Show Summary Details
Page of

Intracranial hypertension 

Intracranial hypertension
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 February 2020

Intracranial hypertension may damage the brain in two ways—it causes tissue distortion and herniation, and reduces cerebral perfusion. The many different pathologies that can result in intracranial hypertension include subarachnoid haemorrhage, spontaneous intra-parenchymal haemorrhage, malignant cerebral hemispheric infarction, and acute hydrocephalus. The pathophysiology and specific treatment of intracranial hypertension may be different and depend on aetiology. In patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage a specific focus is on treating secondary hydrocephalus and maintaining adequate cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP). Indications for surgery in patients with intracranial hypertension due to intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) are not only related to the mass effect, but also to remove the toxic effect of extravasated blood on brain tissue. Decompressive surgery should be considered for patients with a malignant hemispheric infarction, but in order to benefit the patient this surgery should be performed within 48 hours of the onset of the stroke. Hydrocephalus may result from obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow, from impaired CSF re-absorption and occasionally from overproduction of CSF. Emergency management of acute hydrocephalus can be accomplished by external ventricular drainage of CSF. More definitive treatment may be either by third ventriculostomy or implantation of a CSF shunt diverting CSF to the abdominal cavity (a ventriculoperitoneal shunt) or to the right atrium of the heart (ventriculo-atrial shunt).

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.