REVIEW – January 2014

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Authors: Väino Sinisalu 

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Idiopathic intracranial hypertension ( IIH) is defined as increased intracranial pressure in the absence of intracranial mass or hydrocephalus. The pathogenesis is poorly understood; the disorder mostly affects overweight women in fertile age. The patients usually experience headache, visual disturbances and tinnitus. The IIH is characterized by papilloedema and visual field disturbances. The prognosis in usually fair, in more severe cases there may develop optic nerve atrophy and visual loss. The main goal of treatment is alleviation of symptoms and preservation of vision. For medical treatment, carbonanhydrase inhibitors (acetazolamide) and topiramate are used. In the case of progression of visual disturbances cerebrospinal fluid shunting procedures are indicated.