Pediatric pseudotumor cerebri

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2016 Sep;27(5):416-9. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000000300.


Purpose of review: Recent findings in the literature regarding the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of pediatric pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) are described. In the past, children with PTC have been treated like adult cases; however, the literature highlights important differences between children and adults with PTC.

Recent findings: Revised diagnostic criteria define an opening cerebrospinal fluid pressure greater than 28 cm water as elevated in the pediatric population. Obesity is an important risk factor for primary and secondary PTC in post-pubertal children. Magnetic resonance imaging shows findings suggestive of elevated intracranial pressure in children with PTC, similar to those of adults with PTC. Diamox and weight loss are effective treatments for PTC patients with mild visual field loss. Severe papilledema, decreased vision, and optical coherence tomography measures at presentation identify patients at increased risk for subsequent visual loss.

Summary: Findings summarized in the recent literature may change practice patterns in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric PTC. Although there are many similarities between the adult and pediatric populations, the differences should be considered when managing children with PTC.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetazolamide / therapeutic use
  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Papilledema / diagnosis
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri* / diagnosis
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri* / drug therapy
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri* / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors


  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors
  • Acetazolamide