Intracranial pressure - if you have a headache

October 15, 2009

  • Intracranial pressure - if you have a headache
  • How to Measure
  • How to lower

 Intracranial pressure
   To understand what the intracranial pressure, it is necessary to recall what is inside the skull. One of the three main contents of the skull - the cerebrospinal fluid; the rest - a system of veins and arteries that provide blood flow to the brain and the brain itself. Normally, they work together in perfect harmony. In the cerebrospinal fluid, brain and circulatory system, there is a ratio of the volume and pressure. Because the skull - a bone, which can not expand, increasing the volume of all three can occur only by reducing the volume of the other two. For example, increasing the size of the brain lead to a compression of blood vessels and more subarachnoid space filled with cerebrospinal fluid. This would lead to increased intracranial pressure and reduce blood flow.

In the cerebrospinal fluid has several important functions. It serves as a cushion between the brain and skull, delivers nutrients to the tissues of the brain and removes waste.

Cerebrospinal fluid produces a region of the brain called the choroid plexus; it produces around 400-500 mL of liquid per day. At the same time inside the skull may be approximately 140 ml of cerebrospinal fluid.

Increased intracranial pressure is a serious and potentially dangerous disorder. It may result in damage to the brain or spinal cord and to restrict the flow of blood to the brain.

Many factors can contribute to high blood pressure, including:

  • Aneurysm rupture and subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Encephaloma
  • Encephalitis
  • Head injury
  • Hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
  • Hypertensive brain hemorrhage
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Meningitis
  • Subdural hematoma
  • Status epilepticus
  • Stroke

Symptoms of increased intracranial pressure Increased intracranial pressure is dangerous for the brain  Increased intracranial pressure is dangerous for the brain
   often have headaches, vomiting (they are generally not preceded by nausea), changes in the level of consciousness, back pain, and vision disturbances. If the increase in pressure caused by a brain tumor, can be observed and symptoms such as high blood pressure and shortness of breath.

Normal intracranial pressure of a healthy adult is about 10-15 mm Hg. If it is greater than 25-35 mm, a person can lose consciousness; further increase in the end leads to death of the brain.

 Intracranial pressure - if you have a headache

Check intracranial pressure

Intracranial pressure may be measured using an intraventricular catheter. This method is considered the most accurate. The catheter is inserted into the lateral ventricle of the brain, which is usually contained in the cerebrospinal fluid. If necessary to reduce intracranial pressure, part of the cerebrospinal fluid can be diverted through the catheter. At high pressure, it is very difficult to introduce a catheter to the desired location.

Subdural screw - a hollow inside the device, similar to a screw which is inserted into a hole made in the skull. It allows you to measure the intracranial pressure in the subdural space.

The epidural sensor is inserted between the skull and dural tissue. Prior to that, from a certain area of ​​the scalp hair is shaved off, it is treated with an antiseptic, an incision, the skin back down so that became visible skull. Then, a hole was drilled in the skull into which you can insert an epidural sensor.

To measure intracranial pressure is difficult, it can be done only by invasive procedures, but it is required only in case of serious violations.

 Intracranial pressure - if you have a headache

Increased intracranial pressure

Increased intracranial pressure can occur by increasing the amount of liquor, with the liquor begins to exert increased pressure on the brain. It is by increasing blood flow to the brain (the expansion of arteries in the brain) or swelling (edema), brain tissue, the redistribution of liquor as a result of its displacement from certain places (eg, tumors). Intracranial pressure may rise and the breach of the blood outflow from the cranial cavity (e.g., narrowing veins) and so on.

All this may be the result of craniocerebral trauma, meningitis Meningitis - an inflammation of the meninges  Meningitis - an inflammation of the meninges
   or encephalitis, congenital structural features of the brain and spinal cord, and others.

When the increased intracranial pressure is held long, brain tissue is squeezed and reduced in volume, and the space filled with liquid is increased. This condition is called hydrocephalus.

 Intracranial pressure - if you have a headache

Signs of increased intracranial pressure

Depending on the degree of increased intracranial pressure, people can disturb the following features:

  • headaches, which intensified in the second half of the night or in the morning, his head heavy morning; at very high pressure joining nausea and vomiting, it is due to the fact that in the horizontal position and release the active liquor in the morning increased intracranial pressure;
  • bouts of sweating, drop or increase in blood pressure Blood pressure - dangerous if his swing?  Blood pressure - dangerous if his swing?
 , Palpitations, lightheadedness, etc. often associated with changes in weather, thus, the lower the atmospheric pressure, the higher intracranial;
  • fatigue, especially when mental stress, irritability Irritability - you try to control my temper  Irritability - you try to control my temper
  • "Bruises" (small dilated veins) under the eyes.

 Intracranial pressure - if you have a headache

How to diagnose

To confirm the diagnosis of increased intracranial pressure and to identify the reasons for his conduct additional examination of the patient. First of all, it is assigned consulting ophthalmologist who examines the fundus: extending, twisting veins of the fundus - one of the signs of increased intracranial pressure.

Applied research of the brain using ultrasound (echoencephalography), it does not give very specific information about the increased intracranial pressure. Ultrasound examination of cerebral vessels may reveal a violation of the outflow of venous blood.

X-ray studies, including with the use of modern equipment - computer and magnetic resonance tomography - allow you to see the expansion of fluid cavities of the brain and some other signs of increased intracranial pressure.

 Intracranial pressure - if you have a headache

Low intracranial pressure

Persistent reduction of intracranial pressure often occurs after a traumatic brain injury and various kinds of liquor expiration (liquorrhea arises, for example, trauma and brain tumors), long-term and persistent contraction of cerebral arteries, long-term uncontrolled taking diuretics.

An indication of low intracranial pressure is hypotensive syndrome. At the same time worried sick sharp headache ("squeezes like a hoop"), which is amplified in a sitting position and decreases with lowering of the head, nausea, vomiting, irritability, weakness, drowsiness.

Treatment of hypotensive syndrome is to stimulate the production of cerebrospinal fluid and the normalization of water and electrolyte balance. The ineffectiveness of conservative therapy is the indication for surgery - closing the openings through which cerebrospinal fluid flows.