An update of idiopathic intracranial hypertension

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Abstract

Purpose of review

We aim to provide a comprehensive and updated review on idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), including the most current studies and treatment options. Special focus will be put on recent theories about the pathophysiology, and on newer prospective studies on treatment modalities.

Recent findings

The Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Treatment Trial (IIHTT) provided evidence supporting acetazolamide as a well tolerated first-line therapy in IIH patients with mild vision loss. Recent studies have shown venous sinus stenting as a well tolerated and effective surgical alternative for patients with refractory IIH.

Summary

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension is a vision-threatening disorder that predominantly affects obese women of childbearing age. This disorder is becoming more prevalent as the obesity epidemic continues to increase. As our understanding of this disorder continues to evolve, diagnosis and management approaches have changed over time. However, the pathogenesis for IIH remains unclear. Several theories have been proposed, including abnormalities in cerebrospinal dynamics, metabolic causes and genetics. The diagnostic criteria are based on the revised Dandy criteria. Traditionally, treatment was based on clinical experiences and retrospective studies. However, a new, prospective, randomized, controlled trial, the IIHTT, provided evidence-based data to help guide medical therapy. Additionally new, prospective studies are underway for the different surgical alternatives to treat IIH.

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