Intracranial hypertension literally means that the pressure of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the skull is too high. “Intracranial” means “within the skull.” “Hypertension” means “high fluid pressure.” To understand how this happens, it’s helpful to look at the basic anatomy of the brain and skull, as well as the process in which cerebrospinal fluid is created and absorbed.
Cerebrospinal fluid is one of three major components inside the skull; the other two are the blood supply that the brain requires to function and the brain itself. Under normal circumstances, these components work together in a delicate balance. A pressure and volume relationship exists between CSF, the brain and the vasculature. But since the skull is made of bone and cannot expand, an increase in the volume of any one component is at the expense of the other two components. For example, if the brain swells and becomes enlarged, it simultaneously compresses blood vessels, causing the sub-arachnoid space to fill with more spinal fluid. This results in an increase in intracranial pressure, as well as a decrease in blood flow
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