Meta-Analysis of CSF Diversion Procedures and Dural Venous Sinus Stenting in the Setting of Medically Refractory Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015 Oct;36(10):1899-904. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A4377. Epub 2015 Aug 6.


Background and purpose: In medically refractory idiopathic intracranial hypertension, optic nerve sheath fenestration or CSF shunting is considered the next line of management. Venous sinus stenosis has been increasingly recognized as a treatable cause of elevated intracranial pressure in a subset of patients. In this article, we present the results of the largest meta-analysis of optic nerve sheath fenestration, CSF shunting, and dural venous sinus stenting. This is the only article that compares these procedures, to our knowledge.

Materials and methods: We performed a PubMed search of all peer-reviewed articles from 1988 to 2014 for patients who underwent a procedure for medically refractory idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

Results: Optic nerve sheath fenestration analysis included 712 patients. Postprocedure, there was improvement of vision in 59%, headache in 44%, and papilledema in 80%; 14.8% of patients required a repeat procedure with major and minor complication rates of 1.5% and 16.4%, respectively. The CSF diversion procedure analysis included 435 patients. Postprocedure, there was improvement of vision in 54%, headache in 80%, and papilledema in 70%; 43% of patients required at least 1 additional surgery. The major and minor complication rates were 7.6% and 32.9%, respectively. The dural venous sinus stenting analysis included 136 patients. After intervention, there was improvement of vision in 78%, headache in 83%, and papilledema in 97% of patients. The major and minor complication rates were 2.9% and 4.4%, respectively. Fourteen additional procedures were performed with a repeat procedure rate of 10.3%. Three patients had contralateral stent placement, while 8 had ipsilateral stent placement within or adjacent to the original stent. Only 3 patients required conversion to CSF diversion or 2.2% of patients with stents.

Conclusions: Patients with medically refractory idiopathic intracranial hypertension have traditionally undergone a CSF diversion procedure as the first intervention. This paradigm may need to be re-examined, given the high technical and clinical success and low complication rates with dural venous sinus stenting.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts / methods*
  • Constriction, Pathologic / surgery
  • Cranial Sinuses / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Optic Nerve / surgery
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / diagnosis
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / surgery*
  • Stents*
  • Treatment Outcome