Papilledema and Peripheral Neuropathies

Neurologist. 2019 Nov;24(6):185-193. doi: 10.1097/NRL.0000000000000250.


Introduction: Papilledema is a common sign in ophthalmology and is typically associated with increased intracranial pressure (ICP) in neurological diseases. Since the beginning of the 20th century, some cases of papilledema have been reported in association with acute or chronic inflammatory neuropathies.

Case report: We describe a 42-year-old man with acute-onset inflammatory polyradiculoneuropathy and bilateral papilledema.

Conclusions: Based on a personal case report and from an extensive review of the medical literature, we identify 2 distinct patterns. First, radiculoneuropathy may be a consequence of intracranial pressure (peripheral nerve involvement corresponding to a "false localizing sign"). Second, papilledema may occur after the onset of inflammatory neuropathy. For such cases, the pathophysiological mechanism remains unknown (eg, reactional inflammatory processes or actions of unknown autoantibodies) and requires further elucidation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / complications*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papilledema / complications*
  • Papilledema / diagnosis
  • Papilledema / physiopathology
  • Young Adult