Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension: Etiological factors, Clinical Features, and Prognosis

Noro Psikiyatr Ars. 2018 Jul 5;57(1):23-26. doi: 10.5152/npa.2017.12558. eCollection 2020 Mar.


Introduction: Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) occurs due to increased intracranial pressure (ICP), is most commonly encountered in obese women, and may lead to loss of vision. This study aimed to determine the demographic features, clinical signs and symptoms, and radiological findings of patients with IIH, and to investigate the factors associated with the prognosis.

Methods: Patients with IIH who were examined and followed-up between January 1992-January 2012 in the Neuro-ophthalmology Unit were retrospectively evaluated. Patients were diagnosed based on the modified Dandy criteria.

Results: The mean age of 59 patients included in the study (female, 88.1%) was 30.25±13.12 years. Reported complaints were headache (78.0%), transient visual obscuration (45.8%), nausea (32.2%), dizziness (16.9%), and diplopia (13.6%). Of the patients 69.4% had visual field deficits, and 71% had papilledema (66.1% were bilateral). The rate of obesity was 20.3%. The prognosis was good in 64.7% of the patients, and 35.3% of the patients clinically worsened. Recurrence of symptoms was observed in 33% of the patients and 4 patients had severe permanent vision loss. Demographic features, initial complaints, mean ICP, and pathological magnetic resonance imaging findings were not associated with the prognosis. Delay in treatment and generalized constriction in the visual field were associated with the poor prognosis.

Conclusion: Compared to patients with IIH in the western population, obesity was less frequent in the present study. Initial visual field defects, especially the generalized constriction and delay to treatment were related to poor prognosis. Cessation of medical treatment was a factor for recurrence. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment may subside the severity of permanent vision loss in fulminant IIH.

Keywords: Intracranial hypertension; headache; obesity; pseudotumor cerebri.