Parietal occipital edema in hypertensive encephalopathy: a pathogenic mechanism

Eur Neurol. 1996;36(1):25-8. doi: 10.1159/000117195.


Eight patients with hypertensive encephalopathy from diverse etiologies developed cerebral edema in the vertebrobasilar distribution which resolved after blood pressure was lowered. Parietal occipital edema is a recognized feature of hypertensive encephalopathy. The explanation for this regional pathological variation in hypertensive encephalopathy remains undefined. Some evidence suggests that sympathetic innervation of the anterior cerebral vasculature may be protective, and conversely, the relative lack of sympathetic innervation in the vertebrobasilar vasculature may predispose the parietal occipital region to the development of cerebral edema in hypertensive encephalopathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Edema / complications*
  • Brain Edema / diagnosis
  • Brain Edema / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Occipital Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiopathology*