What is the pathophysiology of increased intracranial pressure (ICP) in meningitis?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

One complication of meningitis is the development of increased intracranial pressure (ICP). The pathophysiology of this complication is complex and may involve many proinflammatory molecules as well as mechanical elements. Interstitial edema (secondary to obstruction of CSF flow, as in hydrocephalus), cytotoxic edema (swelling of cellular elements of the brain through the release of toxic factors from the bacteria and neutrophils), and vasogenic edema (increased blood brain barrier permeability) are all thought to play a role.


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