Benign intracranial hypertension: a diagnostic dilemma

Case Rep Otolaryngol. 2012;2012:814696. doi: 10.1155/2012/814696. Epub 2012 Aug 9.


Benign intracranial hypertension (BIH) (also known as pseudotumor cerebri and empty sella syndrome) remains a diagnostic challenge to most physicians. The modified Dandy criteria consist of, the classic findings of headache, pulsatile tinnitus, papilledema, and elevated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure, however, these are rarely collectively present in any one patient. Furthermore, these findings can wax and wane over time. Due to the nature of this disease, both signs and symptoms may be intermittent, making definitive diagnosis difficult. Newer imaging studies, particularly the magnetic resonance venogram (MRV) along with a constellation of correlative findings and associated diseases have given new impetus in the diagnosis, treatment, and pathophysiology of this disease. This has led the authors to offer modifications to the classic Dandy criteria. This report presents three representative cases of BIH highlighting many of the newer advances in both diagnosis and treatment of this perplexing disorder.