The oedema which forms around an intracerebral haemorrhage has a complex aetiology. The immune response may have a role in its formation. There is clinical and experimental evidence that circulating leucocytes and platelets may mediate oedema formation. Global depletion of circulating leucocytes and platelets by whole body irradiation in a rodent model of intracerebral haemorrhage was found to confer protection against both ischaemia and oedema formation. This was not a direct effect of irradiation of the brain. The possible mechanisms for this protection are discussed.
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