Central nervous system

Prashant Rai, Akhil Shivaprasad, Ivo W. Tremont-Lukats, Sudhakar Tummala

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, we describe central nervous system (CNS) complications of cancer commonly presenting to the emergency department, including altered mental status, high intracranial pressure/brain herniation, status epilepticus (convulsive and nonconvulsive), acute ischemic stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. We also briefly discuss the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the CNS. Many patients present with more than one problem and more than one cause. This multiplicity can make diagnosis and management difficult. The goal is to preserve life and function, achieved by early, correct diagnosis. Still, patients come late in the disease course, or these neurological emergencies unfold quickly and catastrophically. Acute mental status change is the top neurological symptom in cancer patients; it is the final common path to intracranial hypertension, epileptic seizures, infection, electrolyte abnormalities, intracranial hemorrhage, ischemic stroke, and adverse effects from drugs. The emergency physician should also be comfortable in starting discussions on goals of care and advance care planning before admission to other hospital areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOncologic Emergency Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationPrinciples and Practice: Second Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030671235
ISBN (Print)9783030671228
StatePublished - Apr 22 2021


  • Brain
  • Cancer
  • Central nervous system
  • Convulsive status
  • Delirium
  • Emergency department
  • Encephalopathy
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Intracranial pressure
  • Nonconvulsive status
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Central nervous system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this