Cushing's triad

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Cushing's triad is the triad of hypertension, bradycardia and irregular respirations.[1] It is sign of increased intracranial pressure. Other sources state that the triad is hypertention, bradycardia and widening pulse pressure (an increase in the difference between systolic and diastolic pressure over time).


Identification of the triad is important in emergency medicine because it suggests a cerebral hemorrhage in the setting of trauma or an enlarging space occupying lesion (e.g. brain tumor) and a possible impending herniation of the brain, which can be rapidly fatal.


It is named after Harvey Williams Cushing (1869-1939), an American neurosurgeon.

See also


  1. Ayling, J (2002). "Managing head injuries". Emergency Medical Services. 31 (8): 42. PMID 12224233.

External links