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Anatomy and physiology 

Anatomy and physiology
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date: 01 December 2020

An understanding of the normal anatomy of the brain is essential to the diagnosis of a number of conditions that may be encountered in patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Common structural cerebral conditions causing patients to be admitted to the ICU include cerebral trauma (traumatic brain injury), cerebrovascular accidents (both ischaemic and haemorrhagic), and infections. Cerebral conditions with a structural basis occurring after admission to the ICU are not as common as functional abnormalities, such as delirium, and peripheral complications, such as critical illness neuropathy and myopathy. An understanding of brain physiology, in particular factors that control or influence intracranial pressure (ICP) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) underpin much of the theory behind the management of acute brain injuries and syndromes.

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