Papilledema and Vision Loss Caused by Jugular Paragangliomas

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Paragangliomas that arise from the jugular bulb are known to present as masses in the neck or with hearing loss, pulsatile tinnitus, and lower cranial nerve palsies. Much less recognized is their tendency to cause increased intracranial pressure and papilledema by obstructing jugular venous outflow. Only 7 such cases have been reported and with minimal ophthalmic documentation. We describe 3 more cases to provide additional documentation and to emphasize that paragangliomas are a potential cause of the pseudotumor cerebri syndrome, and that papilledema may be overlooked when a jugular paraganglioma is diagnosed or after it has been treated. Such lapses have led to disabling vision loss from damage to the optic nerves in long-standing papilledema.

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