptoms such as seizures, altered consciousness, and paralysis. Encephalitis: inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the meninges Meninges The brain and the spinal cord are enveloped by 3 overlapping layers of connective tissue called the meninges. The layers are, from the most external layer to the most internal layer, the dura mater, arachnoid mater, and pia mater. Between these layers are 3 potential spaces called the epidural, subdural, and subarachnoid spaces. Meninges: Anatomy or brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification, usually due to infection. Clinically, the patient will display signs of infection, such as fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, and most will display classical signs of meningeal irritation Meningeal Irritation Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Cerebrospinal fluid Cerebrospinal Fluid A watery fluid that is continuously produced in the choroid plexus and circulates around the surface of the brain; spinal cord; and in the cerebral ventricles. Ventricular System: Anatomy analysis will reveal microorganisms and other cytochemical changes in bacterial cases. Diagnosis is made clinically, supported by CSF analysis CSF analysis Meningitis. Management of bacterial meningitis Meningitis Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the protective membranes of the brain, and spinal cord. The causes of meningitis are varied, with the most common being bacterial or viral infection. The classic presentation of meningitis is a triad of fever, altered mental status, and nuchal rigidity. Meningitis includes immediate broad-spectrum Broad-Spectrum Fluoroquinolones antibiotics and/or antiviral Antiviral Antivirals for Hepatitis B medication. 
  • Venous sinus thrombosis Thrombosis Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel. Epidemic Typhus: the thrombosis Thrombosis Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel. Epidemic Typhus of the cerebral veins Veins Veins are tubular collections of cells, which transport deoxygenated blood and waste from the capillary beds back to the heart. Veins are classified into 3 types: small veins/venules, medium veins, and large veins. Each type contains 3 primary layers: tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. Veins: Histology and the dural sinuses, most commonly presenting with headaches and elevated ICP. Venous sinus thrombosis Thrombosis Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel. Epidemic Typhus may also be associated with focal neurological deficits Focal Neurological Deficits Brain Abscess, seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures, or altered mental status Altered Mental Status Sepsis in Children. Diagnosis is made by brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification MRI and magnetic resonance venography Venography Budd-Chiari Syndrome. Treatment is with anticoagulation Anticoagulation Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs and measures to control increased ICP Increased ICP Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage.
  • Intracranial mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast: a tumor Tumor Inflammation within the cranial vault increases the parenchymal content and increased ICP Increased ICP Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor includes progressively worsening headaches and neurological deficits. Diagnosis is made with neuroimaging Neuroimaging Non-invasive methods of visualizing the central nervous system, especially the brain, by various imaging modalities. Febrile Infant of the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification. Management is with steroids Steroids A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to terpenes. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (sterols), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. Benign Liver Tumors to decrease ICP and by treating the specific cause.
  • Migraine Migraine Migraine headache is a primary headache disorder and is among the most prevalent disorders in the world. Migraine is characterized by episodic, moderate to severe headaches that may be associated with increased sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea and/or vomiting. Migraine Headache: a primary headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess disorder characterized by episodic moderate-to-severe headaches associated with photophobia Photophobia Abnormal sensitivity to light. This may occur as a manifestation of eye diseases; migraine; subarachnoid hemorrhage; meningitis; and other disorders. Photophobia may also occur in association with depression and other mental disorders. Migraine Headache, phonophobia Phonophobia Specific Phobias, nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, and/or vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, and might be preceded by an aura Aura Reversible neurological phenomena that often precede or coincide with headache onset. Migraine Headache. The characteristic headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess seen in migraines can be distinguished from that with increased ICP Increased ICP Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage by the lack of aura Aura Reversible neurological phenomena that often precede or coincide with headache onset. Migraine Headache and presence of papilledema Papilledema Swelling of the optic disk, usually in association with increased intracranial pressure, characterized by hyperemia, blurring of the disk margins, microhemorrhages, blind spot enlargement, and engorgement of retinal veins. Chronic papilledema may cause optic atrophy and visual loss. