Medical Treatment of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH)

  • Michael WallEmail author


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri) is a disorder of elevated intracranial pressure of unknown cause. Patients present with headache, pulse synchronous tinnitus, transient visual obscurations, papilledema with its associated visual loss, and diplopia from VI nerve paresis. Many disease associations have been alleged but few other than obesity, hypervitaminosis A and related compounds, steroid withdrawal and female gender have been proven. The mainstays of medical treatment are use of a reduced-sodium weight-reduction (lifestyle management) program and acetazolamide. Adjunct medical treatments are topiramate and furosemide along with symptomatic headache treatments such as naproxen and amitriptyline. Treatment decisions are based primarily on the degree and progression of visual loss and severity of papilledema. Surgical treatments are employed for IIH patients that fail medical therapy.


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension Pseudotumor cerebri Acetazolamide Weight loss 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Neurology and OphthalmologyUniversity of Iowa Carver College of MedicineIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsWashington, DCUSA

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