Cerebral Edema Research Paper

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Cerebral Edema Cerebral edema sounds like a complex term but it has a rather simple definition. Cerebral edema is when the brain swells due to some sort of trauma. (Marieb, Hoehn) The blood brain barrier or the blood cerebrospinal fluid barrier breakdown and allow fluid to accumulate in the extracellular space of the brain. The brains volume increases due to an elevated amount of water and sodium content. Cerebral edema is a life threatening homeostatic imbalance that may be caused by many things and can be treated if the diagnosis, recognition and management is timely. (ScienceDirect: Cerebral Edema) There are three categories of cerebral edema: vasogenic, cytotoxic and interstitial. Vasogenic edema happens when there is increased permeability of the blood brain barrier. Some of the most common vasogenic causes of edema include: brain tumors/abscesses, lead toxicity, stroke, diabetic ketoacidosis and hypercapnia. Cytotoxic edema is most commonly characterized by the swelling of neurons, glia and constriction of extracellular space. Cytotoxic causes of edema include: traumatic brain injury, encephalitis, meningitis, toxic ingestions and hypoxic ischemic brain injury. The final…show more content…
Treatment must begin in a timely manner. The specifics of treatment depend on the etiology of the edema. Surgery may be needed if the edema is caused by tumors, abscesses and/or hydrocephalus. Causes such as diabetic ketoacidosis, stroke and malignant hypertension may require aggressive medical management. Sometimes medication may be used in treatment of interstitial cerebral edema in order to reduce cerebrospinal fluid production in chronically increased intracranial pressure. If untreated cerebral edema can cause death. When treated it may still have lingering effects on the body such as: loss of vision, cerebral atrophy with cognitive decline, and altered mental

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