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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Pseudotumor cerebri

Other Names for this Disease
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
  • Intracranial hypertension, idiopathic
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Your Question

How is pseudotumor cerebri treated? What is the prognosis for patients with this condition?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is the prognosis for individuals with pseudotumor cerebri?

Some cases of pseudotumor cerebri disappear on their own within 6 months. About 10-20% of affected individuals have their symptoms return. A small number of patients have symptoms that slowly get worse and lead to blindness.[1]
Last updated: 9/29/2010

How might pseudotumor cerebri be treated?

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. If a diagnosis of pseudotumor cerebri is confirmed, close and repeated ophthalmologic exams are required to monitor any changes in vision.[2] Medications such as corticosteroids, glycerol, acetazolamide, and furosemide may be used to reduce fluid buildup and to relieve pressure.[2][1] Weight loss and cessation of certain drugs (including oral contraceptives, tetracycline, and a variety of steroids) may lead to improvement. Surgery may be needed to remove pressure 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.[2] 

An article from eMedicine Journal provides detailed information regarding the treatment of pseudotumor cerebri at the following link. You may need to register to view the article, but registration is free.

Last updated: 12/15/2011