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Brain hypoxia (oxygen starvation): treatment, symptoms and classification


Under hypoxia imply oxygen starvation of the organism as a whole or certain bodies. You receive this status as a result of insufficient amount of oxygen in the inspired gas mixture, in the blood or when the damage mechanism of tissue respiration. Changes resulting from hypoxia, generally irreversible, so ignore this condition is unacceptable.

Especially dangerous hypoxia of the brain, heart, kidneys, as these systems are most sensitive to the restriction of oxygen.

What is hypoxia

Volume maintenance of blood flow the brain is in the first place: 20% of the volume of blood goes to the brain delivery of oxygen and nutrients.

Brain tissue is extremely sensitive to oxygen deprivation: after 4 seconds of sharp insufficiency of its functionality is broken after 8-12 seconds the person loses consciousness, after 30 comes a coma. In the absence of blood flow the brain is able to function no more than 4-5 minutes.

In practice, the time interval slightly more as acute hypoxia, associated with complete disappearance of the blood flow is a rare phenomenon. Most people faced with the reduction of oxygen in the blood or disturbances in the mechanism of absorption. The prognosis for life in this case it is better, but the effects of hypoxia ranging from curable to severe irreversible.

The types of pathological conditions

кровоток мозга

Hypoxia is not an independent disease. It is a condition that occurs when the volume of oxygen entering the cells. This lead to a lot of different factors.

The types of etiology

In relation to external factors, as klassificeret in the following way.

  • Hypoxic - or exogenous. The condition develops from a lack of oxygen in the inspired air. The most trivial reason - a poorly ventilated room, the omission of ventilation in a fully enclosed space. Such as climbers face when climbing, as with altitude the amount of oxygen in the air decreases.
  • Respiratory - or breathing. There are irregularities in the respiratory tract: pneumonia, exacerbation of asthma, dysfunction of the respiratory center, trauma and so on. The reasons are obvious and all efforts are aimed at treatment of the primary disease.
  • Cardiovascular or circulatory. The reason are changes in the composition of the blood, contributing to the disruption of the normal flow of blood. This condition occurs when heart failure, narrowing of the working channel of the vessel due to thrombosis, atherosclerotic plaque and so on.Effects of hypoxia there are a lot more serious, up to ischemic stroke of the brain.
  • Hemic - is associated with changes in the blood. In the human body, oxygen molecules are transported as a complex with hemoglobin. Decreasing the amount of hemoglobin or red blood cells oxygen remains unbound and, therefore, cannot be delivered into the cell. The same pattern is observed during the destruction of the mechanism of binding of hemoglobin with oxygen.
  • Fabric - in this case violated the mechanism of oxygen utilization in the cell, e.g., locking of a fragment of the respiratory chain of mitochondria. Such an effect of some poisons and medicines.
  • Reloading is usually a temporary phenomenon associated with excessive load on the muscles, nervous tissue or organ.
  • Manmade - such hypoxia is formed by the constant action of harmful, toxic substances in some industries.
  • Misc - any kind of hypoxia, prolonged enough to cause tissue hypoxia. Here you need treatment as primary forms, and secondary.

Species time of development

Since hypoxia is a condition and not a disease, the rate of formation of it can be very different.

кровоток мозга
  • Lightning - for example, due to hemorrhage in the respiratory center or as the result of injury. When failure to provide urgent assistance, such as ends in death.
  • Acute hypoxia of the brain develops in a few hours. As an example it can serve as a cyanide intoxication, blocking the enzyme of the respiratory chain. And help is needed immediately, otherwise neither life nor human health is not guaranteed. However, the remedial measures are given more time.
  • Chronic brain hypoxia is not as life-threatening, but significantly reduces its quality. To compensate for a permanent shortage of oxygen, the body is a variety of additional mechanisms. However, any of them are directed only to the maintenance of life, but not on the full restoration of function.

The most obvious compensatory mechanisms include increase depth and frequency inputs. In the breath begin to participate reserve the alveoli to maximize the working surface. It is manifested as severe dyspnea, which significantly limits the mobility. This increases heart rate and pressure.

Redistribution of blood flow: to the internal organs is sent more blood, and the periphery begins to experience secondary oxygen starvation. The lack of oxygencreates the need to increase the number of red blood cells, which increases the risk of thrombosis.


