Increased intracranial pressure is a rise in the pressure inside the skull that can result from or cause brain injury.
ICP - raised; Intracranial pressure - raised; Intracranial hypertension; Acute increased intracranial pressure; Sudden increased intracranial pressure
Increased intracranial pressure can be due to a rise in pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid. This is the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Increase in intracranial pressure can also be due to a rise in pressure within the brain itself. This can be caused by a mass (such as a tumor), bleeding into the brain or fluid around the brain, or swelling within the brain itself.
An increase in intracranial pressure is a serious and life-threatening medical problem. The pressure can damage the brain or spinal cord by pressing on important structures and by restricting blood flow into the brain.
Many conditions can increase intracranial pressure. Common causes include:
Older children and adults:
Sudden increased intracranial pressure is an emergency. The person will be treated in the intensive care unit of the hospital. The health care team will measure and monitor the person's neurological and vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.
Treatment may include:
If a tumor, hemorrhage, or other problem has caused the increase in intracranial pressure, these problems will be treated.
Sudden increased intracranial pressure is a serious and often life-threatening condition. Prompt treatment results in better outlook.
If the increased pressure pushes on important brain structures and blood vessels, it can lead to serious, permanent problems or even death.
Long-lasting increased intracranial pressure (such as with idiopathic increased intracranial hemorrhage) can result in permanent vision loss.
This condition usually cannot be prevented. If you have a persistent headache, blurred vision, changes in your level of alertness, nervous system problems, or seizures, seek medical help right away.
Published Date: May 04, 2021
Published By: Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Department of Neurology, Cooper Medical School at Rowan University, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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