Cerebral Edema

Cerebral Edema - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which doctor treats cerebral edema?

A: It can be treated by an internist, or a neurologist/neurosurgeon when brain surgery is needed to relieve brain swelling.


Q: Why do you get cerebral edema in hyponatremia?

A: In hyponatremia, the concentration of sodium in the extracellular space (blood) is low in comparison to the intracellular compartment. This results in an osmotically driven influx of fluid into the brain cells (having more sodium) with an accumulation of water within the brain cells and swelling.

Q: What is the prognosis of cerebral edema?

A: The prognosis in cerebral edema depends on the cause, presence of underlying comorbidities (eg., malignant hypertension, cancer), the age of the patient, and timely diagnosis and treatment. When patients are comatose, or treatment is delayed, the prognosis is unfavorable. In patients with reversible conditions like diabetic ketoacidosis or encephalitis, the prognosis is better.