Cerebral edema

Cerebral edema is a surplus accumulation of liquid in the brain tissue, clinically showing up the syndrome of increased intracranial pressure. A general or local cerebral edema is possible. The mechanism of origin of cerebral edema depends on basic illness the underlying disease, which was the cause of cerebral edema. At cerebral edema with the increase of volume of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure in ventricles is increased. Thus part of the cerebrospinal fluid leaks in near-by tissues of brain, near the ventricles. Othergates a cerebral edema shows up at the defeat of brain because of lack of oxygen, as a result more sodium enters cages of brain, water follows by sodium, and cages swell up (cytotoxic edema).


Cerebral edema is associated with symptoms caused by increased intracranial pressure:

  • Insignificant increase: head pain, insignificant paralysis of half of body, changes of eyeground.
  • Middle increase: head pain, vomiting, somnolence, extended pupils.
  • Strongly increase: violation of consciousness, uneven breathing, rare pulse, sometimes – cramps.


The cause of local cerebral edema quite often is a tumor of brain, the blood vessels of cerebrum change, permeability of their walls is increased, and plasma of blood leaks into the brain tissue (vasogenic edema). Possible cause s of cerebral edema – large epileptic attacks, eclampsia of pregnant (cramps), kidney insufficiency, heavy diseases of liver and diabetic coma, and also poisonings, deficit of vitamin B12.


For correct treatment of cerebral edema it is necessary to set the cause of disease. Thus intensive medicinal treatment is always obligatory. As a rule, doctors conduct surgical and medicinal treatment simultaneous, for example, the presence of tumor and abscess requires surgical interference. The accumulation of liquid is removed by drainage. Sometimes a liquid is taken through a spinal channel at performing a lumbar puncture.

The space of skull has limited constant volume: brain (about 1400 ml), cerebrospinal fluid (about 140 ml) and blood (about 150 ml). Thus, an increase in one of them leads to damage other, that quite often is dangerous for life. For the decline of intracranial pressure trepanation of skull is executed – a surgical delete of part of the roof of the skull (a few openings in the bones of skull are drilled on either side, then bone between these openings is cut out and retires). Thus it frees space for an edematous brain. It is necessary to provide the normal breathing. It is necessary to limit the consumption of liquid; diuretics are appointed a patient.

Self-treatment of cerebral edema is impossible.

Because of cerebral edema, intracranial pressure rises, there are characteristic symptoms, at appearance of which it is necessary to appeal to the doctor.

A doctor immediately will send a patient in a hospital, where a necessary help will be rendered him.

Course of the disease

The brain of man is celled in a cranium. At a cerebral edema and absence of space for expansion there is a compression of parts of cerebrum, accordingly, and blood vessels. Due to lack of oxygen metabolism in cells is violated.

Is it dangerous?

Cerebral edema is very dangerous. Insufficient supply of brain cells with oxygen leads to their defeat.

Causes of cerebral edema are different. It is necessary to avoid accidents, which cause heavy craniocerebral traumas and brain compression. During the leadthrough of dangerous types of works personal protective equipment is needed, for example, protective helmets.