Pseudotumor Cerebri
(Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension)

What is pseudotumor cerebri?

Pseudotumor cerebri literally means "false brain tumor." It is likely due to high pressure within the skull caused by the buildup or poor absorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The disorder is most common in women between the ages of 20 and 50.

What are the symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri?

Symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri include symptoms that closely mimic large brain tumors:

How is pseudotumor cerebri 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, repeated ophthalmologic exams are required to monitor any changes in vision.
  • Drugs may be used to reduce fluid buildup and to relieve pressure.
  • 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 CSF from the lower spine into the abdominal cavity, may be needed to remove excess CSF and relieve CSF pressure.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/2/2014

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Pseudotumor Cerebri - Symptoms Question: What were your symptoms associated with pseudotumor cerebri (idiopathic intracranial hypertension)?
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