High intracranial pressure - Causes and Treatment
Acute intracranial hypertension
In this disorder intracranial pressure rises quickly, for example as a result of head trauma, stroke or abscess formation in the brain. The basis of the reason for this becomes cerebral edema or brain hemorrhage. Symptoms depend on the violation of what was the cause of increased intracranial pressure. Patients with acute intracranial hypertension requires urgent hospitalization; in the absence of timely treatment is a violation can lead to severe health consequences and death of the patient.
Chronic intracranial hypertension
High intracranial pressure may be due to the following violations:
Infectious brain diseases, such as meningitis or encephalitis;
brain tumors such as glioma, or meningioma;
Hydrocephalus - a disorder in which fluid accumulates in the cavities of the brain;
Some disorders affecting the blood vessels, such as arteriovenous fistula;
The formation of blood clots in the large veins of the brain - a violation is called thrombosis, venous sinuses and is usually caused by an infection or strong dehydration;
Consumption of excessive amounts of vitamin A;
Taking certain medications, including - tetracycline, minocycline, isotretinoin (Accutane), amiodarone, lithium;
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV);
If the high intracranial pressure, the cause is known, talk about the secondary intracranial hypertension. There is also an idiopathic intracranial hypertension - a condition where the pressure is raised without an established cause. In most cases, such a violation occurs in young women who are overweight, and at the age of twenty to thirty years. Scientists can not yet explain the link between obesity and the intracranial pressure; it is known that weight loss is only sometimes helps to reduce the pressure.
Possible causes of idiopathic intracranial hypertension are:
Hormonal problems, such as Cushing's syndrome, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism;
Chronic renal failure;
High intracranial pressure in a child is in most cases the result of head injury and brain injury; more rarely it can be due to hydrocephalus, brain tumors and infections. Whatever the reason, it is necessary as soon as possible to take measures to normalize blood pressure; otherwise possible violations of a child's development, and death can occur in the most severe cases.
Signs of high intracranial pressure
The most common symptoms of intracranial hypertension are:
Severe headaches - they are often persistent, worse in the morning, on exertion and cough and may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. In some patients, the headache becomes weaker when they are in the upright position;
Change of view because of edema of the optic nerves.
Sometimes high intracranial pressure also causes drowsiness, confusion, irritability and nausea. In severe cases, intracranial amnesia can lead to seizures in patients.
When the above-described character of intracranial hypertension should be how to see a doctor as soon as possible. During diagnosis will rule out other disorders that can cause similar symptoms. As a general rule, to identify the cause of high intracranial pressure, performed computed tomography or magnetic reso- nance imaging, blood tests and a number of other procedures if necessary.
A method for treating intracranial hypertension depends on its cause. Patients with this disorder who are overweight, it is recommended to lose weight - it helps alleviate eye problems. Sometimes facilitates weight loss and other symptoms, without any additional treatment.
Medication. The following drugs can be used during high intracranial pressure:
Acetazolamide - a diuretic, if the violation is used to remove excess fluid from the body;
Small doses of prednisolone - steroid which facilitates headaches. It is especially useful if the patient has a risk of vision loss.
Lumbar puncture - a procedure during which remove excess cerebrospinal fluid.
Surgery - a measure of last resort in the treatment of intracranial hypertension. During surgery, the surgeon using the catheter directs fluid from the brain to other portions of the cavities - for example, the abdominal cavity. Many surgery patients permanently eliminates the symptoms, which are caused by high intracranial pressure. With a small operation associated risk of complications, such as infectious diseases. If intracranial hypertension lead to impaired vision, the patient may also need surgery to restore the functioning of the optic nerves.
In most cases, certain treatments for a long time to help alleviate the symptoms of intracranial hypertension, although from time to time signs of violation may briefly appear again. Patients should monitor the intracranial pressure throughout life, because even with successful treatment, doctors can not give a guarantee that it will not begin to rise again.