An update on the management of pseudotumor cerebri

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2013 Mar;115(3):252-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2012.11.018. Epub 2012 Dec 21.


Pseudotumor cerebri, or benign intracranial hypertension, is characterized by intracranial hypertension of unknown etiology typically in obese women <45 years of age, and can be disabling secondary to headaches and visual disturbances. Medical management includes pharmaceuticals that reduce cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) production and lumbar punctures that reduce the CSF volume, both aimed at reducing intracranial pressure. When medical management fails, surgical CSF diverting procedures are indicated. Recently it has been demonstrated that dural sinus stenosis or thrombosis can be responsible for this disease and treated with endovascular venous stent placement. The intent of this educational manuscript is to review the clinical presentation of pseudotumor cerebri patients and discuss the medical, surgical, and endovascular treatment options for this disease. After reading this paper, the reader should be able to: (1) understand the pathophysiological basis of pseudotumor cerebri, (2) describe its presenting signs and symptoms, and (3) discuss the medical, surgical, and endovascular treatment options.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decompression, Surgical
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / diagnosis
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / epidemiology
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / physiopathology
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / surgery
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / therapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stents