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Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC)
Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC):

Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), sometimes called by the older names benign Intracranial Hypertension (BIH) or Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC), is a neurological disorder that is characterized by increased intracranial pressure (pressure around the brain) in the absence of a tumor or other diseases. IIH is diagnosed with a brain scan (to rule out other causes) and a lumbar puncture; lumbar puncture may also provide temporary and sometimes permanent relief from the symptoms. Some respond to medication (with the drug acetazolamide), but others require surgery to relieve the pressure. The condition may occur in all age groups, but is most common in women aged 2040, especially those with obesity.


The main symptoms are:
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pulsatile Tinnitus (sounds perceived in the ears, with the sound occurring in the same rhythm as the pulse)
  • Double Vision
  • Other Visual Symptoms

The primary goal in treatment of IIH is the prevention of visual loss and blindness, as well as symptom control. IIH is treated mainly through the reduction of CSF pressure and, where applicable, weight loss. IIH may resolve after initial treatment, may go into spontaneous remission (although it can still relapse at a later stage), or may continue chronically. Other treatment options are:

  • Lumbar puncture (Not normally recommended for Chiari patients, although some exceptions to that rule)
  • Medication
  • Venous sinus stenting
  • Surgery

If untreated, it may lead to swelling of the optic disc in the eye, which can progress to vision loss.
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