Intracranial hypertension in children and adults
By intracranial pressure is understood an indicator that reflects the pressure of cerebrospinal fluid on the brain tissue. Liquor is a cerebrospinal fluid that circulates in the ventricles of the brain. The function of this fluid is to remove the products of brain cell exchange, as well as to protect the brain from mechanical damage. Has a cerebrospinal fluid and antimicrobial properties.
If a person does not have any abnormalities, then a day he has about one liter of CSF, and intracranial pressure remains perfectly normal. This is explained by the fact that the cerebrospinal fluid is constantly absorbed into the venous vessels passing through the brain. Consequently, the level of intracranial pressure depends not only on the amount of CSF, but also on the conditions of its circulation through the vessels and the degree of its absorption into the venous vessels. It should be noted that intracranial hypertension in children with prolonged course is capable of provoking a number of serious complications, so at the first signs it is necessary to consult a qualified doctor.
Causes of intracranial hypertension in children
As a rule, hydrocephalus is the cause of such a pathology as intracranial hypertension in newborns. It arises because of increased production of liquor and its accumulation, which causes disturbances in its circulation and absorption in the channels and ventricles of the brain. Most often it is possible to meet the congenital form of this disease, which developed during fetal development. This pathology doctors discover immediately after the birth of a baby, which allows them to timely treatment and thus prevent its lagging behind in development.
Intra-uterine infection, chromosomal and genetic diseases, traumas that occur during labor( in case of complications or surgical interventions) can provoke the development of intracranial hypertension.
Intracranial hypertension in infants can be vividly manifested in severe crying and crying. Thus at the child it is possible to notice a bulging of a fontanel which is caused by rising of intracranial pressure. It should be noted that minor fluctuations in intracranial pressure for the baby are not dangerous, and therefore are considered normal. The degree of development of pathology and the need for treatment can be determined only by a qualified doctor.
Symptoms of the disease
If the child has a hydrocephalus or has a hydrocephalus, the following symptoms are observed:
- rapid head growth;
- large head size, its disproportionate attitude to the body;
- forehead convex;
- Gref's symptom, in which the baby's eyes seem to "look" down, with a white strip of sclera visible between the upper eyelid and the iris;
- a large fontanel bulges out, there is distance between the seams;
- venous network on the head is clearly visible;
- there is a lag in the development of the kid: it starts to sit rather late, hold the head, crawl;
- monotonous tearfulness, increased irritability;
- drowsiness and persistent lethargy;
- frequent and plentiful regurgitation, lack of gain in weight;
- after the closure of the fontanelles - they remain open even after reaching the age of 1 year.
It should be noted that intracranial hypertension in children does not necessarily signal a pathology such as hydrocephalus. Often it develops with neuroinfections( meningitis and encephalitis), with a brain tumor, after serious craniocerebral trauma, as a result of intracranial hemorrhages, and also due to some genetic diseases. Identify some of these serious diseases to pediatricians is not so easy. Moreover, doctors often find indirect signs of intracranial hypertension in children who do not have any illnesses, which can result in an erroneous diagnosis - it is possible to say that a child needs medical treatment only after performing a whole range of diagnostic procedures( only a doctor's examination and neurosonography datanot enough).
In older children, intracranial hypertension is most often manifested by symptoms such as dizziness, pain in the head of a bursting nature, nausea, aggravated during motile games, and even vomiting. Such signs should alert parents and make them show their child to an experienced doctor.
Sometimes doctors put such a diagnosis as benign intracranial hypertension in children. In this case, the child does not have any hydrocephalus, no encephalopathy, no infections, no intracranial focus. Most often, this pathology occurs in children aged from five to fifteen years. Manifestations of it may be different, but most often the child complains of a headache in the morning, attacks of dizziness, nausea, sometimes vomiting, as well as a variety of visual impairments.
Methods of treatment and therapy
Benign intracranial hydrocephalus in most cases passes independently - the appointment of medications, physiotherapy treatment, massage helps to alleviate the condition of the child.
If according to the results of the examination it turns out that the baby has hydrocephalus, then it must be treated immediately after the birth of the child( after establishing an accurate diagnosis).The fact is that if you do not correct this pathology in time, then the child simply will not be able to develop normally, in the future he has physical and mental development disorders. In general, such a disease in the severe course of this condition and the lack of competent treatment often leads to disability.
Usually conservative treatment of severe hydrocephalus, especially if as a result of treatment organic disorders( spikes, additional vessels, malformations of the meninges) are detected, does not give positive positive results. Therefore, the medicines are prescribed to the baby just before the operation, in order to improve his condition somewhat. Usually these are such drugs as Piracetam, Diacarb, nicotinic acid and the like. They are appointed by the attending physician, he also determines the desired dosage.
The main method of getting rid of a child from hydrocephalus is a surgical procedure, during which a superfluous liquid is removed from the head area using a shunt. Sometimes the shunt has to be set for life, and sometimes it is removed after the operation. As a rule, after the help of surgeons, the child quickly recovers.