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Due to a breakdown of tight endothelial junctions which make up the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This allows normally excluded intravascular proteins and fluid to penetrate into cerebral parenchymal extracellular space. Once plasma constituents cross the BBB, the edema spreads; this may be quite fast and widespread. As water enters white matter it moves extracellularly along fiber tracts and can also affect the gray matter. This type of edema is seen in response to traum
Some of the mechanisms contributing to BBB dysfunction are: physical disruption by arterial hypertension or trauma, tumor-facilitated release of vasoactive and endothelial destructive compounds (e.g. arachidonic acid, excitatory neurotransmitters, eicosanoids, bradykinin, histamine, and free radicals). Some of the special subcategories of vasogenic edema include:

Hydrostatic cerebral edema

This form of cerebral edema is seen in acute, malignant hypertension. It is thought to result from direct transmission of pressure to cerebral capillary with transudation of fluid into the extravascular compartment from the capillaries.

Cerebral edema from brain cancer

Cancerous glial cells (glioma) of the brain can increase secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) which weakens the junctions of the blood-brain barrier. Dexamethasone can be of benefit in reducing VEGF secretion

High altitude cerebral edema

High altitude cerebral edema (or HACE) is a severe form of (sometimes fatal) altitude sickness. HACE is the result of swelling of brain tissue from leakage of fluids from the capillaries due to the effects of hypoxia on the mitochondria-rich endothelial cells of the blood-brain barrier.
Symptoms can include headache, loss of coordination (ataxia), weakness, and decreasing levels of consciousness including disorientation, loss of memory, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, and coma. It generally occurs after a week or more at high altitude. Severe instances can lead to death if not treated quickly. Immediate descent is a necessary life-saving measure (2,000 – 4,000 feet). There are some medications (e.g. dexamethasone) that may be prescribed for treatment in the field, but these require proper medical training in their use. Anyone suffering from HACE must be evacuated to a medical facility for proper follow-up treatment. A Gamow bag can sometimes be used to stabilize the sufferer before transport or descending.