10 doctors weighed in:

Why does hyperventilation reduce intracranial pressure?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Matthew Keener
Pediatrics - Psychiatry
4 doctors agree

In brief: Reducing CO2

Carbon dioxide (co2) opens up the cerebral blood vessels and increases the volume of blood in the head, increasing intracranial pressure (icp).
Hyperventilation is used acutely to reduce the co2 and therefore the icp.

In brief: Reducing CO2

Carbon dioxide (co2) opens up the cerebral blood vessels and increases the volume of blood in the head, increasing intracranial pressure (icp).
Hyperventilation is used acutely to reduce the co2 and therefore the icp.
Dr. Matthew Keener
Dr. Matthew Keener
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Dr. Mitchell Zeitler
Anesthesiology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Chemosensors

In the blood vessels.
Think of your intracranial blood vessels as tubes that react to the concentration of various chemical products. One of them is carbon dioxide. When you breathe fast your co2 level decreases and the vessels constrict. When you hold your breath the co2 level increases and the vessels dilate.

In brief: Chemosensors

In the blood vessels.
Think of your intracranial blood vessels as tubes that react to the concentration of various chemical products. One of them is carbon dioxide. When you breathe fast your co2 level decreases and the vessels constrict. When you hold your breath the co2 level increases and the vessels dilate.
Dr. Mitchell Zeitler
Dr. Mitchell Zeitler
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Dr. Michio Abe
Internal Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Vasoconstriction

Hyperventilation causes low carbon dioxide which leads to increased blood pH level (alkalosis) which causes blood vessels to constrict.
Alkalosis also causes decreased freely ionized blood calcium, which results in cell membrane instability and subsequent blood vessel constriction. Hyperventilation reduces intracranial pressure as a result of this vasoconstriction within the brain.

In brief: Vasoconstriction

Hyperventilation causes low carbon dioxide which leads to increased blood pH level (alkalosis) which causes blood vessels to constrict.
Alkalosis also causes decreased freely ionized blood calcium, which results in cell membrane instability and subsequent blood vessel constriction. Hyperventilation reduces intracranial pressure as a result of this vasoconstriction within the brain.
Dr. Michio Abe
Dr. Michio Abe
Thank
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