Traumatic Brain Swelling in Head Injured Patients: Brain Edema or Vascular Engorgement?

A. Marmarou, P. Barzo, P. Fatouros, T. Yamamoto, R. Bullock, H. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Brain edema and vascular engorgement have been used interchangeably to describe brain swelling associated with severe brain trauma and their relative contribution of these compartments to the swelling process remains controversial. In this report, imaging techniques for measurement of brain water and blood volume have been used to study the relative contribution of blood volume and tissue water to the swelling process in severely brain injured patients. More specifically, magnetic resonance techniques for non-invasive tissue water measures founded on mathematical models and later substantiated in laboratory and clinical studies were used for measure of brain tissue water. These studies were combined with measures of cerebral blood volume utilizing indicator dilution methods. Studies indicated that brain water was increased while blood volume decreased. These studies provide compelling evidence that the major contributor to brain swelling is brain edema and not blood volume. Therapies should now be targeted toward preventing edema development and enhancing edema resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-70
Number of pages3
JournalActa Neurochirurgica, Supplement
Issue number70
StatePublished - 1997


  • Brain edema
  • Brain swelling
  • Traumatic brain edema
  • Vascular engorgement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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