Visual and neurological outcomes following endovascular stenting for pseudotumor cerebri associated with transverse sinus stenosis

J Neuroophthalmol. 2013 Jun;33(2):117-22. doi: 10.1097/WNO.0b013e31827f18eb.


Background: Pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) is characterized by raised intracranial pressure (ICP) without an identifiable mass, evidence of hydrocephalus, or abnormal cerebrospinal fluid content. In the past, most cases of PTC appeared to have no identifiable etiology, and thus, they were classified as "idiopathic intracranial hypertension" (IIH). Recently, however, a subset of patients with presumed IIH has been found to have evidence of cerebral dural sinus stenoses, particularly involving one or both transverse sinuses (TS). The belief that the stenoses are the cause, rather than an effect of the increased ICP, has led investigators to recommend stenting of the stenosed sinus for the treatment of the condition. We describe detailed visual and neurological outcomes after stenting for PTC associated with hemodynamically significant dural sinus stenosis.

Methods: All patients with PTC had initial neurological, neuro-ophthalmological, and imaging assessments. Regardless of the findings, all were treated with medical therapy. If medical therapy failed and TS stenosis was detected on contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance or computed tomographic venography, catheter cerebral angiography with venous manometry was performed. If a mean pressure gradient (MPG) of 4 mm Hg or greater was present, unilateral transverse sinus stenting was performed.

Results: Twelve patients with PTC and TS stenosis associated with an MPG of >4 mm Hg who failed medical therapy were identified. TS stenting significantly decreased the pressure gradient in all cases. Unilateral stenting was sufficient to reduce pressure gradients even when the stenosis was bilateral. At a mean follow-up of 16 months (range, 9-36 months), tinnitus had improved in all patients, and 10 of 12 patients had improvement in visual function. Seven patients had significant improvement in headaches.

Conclusion: In this small series of patients with PTC associated with TS stenosis, endovascular stent placement was generally effective in treating visual dysfunction and tinnitus, although not headaches. The optimum gradient and vascular characteristics amenable for selection of patients for stenting needs further research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Constriction, Pathologic / complications
  • Endovascular Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology*
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / complications
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents / adverse effects*
  • Transverse Sinuses / pathology*
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Young Adult