Update in Pediatric Pseudotumor Cerebri Syndrome

Semin Neurol. 2020 Jun;40(3):286-293. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1708847. Epub 2020 May 18.


Pseudotumor cerebri syndrome (PTCS) is a rare condition in children presenting with headache and papilledema from increased intracranial pressure that can cause significant morbidity. This can be idiopathic, also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension or primary intracranial hypertension, or can be secondary to medications and associated medical conditions. Given the threat to vision, early detection and treatment is needed in all age groups. However, identifying papilledema or pseudopapilledema in children presents unique challenges sometimes as a result of differences between prepubertal and postpubertal children, further elucidating the complex pathophysiology. Management requires brain imaging, lumbar puncture, and frequent eye exams with medical and rarely surgical treatment. Visual outcomes in children are favorable if caught early and management can be prolonged over years. Pediatric PTCS is different from adult PTCS in many ways, and this review will focus on the most updated definitions of the disease, theories of pathophysiology, management, and treatment in the pediatric population.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Eye Diseases, Hereditary* / diagnosis
  • Eye Diseases, Hereditary* / drug therapy
  • Eye Diseases, Hereditary* / etiology
  • Eye Diseases, Hereditary* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Optic Nerve Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Optic Nerve Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Optic Nerve Diseases* / etiology
  • Optic Nerve Diseases* / surgery
  • Papilledema* / diagnosis
  • Papilledema* / drug therapy
  • Papilledema* / etiology
  • Papilledema* / surgery
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri* / complications
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri* / diagnosis
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri* / drug therapy
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri* / surgery

Supplementary concepts

  • Pseudopapilledema