What are the options for intracranial pressure control in hemorrhagic stroke?

Updated: Apr 22, 2019
  • Author: David S Liebeskind, MD, FAAN, FAHA, FANA; Chief Editor: Andrew K Chang, MD, MS  more...
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Elevate the head of the bed to 30°. This improves jugular venous outflow and lowers intracranial pressure. The head should be midline and not turned to the side. Provide analgesia and sedation as needed. Antacids are used to prevent gastric ulcers associated with intracerebral hemorrhage.

More aggressive therapies, such as osmotic therapy (ie, mannitol, hypertonic saline), barbiturate anesthesia, and neuromuscular blockage, generally require concomitant monitoring of intracranial pressure and BP with an intracranial pressure monitor to maintain adequate cerebral perfusion pressure of greater than 70 mm Hg. A randomized, controlled study of mannitol in intracerebral hemorrhage failed to demonstrate any difference in disability or death at 3 months. [35]

Hyperventilation (partial pressure of carbon dioxide [PaCO2] of 25 to 30-35 mm Hg) is not recommended, because its effect is transient, it decreases cerebral blood flow, and it may result in rebound elevated intracranial pressure. [3] Glucocorticoids are not effective and result in higher rates of complications with poorer outcomes.

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