An update on idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Rev Neurol Dis. Spring-Summer 2010;7(2-3):e56-68.

Abstract

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a condition of unknown etiology often encountered in neurologic practice. It produces nonlocalizing symptoms and signs of raised intracranial pressure and, when left untreated, can result in severe irreversible visual loss. It most commonly occurs in obese women of childbearing age, but it can also occur in children, men, nonobese adults, and older adults. Although it is frequently associated with obesity, it can be associated with other conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea and transverse cerebral venous sinus stenoses. Recent identification of subgroups at high risk for irreversible visual loss, including black patients, men, and patients with fulminant forms of IIH, help guide the optimal management and follow-up. Ongoing studies of venous anatomy and physiology in IIH patients, as well as a recently begun randomized clinical treatment trial, should provide further insight into this common yet poorly understood syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / epidemiology
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / physiopathology*
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / therapy
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial / epidemiology
  • Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / physiopathology*