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Pseudotumor cerebri

  • Alternative Names

    Idiopathic intracranial hypertension; Benign intracranial hypertension


    Treatment must be directed at the specific cause of the pseudotumor.

    A lumbar puncture can help relieve pressure within the brain and prevent vision problems.

    Other treatments may include:

    • Fluid or salt restrictions
    • Medications such as corticosteroids, glycerol, acetazolamide, and furosemide
    • Shunting procedures to relieve pressure due to spinal fluid retention
    • Surgery to relieve pressure on the optic nerve
    • Weight loss

    The patient will need their vision closely monitored, since there is potential for progressive and sometimes permanent visual loss. Follow-up MRI or CT scans may be done to rule out hidden cancer.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Sometimes the condition disappears on its own within 6 months. About 10-20% of persons have their symptoms return. A small number of patients have symptoms that slowly get worse and lead to blindness.


    Vision loss is a serious complication of this condition.

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you or your child experience the symptoms listed above.