Treatment of pseudotumor cerebri by primary and secondary optic nerve sheath decompression

Am J Ophthalmol. 1991 Aug 15;112(2):177-85. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)76698-x.


We performed optic nerve sheath decompression in 53 patients (101 eyes) with pseudotumor cerebri and visual loss. Sixty-nine eyes (85 patients) with acute papilledema uniformly had improved visual function after optic nerve sheath decompression. Of 32 eyes with chronic papilledema (18 patients), only ten had improved visual function after optic nerve sheath decompression. This difference was significant (P = .0001). Thirteen eyes required secondary or tertiary optic nerve sheath decompression after an initial successful result. Eleven of 13 eyes had improved visual function after repeat optic nerve sheath decompression. We believe that patients with acute papilledema and visual loss should be offered optic nerve sheath decompression, and if symptoms recur, repeat optic nerve sheath decompression is a safe and effective treatment option.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Optic Nerve / surgery*
  • Papilledema / etiology
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / complications
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / surgery*
  • Reoperation
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology
  • Vision, Ocular