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February 1986

How Is Pseudotumor Cerebri Diagnosed?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.

Arch Neurol. 1986;43(2):167-168. doi:10.1001/archneur.1986.00520020055020

Raised intracranial pressure in the absence of an intracranial mass or hydrocephalus was initially described by Quinke in 1893.1 Although otitis media and thrombosis of major venous sinuses were noted to be prominent causes of pseudotumor cerebri, it was not until the study by Foley2 that numerous other possible and unexplained causes of pseudotumor cerebri were described and that the condition was given the name benign intracranial hypertension.3 In 1967 Greer3 listed 24 causes of pseudotumor cerebri.

Although pseudotumor cerebri has been variously attributed either to an increase in cerebral blood volume or to cerebral edema, the work of Johnston4 has established that disordered cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics are a prominent factor in many cases of pseudotumor cerebri.

MANAGEMENT  Although most cases of pseudotumor-cerebri will settle down either spontaneously or with repeated lumbar puncture or the use of steroids or acetazolamide sodium an occasional case

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