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February 1995

Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension: Lack of Histologic Evidence for Cerebral Edema

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Dr Wall), Ophthalmology (Drs Wall and Kardon), and Pathology (Dr Dollar), University of Iowa, College of Medicine, Iowa City; and the Department of Ophthalmology (Dr Sadun), University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Neurol. 1995;52(2):141-145. doi:10.1001/archneur.1995.00540260045014

Objective:  To study brain histologic features in two cases of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri) at autopsy.

Design:  Formaldehyde solution—fixed sections of cerebral white matter in two cases and structures of the sensory visual system in one case were analyzed.

Setting:  University medical center.

Patients:  Two patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension who died unexpectedly.

Main Outcome Measure:  Histologic study of cerebral white matter in the two patients.

Results:  We did not find histologic evidence of any type of cerebral edema in our patients. Review of a portion of the material from a previous report is also consistent with this conclusion.

Conclusion:  If patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension have histologically apparent cerebral edema, it is not a consistent finding.

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