In 1919, Weed and McKibben1 called attention to the fact that it was possible to decrease the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid experimentally by the intravenous injection of hypertonic solutions. Since the publication of their paper a number of workers have confirmed their findings and contributed some further observations.
Haden2 was the first to publish his clinical application of this principle. He administered a concentrated glucose solution to two patients with meningitis and obtained some improvement in their condition, which he attributed to a lowering of the intracranial tension. Cushing and Foley3 followed this with a demonstration of the possibility of decreasing the brain volume by the intravenous injection of hypertonic solutions. These authors further found that a similar diminution in brain bulk and decrease in intracranial pressure could be obtained by the introduction of hypertonic solutions into the stomach or intestine. Hypotonic solutions, which had been
HUBERT S. HOWE. REDUCTION OF NORMAL CEREBROSPINAL FLUID PRESSURE BY INTRAVENOUS ADMINISTRATION OF HYPERTONIC SOLUTIONSEXPERIMENTAL STUDIES ON CATS. Arch NeurPsych. 1925;14(3):315–326. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1925.02200150028003