Other Names for this Disease
- Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
- Intracranial hypertension, idiopathic
Your QuestionHow is pseudotumor cerebri treated? What is the prognosis for patients with this condition?
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Because symptoms may return, individuals with pseudotumor cerebri are encouraged to have regular eye examinations to check for changes in vision. Additionally, individuals who have undergone shunting procedures are recommended to visit a neurologist or neurosurgeon regularly to ensure that the shunt continues to work properly. More than half of individuals who have undergone this type of procedure experience occasional headaches following the procedure.
Obesity, other treatable diseases, and some medications can cause raised intracranial pressure and symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri. A thorough medical history and physical examination is needed to evaluate these factors in order to determine the best approach to treatment of this condition.
If a diagnosis of pseudotumor cerebri is confirmed, careful and repeated eye (ophthalmologic) exams are required to check for any changes in vision. Medications such as corticosteroids, glycerol, acetazolamide, and furosemide may be used to reduce fluid build-up and relieve pressure. Losing weight and stopping certain medications (including oral contraceptives, tetracycline, and a variety of steroids) may lead to improvement. Surgery may be needed to remove pressure of fluid on the optic nerve. Therapeutic shunting, which involves surgically inserting a tube to drain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the lower spine into the abdominal cavity, may be needed to remove excess CSF and relieve CSF pressure.
An article from eMedicine Journal provides detailed information regarding the treatment of pseudotumor cerebri at the following link: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1143167-treatment. You may need to register to view the article, but registration is free.
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- Dykhuizen MJ, Hall J.. Cerebral venous sinus system and stenting in pseudotumor cerebri. Current Opinions in Ophthalmology. 2011; 22(6):458-462. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21986881. Accessed 11/28/2014.
- NINDS Pseudotumor Cerebri Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Web site. November 2010; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/pseudotumorcerebri/pseudotumorcerebri.htm. Accessed 12/15/2011.