Use of optical coherence tomography to evaluate papilledema and pseudopapilledema

Semin Ophthalmol. 2010 Sep-Nov;25(5-6):198-205. doi: 10.3109/08820538.2010.518462.


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), or pseudotumor cerebri, describes a condition of elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) that typically presents in obese women of childbearing age with symptoms and signs of posture-dependent headaches, pulsatile tinnitus, visual changes, and papilledema. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has begun to be utilized as an adjunctive, quantitative tool in the evaluation of patients with IIH to help distinguish between true optic nerve head edema and pseudopapilledema, and to contribute to our understanding of the consequences of prolonged optic nerve edema. Although few longitudinal studies of patients with IIH have been published to date, it appears that there may be a correlation between retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and visual function. With the new spectral domain OCT, additional parameters of the optic nerve imaging, including volume and height measurements, might provide greater sensitivity of the response to treatment and the long-term visual outcome in patients with IIH.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Papilledema / diagnosis*
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / diagnosis
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*