causes of intracranial pressure in children


  • Causes of increased intracranial pressure
  • Signs of increased intracranial pressure
  • Treatment of this disease
  • What not to do at an elevated intracranial pressure
  • Why is this so often the diagnosis is made

Such diagnosis is intracranial pressure in a child is familiar, perhaps, to many parents. As a rule, after hearing the diagnosis, moms and dads are frightened. Whether these fears are justified or not all that big a deal? First you need to figure out what is the increased intracranial pressure in children. Physicians meant by this term the pressure level in the brain cerebrospinal fluid.

Cerebrospinal fluid generate smaller vessels of the brain. It is situated in the ventricles of the brain in the body, and performs the following functions:

  • eliminates metabolic products that originate in the brain cells;
  • protecting brain cells from the pathogens;
  • It protects the brain from some external mechanical effects (shock).

The body of a healthy child produces about 400-500 mg per day in the cerebrospinal fluid. However, despite this, the intracranial pressure is always kept in the normal range. This is possible because the liquid is absorbed regularly vessels of the brain.

From the above it can be understood that the intracranial pressure is directly related to the amount produced by the cerebrospinal fluid and the degree of absorption of the vessels of the brain.

 signs of increased intracranial pressure
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Causes of increased intracranial pressure

Intracranial pressure, like arterial is unstable. Its level can be as high as the low and high values ​​during the day. There are several reasons that could lead to an increase in intracranial pressure. This is a cry, crying, strong emotions and physical stress. This is especially true in young children, who often swells fontanelle when crying.

Minor changes in intracranial pressure are perfectly normal natural phenomenon inherent to all people, both kids and adults. However, in some cases it may rise sufficiently strongly, and sometimes for a long time, which may cause malfunction of the brain. In such cases, doctors there suspect the presence of intracranial hypertension.

An increase in intracranial pressure in children, the most common cause of disease is hydrocephalus. When the cerebrospinal fluid is produced by the body too much, or there is an infringement of its absorption into the blood vessels of the brain, or does not properly circulate occurs in the ventricles, the child is diagnosed with hydrocephalus.

Doctors hydrocephalus is divided into two types: congenital and acquired diseases, - depending on the reasons for which it has developed in the child. It is not hard to guess that the acquired hydrocephalus child may be ill under the influence of adverse external factors.

Congenital hydrocephalus develops at the baby still in utero, the symptoms appear in the first few hours of life. Reasons for the fetal hydrocephalus, there are a few - a genetic mutation, the violation of the outflow of cerebrospinal fluid, brain hemorrhage. But do not despair in this situation. The disease is diagnosed quickly enough, and early treatment can help your child grow and develop normally, not yielding to the development of their healthy peers.

 Diagnosis of the disease
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Signs of increased intracranial pressure

Doctors can not always time to notice the onset of the disease. And it is not their professionalism, a doctor sees a baby less than his parents. Therefore, the Pope with his mother must be very careful not to miss the beginning of the disease.

The symptoms of intracranial pressure include:

  1. Changing the size and shape of the head. It becomes abnormally high, especially strongly noticeable in the forehead. The rate of change in the shape of the head all children are different, so consult your doctor need to have at the slightest suspicion. However, increasing the child's head, more often, it can only be detected in the measurement. Therefore, it is crucial to take all preventive checkups at the pediatrician.
  2. Suspicion of hydrocephalus can cause permanent swelling of the fontanelle and the distance between the seams of the skull. A healthy baby fontanelle should be slightly sunken or slightly convex. If the fontanelle swells constantly, regardless of whether the child is at rest or stress, is worried.
  3. Symptom Graefe, in medicine with a name sign "of the setting sun." May find, on closer examination, the eye of the baby. In that case, if the child has a disease such as hydrocephalus, his eyes almost always hangs down, and parents can see a strip of sclera between the upper eyelid and pupil. Children with hydrocephalus, almost always clearly visible venous network.
  4. Children with hydrocephalus usually unnecessary whining and irritable they can shout quite a long time and is very monotonous. These sudden bursts of emotion can replace the strong drowsiness and dizziness.
  5. In the absence of proper treatment of children suffering from hydrocephalus, can significantly lag behind in development from healthy. They are much later than their peers, they begin to keep your head, sit, crawl and walk. And the weight of the child can be well below normal levels, because such children are often vomit profusely.

