Having determined that edema and not vascular engorgement is the major factor leading to traumatic brain swelling, the objective of this study was to determine which type of edema, cellular or vasogenic, is responsible for increased tissue water in patients with focal lesions. Severely head injured patients (GCS 8 or less) were transported to imaging suites for measurement of brain water and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) using magnetic resonance technique. Cerebral blood flow by stable Xenon method was also measured in the regions of interest. Brain water was increased significantly in the hemisphere with lesion. The increase in water was associated with reduced ADC signifying a predominant cellular edema. The ADC in the contralateral hemisphere was near normal value. Cerebral blood flow values in the regions of interest were above ischemic levels suggesting that factors other than ischemia are responsible for the cytotoxic swelling in patients with focal injury.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology