Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 72, Issue 3, pp 236–239

Pathophysiological aspects of brain edema

  • Igor Klatzo
Original Works

DOI: 10.1007/BF00691095

Cite this article as:
Klatzo, I. Acta Neuropathol (1987) 72: 236. doi:10.1007/BF00691095


Two mayor types of brain edema, related to two different pathomechanisms, can be recognized: 1)cytotoxic type-where the main feature is the swelling of cellular elements of brain parenchyma and 2)vasogenic type-where an increased vascular permeability leading to accumulation of edema fluid inthe extracellular spaces plays the principal role. In this type of edema, there is a close interrelationship between extravasation of serum proteins and retention of water in the brain tissue. In theischemic brain edema both cytotoxic and vasogenic mechanisms are involved. A biphasic opening of the blood-brain barrier, associated with vasogenic edema, is observed following release of major cerebral artery occlusion. The first opening of the barrier is related to a reactive hyperemia which follows promptly recirculation. The second opening, recognizable after a delay, is associated with a severe ischemic brain tissue injury.

Key words

Brain edema Classification and Mechanisms Ischemic brain edema 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor Klatzo
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Neuropathology and Neuroanatomical Sciences, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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