Although in fairness, it should be noted that the increase in intracranial pressure may be an indication not only of hydrocephalus, but also many other diseases. Such diseases include head injuries, hemorrhage, tumor, various infectious diseases (encephalitis, meningitis) and genetic disorders. Therefore, children with increased intracranial pressure, as soon as possible should be examined by the relevant experts.

 increased pressure in children

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Treatment of this disease

As stated earlier, in any case can not be left unattended intracranial pressure. If it is not time to normalize, the child may slow down the development of the brain, and in particularly difficult cases - even to a complete stop. This leads to serious consequences such as mental retardation and severe disability of the child.

The most common drugs do not have the desired effect. That is why they are usually prescribed as a temporary measure during the preparation of the child for surgery. By the way, these drugs are often prescribed to children who are wrongly diagnosed with increased intracranial pressure. However, this is not so rare, but more on that later.

For the treatment of hydrocephalus true or other brain diseases that are accompanied by increased intracranial pressure, surgery is used. Its main purpose is to install the shunt, which is a special tube is removed from the brain the extra volume of cerebrospinal fluid. It is given either in the peritoneal cavity or into the cavity of the heart.

The shunt can be installed in very different from a few weeks to a few years of life. Typically, this operation gives a stunning effect: children are getting better very quickly. Very often the parents ask the doctor a question about whether a shunt does not prevent a child. This concern is understandable, but unfounded. Children who have had bypass surgery, can lead a normal full life.

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What not to do at an elevated intracranial pressure

Sometimes parents of children with a diagnosis of "intracranial pressure", trying to cope with the disease on their own with the help of various folk methods of treatment or use medicines that can harm the health of the child. Doing this can not in any case, because the increased intracranial pressure in children less than a year is extremely dangerous and indicates the presence of a serious illness.

Especially not worth much to hope for physiotherapy, massage, vitamin therapy, exercise therapy, and similar methods are unable to help the child in the treatment of this disease. They are used only as a means of rehabilitation after surgery, because they help children recover as quickly as possible. All treatments are selected individually, taking into account all features of the disease and the health of the baby.

 treatment of intracranial pressure in children
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Why is this so often the diagnosis is made

We have already mentioned that doctors often reinsured, diagnosing children increased intracranial pressure. Why is this happening? It is due to the low qualification of the doctor? Do not rush to accuse doctors of incompetence, in many respects they are right. After all, increased intracranial pressure in children - is not a single disease but merely a symptom of a serious disease. Just because a doctor and has no right to ignore the signs, even remotely suggestive of the possibility of increased intracranial pressure. Otherwise, you can simply overlook the beginning of any disease, because of what the child can not receive timely treatment.

And as indicators of the presence of the child's symptoms, a lot of doctors are reinsured and put appropriate diagnosis. Confirm it immediately, of course, it will not work, because it requires a lot of variety of complex investigations, to carry out that one day is not possible. Most often, doctors require several months for the final diagnosis.

All the time the survey child must be under the strict supervision of a neurologist and pediatrician. In that case, if a child does have a disease, such as increased intracranial pressure, he certainly encounter certain signs of the disease or other diseases, leading to increased intracranial pressure. As a rule, the final diagnosis is made by the end of the first year: signs of pathology or completely disappear, or to identify the causes of this disease.

In any case, when the signs of high blood pressure in children, parents should not panic, first of all you need to see a doctor and to calm down, because panic - no help in this case. The only correct decision in this case would be to find a good neurologist, who can be fully trusted to the child's health. After all, as soon as the parents and the doctor will cooperate very closely. Only their joint efforts will help your child grow up healthy.

 Increased intracranial pressure in children