Cytotoxic edema is of decisive pathophysiological importance following traumatic brain injury TBI as it develops early and persists while blood brain barrier (BBB) integrity is gradually restored. These findings suggest that cytotoxic and vasogenic brain edema are two entities which can be targeted simultaneously or according to their temporal prevalence 2).
Currently, there are no pharmacological treatments available for traumatically induced brain edema and the subsequent rise of intracranial pressure ICP.
Non-invasive diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) quantifies the diffusion of water in the brain associated with edema and contributes essentially to the understanding of stroke and stroke-related cerebral edema formation. The use of DWI offers the opportunity to identify the predominant edema type after TBI and, in this way, to distinguish between vasogenic and cytotoxic edema.