, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 179-187

Cerebral edema: Hypertonic saline solutions

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Opinion statement

Our experience, and that of others, suggests that hypertonic saline solution therapy reduces intracranial pressure and lateral displacement of the brain in patients with cerebral edema. This therapy appears most promising in patients who have head trauma or postoperative cerebral edema. Studies comparing hypertonic saline therapy with conventional therapies are limited. Additional randomized studies are needed to determine its safety and optimum duration of benefit and to determine the lesions most likely to be improved. To date, the cost effectiveness of hypertonic saline therapy is unknown. Caution is advised regarding its use until the results of more definitive trials investigating its efficacy and safety are known.