All this leads to rapid wear and damage to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. And so the treatment of hypoxia should be initiated at the earliest stages. Later to cope with a painful condition and the effects it compensation much harder.

Classification of localization

The lack of oxygen may occur on any particular part of the brain, and can cover the entire body.

Consider the following types:

  • Diffuse - a General lack of oxygen in the blood. Causes of disorders of low or moderate severity. Can be cured with the most favorable prognosis.
  • Central cerebral ischemia is generated when a disturbance of blood supply of an area of the brain. The reason is the narrowing of the vessel - an aneurysm, a blood clot. This condition usually is part of a larger disease.
  • Global cerebral ischemia - a complete cessation of the blood supply.
  • Ischemic stroke - the cause is also a sharp narrowing or obstruction of a blood vessel. Usually, stroke spans multiple sites.

The symptoms of hypoxia

Like many other disorders in the Central nervous system hypoxia worsens mental performance. The first signs are difficulties with the tasks, the deterioration of short term memory, that is, the symptoms are easy to attribute to fatigue.

At the following stage of acute hypoxia, the victim there is often a state of euphoria. Excessive energy and initiation is accompanied by a distinct disorder of coordination, wobbly gait.

расстройство координации

Despite the sense of self from an objective point of view, cognitive functions are deteriorating. Excitation is accompanied by pallor, but at times may cause redness of the skin. There is plenty of unpleasant sweating, breathing, and heart palpitations.

The excitement gives way to apathy, drowsiness, accompanied by dizziness. Eye drops, there are "flies" before the eyes, then the patient loses consciousness. Faint who goes to different depths.

Even at this stage, intensive assistance allows not only to save the patient's life, but also to fully restore all the functions of the brain. Recovery occurs in reverse order.

The cause of chronic lack of oxygen becomes diseases associated with narrowing of blood vascular, such as: syndrome of the cervical artery inosteochondrosis, hypertensive encephalopathy and so on.

Symptoms of cerebral hypoxia are the following violations:

  • dizziness, constant ringing in the ears;
  • constant headache. Pain is removed vasodilating drugs, but immediately returns;
  • impaired balance, coordination, speech;
  • nausea and vomiting in the morning;
  • deterioration of mental abilities - memory impairment, a decrease in performance;
  • there are various sleep disorders;
  • there is a sharp change of mood prevails tearfulness, irritability, depression and apathy.

Treatment of chronic hypoxia are not separable from the treatment of the underlying disease. Only by eliminating primary factor to achieve success, restoring normal blood flow to the brain.


Acute hypoxia has quite characteristic symptoms, making it easier to diagnose. Signs of chronic match most of the symptoms of disorders in the Central nervous system, and in most cases, the cause of their lack of oxygen is.

The goal of diagnosis in hypoxia - install the primary cause of a pathological condition.

анализ крови
  • The analysis of blood, both General and gas. The first indicates the number of erythrocytes, the latter allows to accurately determine the partial pressure of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.
  • The EEG of the head provides information about the state of brain cells, the presence of poorly functioning areas.
  • Rheovasography allows you to set the condition of the blood vascular supplying the brain.
  • Angiography and selective, provides a more complete picture of blood flow.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging is the most informative method. Indispensable for suspected ischemia of individual brain regions.
  • Capnography and CO-metry indicates the amount of carbon dioxide in the exhaled air. Thus exclude or confirm abnormalities in the lungs.


Because status reason is diverse, and for the treatment of hypoxia of the brain use different methods.

  • Exogenous form requires only the recovery of the normal oxygen content in blood, and the source is the air you breathe. Method of treatment - an oxygen pillow.
  • In case of respiratory hypoxia treatment is aimed at recovery of respiratory function. For this purpose, respiratory analeptics, drugs that enhance the bronchi, antigipoksanty.
  • In hemic form used drugs that help restore the function of hematopoiesis. Common method is a blood transfusion.
  • For the treatment ofcirculatory hypoxia prescribe anticoagulants, vasodilators, nootropics, anti-edematous, angioprotectors and so on.
  • Tissue form involves the use of antidotes, if the root cause was made by poisoning. Valid any measures aimed at improving the supply of oxygen: intake of vitamins, hyperbaric oksiginatsiya and even walks in the fresh air.

Acute hypoxia of the brain is a deadly condition. Chronic significantly reduces the quality of life. All forms of the disease require effective and immediate treatment.