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Increased intracranial pressure in infants and babies

Mandatory medical examination of all newborn infants included a visit to the neurologist. Theoretically, the doctor should give an opinion on the state of the nervous system of the baby, according to the speed of development normal. But in practice, many mothers with this visit to get acquainted with unclear diagnosis: increased intracranial pressure.

What is intracranial pressure?

In the national pediatric diagnosis of "increased intracranial pressure" in babies and infants is extremely common. According to statistics, it is put every third child if you have any complaints, and often without them.

Called the intracranial pressure of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain tissue. The brain is surrounded by several shells: the bones of the skull, solid, arachnoid and soft. Between the arachnoid and soft shells circulates the cerebrospinal fluid – CSF. It partly protects the brain from mechanical injuries, brings to it oxygen and nutrients, removes metabolic products. The total number of CSF is in the range of 100-150 milliliters.

The level of intracranial pressure depends on such parameters:

  1. The volume of CSF. It can affect the volume and rate of cerebrospinal fluid production, circulation rate, and the amount and rate of absorption.
  2. The volume of the cranium.
  3. The volume of the brain substance.
  4. The presence in brain mass lesions: hematomas, tumors, and so on.

Increased intracranial pressure is called serious diseases such as meningitis, encephalitis, traumatic brain injury, and so on. For newborn infants characteristic of another disease that causes its increase, —

What is hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is a serious and dangerous disease that develops in children under one year of age due to injuries and congenital anomalies. If it significantly increases the amount of CSF circulating in the subarachnoid space. There are several types:

  1. Occluzionna. The amount of cerebrospinal fluid increases because of the difficulty of its transport from secretion to absorption.
  2. Rezorbtivnoe. The amount of cerebrospinal fluid increases because of the difficulty of its absorption.

Due to the increasing number of cerebrospinal fluid increased intracranial pressure, i.e., the fluid compresses the brain tissue that leads to severe neurological abnormalities.

The reasons for the development of hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is a relatively common pathologies. On average, this disease is diagnosed in one child from 3-5 thousand. The reasons for its appearance are many, but primarily they relate to the period of fetal development.

The most common cause is transferred by a woman during pregnancyviral diseases, for example, cytomegalovirus infection. It leads to disruption of formation of the system of ventricles of the brain of the child.

In addition to congenital causes of hydrocephalus can be acquired. Primarily these include inflammatory diseases of the brain: meningitis and encephalitis, some forms of intoxication, severe traumatic brain injury.

In addition, increased intracranial pressure in babies and infants may be due to large brain tumors, intracerebral hematomas, but such cases are rare.

Symptoms of increased intracranial pressure in children and infants

Hydrocephalus causing increased intracranial pressure, has a number of distinct symptoms:

  1. Bulging of the fontanelles. In children with still unhealed fontanel hydrocephalus in most cases leads to the flow is large, and in some cases and small fontanel.
  2. The discrepancy between the joints. In children under one year of age, the sutures between the skull bones are still not fully healed, they can be extended and even partially to disperse. In places where skull bones have not yet completely healed, which could cause the pulsing protrusion.
  3. The increase in diameter of the head. One of the most obvious sign of hydrocephalus is outpacing the rate of age growth head circumference. During the first year of life every month increases a diameter of approximately 3 cm, but in this disease the growth rate significantly ahead of normal.
  4. Disorders of vision. Often increased intracranial pressure in infants and babies leads to the development of strabismus, as well as a special syndrome called "symptom of the setting sun," in which the eyeball is involuntarily twitching, shifting down. While top visible strip of the protein.
  5. Headaches, anxiety. Increased intracranial pressure often causes severe and

    Diagnosis of increased intracranial pressure in children

    If the observer pediatrician or local neurologist was suspicious that the child has elevated intracranial pressure, he appoints the comprehensive examination:

    1. General neurological examination. The doctor checks the simplest reflexes of the child, observe his behavior, interviewing parents. Especially important in this case to correctly measure the diameter of the head. This soft tape is performed through the superciliary arches and the most projecting point of the head. The result is compared with the age norm. It is important to understand that unlike a few inches in the absence of other symptoms is not a sign of hydrocephalus.
    2. Ultrasound of the brain. This study can be carried out only to children under one year of age who have not healed fontanelles. It givesindirect information about the level of intracranial pressure. In case of marked increase in the number of lymph can be squeezed and deformed parts of the brain. This study also allows to detect tumors and cysts, but a clear idea of the level of intracranial pressure does not.
    3. MRI. Like ultrasound, brain MRI provides only indirect information about the level of intracranial pressure. But it can be used to obtain detailed information about the structure of the brain and the mutual location of its departments.

    All these methods give only an indirect picture, but in marked increased intracranial pressure enough. If you want to set it to the exact value resort to spinal puncture. In the spinal canal by inserting a needle connected to the manometer. It is associated with certain risks, so this method of diagnosis is resorted to only in exceptional cases.

    In world practice there is still no consensus on what level of intracranial pressure is considered normal. It is therefore important to determine not only its value, but the presence of deviations from the norm.

    Treatment of increased intracranial pressure in infants and babies

    As a rule, children under one year of age increased intracranial pressure causing hydrocephalus only. Therapy of this disease is mainly surgical: a neurosurgeon installs a shunt, which allows to periodically withdraw part of the fluid accumulated in the subarachnoid space.

    Such therapy is associated with several potential risks and complications, the most dangerous of which is the probability of infection in the brain tissue and the beginning of inflammatory diseases. At the same time, without treatment, hydrocephalus can lead to much more serious consequences.

    As a maintenance therapy using a whole range of drugs: diuretics, nootropics, improves the condition of blood vessels, stimulating blood circulation and lymphodrenage, sedatives, pain relievers, and so on. But by themselves they are not able to solve the problem.

    Increased intracranial pressure as a commercial diagnosis

    All said above relates to the dangerous and severe childhood illnesses, such as hydrocephalus, large tumors, traumatic brain injury. At the same time, Increased intracranial pressure in infants and babies are regularly detected in almost 30% of children in the CIS countries. In the countries of Western Europe and America like the diagnosis did not hear and do not understand how this is possible.

    Many young mothers are faced with the fact that the district neurologists at the first examination of a child with this disease. On this subject there are many studies and articles describepossible symptoms and signs of increased intracranial pressure in infants and babies: trembling lower lip, frequent crying, hyperactivity, vomiting and so on. But in fact, they can testify to anything and not be a symptom at all but to intracranial hypertension they have no relationship.

    In foreign Pediatrics there is no diagnosis of "increased intracranial pressure". So-called symptom associated with several serious diseases.

    This is also the case with the treatment of this non-existent ailment. Homeopathic remedies, dietary Supplements, sedatives, glycine and many other prescribed means are meaningless when dealing with this high pressure and, at best, meaningless at imaginary.

    So when the neurologist puts newborn baby the diagnosis of "intracranial hypertension" in the absence of real signs of this disease, no need to be nervous. Most likely, the child had become another carrier of commercial diagnosis."

    If there are genuine signs of increased intracranial pressure in a child, treatment should be started immediately and under the supervision of experienced and qualified doctors.