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February 1986

Observations on the Management of Pseudotumor Cerebri

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.

Arch Neurol. 1986;43(2):168. doi:10.1001/archneur.1986.00520020056021

The term pseudotumor cerebri is used to describe a clinical syndrome in which raised intracranial pressure is present without evidence of an expanding lesion or hydrocephalus. It has been described in association with many conditions—so many, in fact, that any etiologic assumptions are dubious. All ages are affected, although it is uncommon in children. Treatment is directed towards the prevention of visual damage and the relief of symptoms.

The development may be insidious, with little headache, unnoticed visual defects, and even the absence of papilledema; consequently, it is usually impossible to date the onset. Resolution may occur before treatment is started.

It is generally agreed that the majority of patients will do well— hence the use of the term benignintracranial hypertension—whatever form of treatment (if any) is used. However, some patients are less fortunate, and the problem becomes one of recognizing possible risk factors. In the series of