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Review
. 2008 Mar;15(3):223-8.
doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2007.05.025. Epub 2008 Jan 7.

The Cushing Response: A Case for a Review of Its Role as a Physiological Reflex

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Review

The Cushing Response: A Case for a Review of Its Role as a Physiological Reflex

Wei Hwang Wan et al. J Clin Neurosci. .

Abstract

Despite a century of work on the subject, controversy still exists as to the physiological relevance of the Cushing response (CR), a state of raised systemic blood pressure and bradycardia associated with raised intracranial pressure. The alternative that has been proposed to the classical belief of pre-terminal brainstem damage is of a baroreflex that attempts to maintain cerebral perfusion in response to situations of extreme elevations in intracranial pressure or brainstem ischemia. We report a patient with spontaneous subarachnoid haemorrhage who demonstrated CR, which was later seen to self-abort with an eventual good outcome. We review the existing literature and propose that our clinical case may provide further support for a physiological role of CR.

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