Osmotic agents play a vital role in the reduction of elevated intracranial pressure and treatment of cerebral edema in Neurologic critical care. Both mannitol and hypertonic saline reduce cerebral edema in many clinical syndromes, yet there is controversy over agent selection, timing, and dosing regimens. Despite the lack of randomized, controlled trials, our knowledge base on the appropriate clinical use of osmotic agents continues to expand. This review will summarize the evidence for the use of mannitol and hypertonic saline in a variety of disease states causing cerebral edema, as well as outlining monitoring and safety considerations.
- Cerebral edema
- Hypertonic saline
- Osmotic therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine