Brain edema - a fluid accumulation in the cells and the intercellular space of the brain, which causes an increase in its volume and intracranial hypertension. This secondary pathology that is characterized by rapid development. Without timely medical intervention consequence of cerebral edema can be fatal.
Causes of brain edema
Cerebral edema occurs as the body's response to injury, infection or disease associated with brain damage.
With traumatic brain injury, mechanical damage can be complicated by flying debris cranial bones in the brain tissue. As a result of disrupted the normal flow of fluid. This is possible after a fall from a height, blow to the head or an accident. Newborn probable birth injuries.
The cause of brain edema following may be infectious and inflammatory diseases:
- Meningitis - an inflammation of the meninges due to a viral infection or uncontrolled medication;
- Encephalitis - a viral inflammation that often occurs after the bite of insects;
- Subdural empyema - suppurative complications of infections;
- Toxoplasmosis - an infection caused by Toxoplasma, which is transmitted from pets.
Ischemic stroke is the direct cause of cerebral edema - the blood circulation is disrupted as a result of blood clots. Cells are experiencing oxygen starvation, and gradually die, and that provokes the accumulation of fluid.
If there is swelling of the brain tumor - a frequent occurrence, since the tumor cells rapidly grow and press on healthy.
In some cases, the development of this disease may be related to professional activities or sports. For example, climbers often called mountain cerebral edema associated with sudden changes in gradient.
Symptoms of cerebral edema
Symptoms of brain edema include:
- Irregular breathing;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Strong headache;
- Partial loss of vision;
- Violation of speech;
- Memory loss;
- Confluence into a stupor;
- Recurrent seizures;
When you see these symptoms, seek medical help.
Depending on the severity and location of the underlying disease, the effects of cerebral edema are various complications:
- Increased intracranial pressure. It is accompanied by inhibition of reactions, drowsiness, delirium, loss of social communication skills;
- Violation of breathing and blood circulation. It appears in the defeat of the medulla oblongata, where all the main centers of life-support;
- Asthenia nervous system, epilepsy. Sometimes after an intensive rehabilitation therapy, as are adhesions in the cerebrospinal fluid spaces, ventricles and membranes;
- Improper operation of the cortex. Cause long-term swelling of the brain it affects the thought process leads to the development decortication;
- Tetraparesis, paralysis. It occurs when herniation and displacement of the brain stem;
- Respiratory arrest, death. Available in violation of vital functions due to infringement of the brain stem in the hole cerebellar tentorium or uneven increase in the cerebral hemispheres.
Treatment of cerebral edema
Treatment of cerebral edema is to eliminate its causes, reducing the intracranial pressure and brain supply the necessary amount of oxygen. Medications are selected depending on the underlying disease and symptoms. For example, with traumatic brain injuries used oxygen therapy, in which oxygen is artificially introduced into the body. When excess accumulation of fluid in the ventricles, it is removed by means of a special catheter, which contributes to removal of high pressure.
The most complex method of treatment of cerebral edema is a surgical intervention, but sometimes it is - the only way to save the patient's life. Operations needed for tumors, damage to brain tissue bones of the skull, as well as the restoration of damaged blood vessels.
Sometimes, brain swelling may disappear on their own - after a small accident or a slight concussion, but for most people the accumulation of excess fluid in the brain does not pass without a trace. Therefore, to determine the degree of danger should always be a physician, a diagnosis is required even for minor injuries.