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The Origin of Intracranial Pressure Causing Brainstem Hemorrhages


The origin of secondary brainstem hemorrhages following an acute expansive hemispheric lesion has been attributed to Henri Duret, who proposed that hemorrhaging was caused by a shock wave through the cerebral spinal fluid. However, other experiments have shown important findings correlating brainstem hemorrhages to arterial hemorrhages. Animal studies found that the rapidity of expansion of a lesion would be crucial in producing these lesions, but there was no consistent correlation with paratentorial grooving so commonly seen with increased intracranial pressure. This historical perspective studies the different experimentalists who paved the way for the discovery of these secondary brainstem hemorrhages—often named after Duret—and now known not to be invariably associated with poor outcome.

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Correspondence to Eelco F. M. Wijdicks.

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Wijdicks, E.F.M. The Origin of Intracranial Pressure Causing Brainstem Hemorrhages. Neurocrit Care 32, 323–326 (2020).

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  • Duret
  • Klintworth
  • Secondary brainstem hemorrhages
  • Animal studies
  • Supratentorial lesion