Pseudotumor Cerebri

Also known as: Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), benign intracranial hypertension (BIH), "false brain tumor"

What is pseudotumor cerebri?

Pseudotumor cerebri is a condition characterized by headaches and visual disturbances without an underlying brain tumor. While it is most commonly seen in young adults, it may be seen in children also. The causes may include obesity, certain drugs amongst others. The treatment options include weight loss, medications and in some instances, optic nerve decompression or CSF diversion.

What causes pseudotumor cerebri? 

The cause of pseudotumor cerebri is unknown. It however appears to impact women who are obese and in their 20s to 40s more than other groups. While rare, it can affect children. Many medications, such as birth control pills, antibiotics, etc, and some conditions, seem to enhance the risk of developing it.

What are the signs and symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri?

Swelling of the optic nerve disc in the eye is the most important sign found. Common symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri include headache, blurred vision or other vision problems, dizziness, nausea and ringing in the ears.

What are pseudotumor cerebri care options?

Medical and/or surgical treatments are directed at the cause of the increased pressure.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: January 28, 2020 09:44 AM

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