Visual loss in pseudotumor cerebri. Follow-up of 57 patients from five to 41 years and a profile of 14 patients with permanent severe visual loss

Arch Neurol. 1982 Aug;39(8):461-74. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1982.00510200003001.


The prognosis for vision in most patients with pseudotumor cerebri is excellent; however, visual loss, which is the only serious complication, may occur either early or late in the course of the disease. A group of 57 patients was followed up five to 41 years with visual fields, visual acuity, and fundus photographs. Blinding visual loss or severe visual impairment in one or both eyes occurred in 14 patients, and in seven patients, this occurred months to years after the initial symptoms. Systemic hypertension was a significant risk factor for visual loss in patients with pseudotumor cerebri, and blindness occurred in eight of 13 patients who were hypertensive. Despite suggestions that blind spot measurement is useful for following up patients with this condition, we believe that sequential quantitative perimetry gives more complete information and is essential to rational decision making in the treatment of pseudotumor cerebri.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects
  • Adult
  • Blindness / diagnosis
  • Blindness / etiology*
  • Blindness / physiopathology
  • Empty Sella Syndrome / complications
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Middle Aged
  • Optic Disk / physiopathology
  • Papilledema / physiopathology
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / complications*
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / diagnosis
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / physiopathology
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / surgery
  • Risk
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Fields


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones