Brain herniation

Alternative Names

Herniation syndrome; Transtentorial herniation; Uncal herniation; Subfalcine herniation; Tonsillar herniation; Herniation – brain

Definition of Brain herniation

A brain herniation is when brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid, and blood vessels are moved or pressed away from their usual position inside the skull.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Brain herniation occurs when something inside the skull produces pressure that moves brain tissues. This is most often the result of brain swelling from a head injury, , or brain tumor.

Signs and tests

Patients with a brain herniation have:

Treatment

Brain herniation is a medical emergency. The goal of treatment is to save the patient’s life.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook varies and depends on where in the brain the herniation occurrs. Without treatment, death is likely.

Review

Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/13/2010

Brain
Brain hernia

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

Article written by

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability.