Neurological Disorders Q 22 - Gyan Darpan : Learning Portal
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Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Neurological Disorders Q 22

Which of the following signs and symptoms of increased ICP after head trauma would appear first?
     A. Bradycardia
     B. Large amounts of very dilute urine
     C. Restlessness and confusion
     D. Widened pulse pressure

Correct Answer: C. Restlessness and confusion

The earliest symptom of elevated ICP is a change in mental status. Following the neurological exam closely is very important. Usually, there is an altered mental status and development of a fixed and dilated pupil. Patients presenting with findings suggestive of cerebral insult should undergo computed tomography (CT) scan of the brain; this can show the edema, which is visible as areas of low density and loss of gray/white matter differentiation, on an unenhanced image.

Option A: High blood pressure causes reflex bradycardia and brain stem compromise affecting respiration. Ultimately the contents of the cranium are displaced downwards due to the high ICP, causing a phenomenon known as herniation which can be potentially fatal.
Option D: Cushing triad is a clinical syndrome consisting of hypertension, bradycardia, and irregular respiration and is a sign of impending brain herniation. This occurs when the ICP is too high the elevation of blood pressure is a reflex mechanism to maintain CPP.
Option B: The client may void large amounts of very dilute urine if there’s damage to the posterior pituitary. Clinical suspicion for intracranial hypertension should be raised if a patient presents with the following signs and symptoms: headaches, vomiting, and altered mental status varying from drowsiness to coma. Visual changes can range from blurred vision, double vision from cranial nerve defects, photophobia to optic disc edema, and eventually optic atrophy.

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