Send to

Choose Destination
Semin Neurol. 2000;20(1):89-95.

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension: mechanisms of visual loss and disease management.

Author information

Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242, USA.


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a disorder of increased intracranial pressure of unknown cause. It is a disorder, predominantly of overweight women in the childbearing years. The major morbidity of the disease is visual loss. Damage to the visual system occurs at the optic nerve head. This damage is most likely due to axoplasm flow stasis and resultant intraneuronal ischemia. Management of IIH begins with educating the patient about the disease and its potential outcomes. I recommend modest dieting and following a low-salt regimen with caution against overuse of fluids. Acetazolamide and Lasix appear to be efficacious. Patients failing medical therapy have optic nerve sheath fenestration performed if visual loss is the main morbidity. Shunting procedures are considered if headache is the main symptom. Most patients respond well to therapy, but idiopathic intracranial hypertension may recur throughout life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center