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February 1995

Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension: Lack of Histologic Evidence for Cerebral Edema

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.