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Principles and Management of Alterations in Intracranial Pressure 

Principles and Management of Alterations in Intracranial Pressure
Chapter:
Principles and Management of Alterations in Intracranial Pressure
Author(s):

Heidi T. Woessner

and William D. Freeman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190244927.003.0002
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date: 15 October 2019

Intracranial pressure (ICP) is a reflection of the total volume inside the skull. Normal ICP is 0 to 10 mm Hg. Intracranial hypertension is defined as sustained ICP of more than 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may lead to a reduction of cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), a shift of brain tissue, and, as a result, secondary brainstem injury. Monitoring of increased ICP provides the opportunity to effectively treat damaging pressure waves and is needed to prevent irreversible damage. The 3 constituents of intracranial volume are the brain, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), and blood. These elements sit within the fixed volume of the skull. If one of these 3 components increases in volume, the other 2 must compensate by reducing volume. If they cannot compensate, ICP increases.

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