Intracranial Hypertension Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Intracranial Hypertension Syndrome

Intracranial or endocranial hypertension is one of the most frequent causes of death in patients with neurological diseases.

In most cases, they are caused by strokes. 

It is known in the area of medicine as a serious disorder, where the pressure of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), inside the brain has a high level.

This liquid is an essential component of the brain since it is responsible for protecting it and promoting the transport of nutrients to the brain tissue.

When there are high levels it gets out of control, generating brain damage.

Here we will explain a little more about endocranial hypertension.

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Who can it affect?

This disorder can affect both children, young people, and elderly people silently, and cause serious damage.

That is to say that it is something that goes beyond the age, race, and gender of the person. It simply occurs unexpectedly and damages the brain.

Symptoms of endocranial hypertension

Among the most common symptoms that occur with this type of disorder, are the following.


It is the first indication that something is not working well on the part of the brain. It is a constant pain, strong and difficult to alleviate with any type of medication. The majority of patients end up going to the doctor because of the intense pain they feel.

Ear ringing or tinnitus

It is another of the most frequent symptoms of this type of disorder.

Stiff neck

The constant pain in the neck tends to bother many people. They feel a lot of discomforts when moving it, and that is why they try to keep it as rigid as possible.

Loss of vision or blindness

The pain caused can lead to temporary blindness in patients. This is because the optic nerves swell rapidly.

Difficulty to carry out daily activities

It is not easy to perform daily activities because pain prevents people from performing their tasks in a normal way.

A lot of discomforts

Although the person may seem completely normal, the discomfort that can come to feel can end up taking him to the doctor. Headaches and other symptoms are practically unbearable.

Causes of intracranial hypertension

Among the most common causes of this type of disorder, are the following.

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Venous thrombosis
  • Meningitis.
  • Abscesses
  • Intracranial tumors.
  • Intracerebral hemorrhages.
  • Cranioencephalic traumatisms.

Evolutionary stages of endocranial hypertension

The disorder of intracranial hypertension goes through several stages of evolution, where more and more the symptoms become more frequent and intense. They are the following.

First stage

In this type of stage, there is a change in the intracranial volume, and there is a displacement in some of the components of the CSF or in the blood. There are usually no variations in intracranial pressure, and there are no suggestive signs.

Second stage

In this stage, there is a minimum elevation in the intracranial pressure, and in addition, some symptoms are present as a consequence of the resistance that there is for the entry of blood in the cerebrovascular part.

Third stage

The mechanisms that are responsible for compensating for the increase in hypertension are insufficient, and that is why there is a displacement of brain tissue. In this stage, the symptoms are stronger and frequent.

Fourth stage

Known as the irreversible stage, since there is no way out of it once it occurs. There is a total loss of autonomic control of the person.

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How is intracranial hypertension measured?

The first measurements of pressure in the LCR were made in the subarachnoid space, by Jackson Quincke, who stated that normal values should be between 90-100mms of water.

After determining that, he made some studies with patients who had traumas cranioencephalic, establishing that to be able to make a surgery should be above 200mms of water.

Although several objections were raised to this method, then several devices were developed to make the corresponding measurements, and to choose a suitable site to obtain the exact values.

Although there are still contradictions in this part, the most used place for measurement is the following:

• The lateral ventricles, specifically in the part of the frontal non-dominant horn. It is considered the most reliable place to verify increases in endogenous pressure and allows to verify the evacuation of the CSF when hypertensive episodes occur.

Knowing this value is vital for physicians because through it they can be guided on the areas they should touch when performing a surgical intervention, and indicate the postoperative treatment that allows the patient to have the shortest recovery time possible.

Treatment for intracranial hypertension

When this condition occurs, it is very difficult to treat since it occurs directly in the brain.

Although a specific treatment has not been developed to counteract it, other options have been devised to improve their symptoms.

The treatment used for this type of disorder is the use of drugs known as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors.

In most cases, it must be consumed in high doses to achieve suppression of CSF production.

Another of the treatments used is surgical intervention when medicinal therapy usually fails. The following stand out:

  • The fenestration of the optic nerve. In this type of intervention, the surgeon makes a small opening in the part that surrounds the optic nerve, to decrease swelling.
  • Neurosurgical anastomosis. This procedure uses an internal tube, used to drain the CSF, into another area in the abdominal cavity.

In most cases, this type of intervention is repeated, since it can generate other complications, such as blindness.

That is why, many people choose not to intervene and make use of medications, to try to maintain controlled levels of pressure.

Intracranial hypertension can occur in any person, regardless of gender, race or sex, and may occur after the patient has suffered some cerebrovascular diseases.

However, the symptoms are very marked and allow people to be aware that something is not working well in their brain.

That is why it is important to be able to identify the symptoms immediately, to avoid any type of complication.


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