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. Diagnosis is made clinically and with further testing as needed. Management includes NSAIDs NSAIDS Primary vs Secondary Headaches and triptans Triptans Triptans and ergot alkaloids are agents used mainly for the management of acute migraines. The therapeutic effect is induced by binding to serotonin receptors, which causes reduced vasoactive neuropeptide release, pain conduction, and intracranial vasoconstriction. Triptans and Ergot Alkaloids.
  • Acute hydrocephalus Hydrocephalus Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the excess accumulation of CSF within the ventricular system Ventricular System The ventricular system is an extension of the subarachnoid space into the brain consisting of a series of interconnecting spaces and channels. Four chambers are filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF): the paired lateral ventricles, the unpaired 3rd ventricle, and the unpaired 4th ventricle. Ventricular System: Anatomy. Clinically, acute hydrocephalus Hydrocephalus Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranium which may be associated with dilation of cerebral ventricles, intracranial. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage can be distinguished from idiopathic Idiopathic Dermatomyositis intracranial hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension by its acuity, headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess severity, and cognitive deterioration. Diagnosis is confirmed with neuroimaging Neuroimaging Non-invasive methods of visualizing the central nervous system, especially the brain, by various imaging modalities. Febrile Infant, which shows enlargement of the ventricles as a defining characteristic. Management is surgical with the placement of a CSF shunt.
  • Stroke due to hemorrhage or ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage: also known as a cerebrovascular accident Cerebrovascular accident An ischemic stroke (also known as cerebrovascular accident) is an acute neurologic injury that occurs as a result of brain ischemia; this condition may be due to cerebral blood vessel occlusion by thrombosis or embolism, or rarely due to systemic hypoperfusion. Ischemic Stroke CVA and may present with altered mental status Altered Mental Status Sepsis in Children or coma Coma Coma is defined as a deep state of unarousable unresponsiveness, characterized by a score of 3 points on the GCS. A comatose state can be caused by a multitude of conditions, making the precise epidemiology and prognosis of coma difficult to determine. Coma in addition to focal neurological deficits Focal Neurological Deficits Brain Abscess. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with acute strokes often present with unilateral neurologic deficits Neurologic Deficits High-Risk Headaches, and not present with intracranial hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension. Diagnosis is made with physical examination and imaging. Management depends on the cause (bleed or clot), and thrombolytic therapy to restore blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure is used with ischemic stroke Ischemic Stroke An ischemic stroke (also known as cerebrovascular accident) is an acute neurologic injury that occurs as a result of brain ischemia; this condition may be due to cerebral blood vessel occlusion by thrombosis or embolism, or rarely due to systemic hypoperfusion. Ischemic Stroke.

References

  1. Pinto, VL, Tadi, P, & Adeyinka, A. (2021). Increased intracranial pressure. StatPearls. Retrieved September 15, 2021, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482119/ 
  2. Rosenberg, GA. (2021). Brain edema and disorders of cerebrospinal fluid circulation. In Jankovic, J, Mazziotta, JC, Pomeroy, SL, & Newman, NJ (Eds.), Bradley and Daroff’s Neurology in Clinical Practice (8th ed., pp. 1327–1344.e2).
  3. Knight, J, & Decker, LC. (2021). Decorticate and decerebrate posturing. StatPearls. Retrieved September 15, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559135/
  4. Munakomi, S, & Das, JM. (2021). Brain herniation. StatPearls. Retrieved September 15, 2021, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK542246/ 
  5. Smith, ER, & Amin-Hanjani, S. (2019). Evaluation and management of elevated intracranial pressure in adults. UpToDate. Retrieved September 2, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/evaluation-and-management-of-elevated-intracranial-pressure-in-adults
  6. Kostecki, K, De Jesus, O, & Pearson-Shaver, AL. (2021). Subfalcine herniation. In: StatPearls. Retrieved September 15, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536946/

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