What does idiopathic intracranial hypertension mean?

Asked By: Kelian Moliano | Last Updated: 31st January, 2020
Category: medical health brain and nervous system disorders
4.3/5 (83 Views . 19 Votes)
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a disorder related to high pressure in the brain. It causes signs and symptoms of a brain tumor. It is also sometimes called pseudotumor cerebri or benign intracranial hypertension. The fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain is called cerebrospinal fluid or CSF.

Click to see full answer


Also asked, what causes idiopathic intracranial hypertension?

Chronic intracranial hypertension can be caused by many conditions including certain drugs such as tetracycline, a blood clot in the brain, excessive intake of vitamin A, or brain tumor. It can also occur without a detectable cause. This is idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH).

Similarly, is idiopathic intracranial hypertension life threatening? Idiopathic intracranial hypertension, also referred to as pseudotumor cerebri, is a rare but potentially vision-threatening cause of headache. Venous sinus thrombosis, a life-threatening mimic of IIH, must always be included in the differential diagnosis.

Also to know is, can idiopathic intracranial hypertension be cured?

The outlook ( prognosis ) associated with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is quite variable and difficult to predict in each person. In some cases, it goes away on its own within months. Some individuals with IIH experience progressive worsening of symptoms, leading to permanent vision loss.

How is idiopathic intracranial hypertension diagnosed?

Diagnosis of idiopathic intracranial hypertension is suspected clinically and established by brain imaging (preferably MRI with magnetic resonance venography) that has normal results (except for narrowing of the venous transverse sinus), followed, if not contraindicated, by lumbar puncture with CSF testing that

29 Related Question Answers Found

How serious is idiopathic intracranial hypertension?

Intracranial hypertension means that the pressure of the fluid that surrounds the brain (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF) is too high. Elevated CSF pressure can cause two problems, severe headache and visual loss. If the elevated CSF pressure remains untreated, permanent visual loss or blindness may result.

How can I lower my intracranial pressure naturally?

Effective treatments to reduce pressure include draining the fluid through a shunt via a small hole in the skull or through the spinal cord. The medications mannitol and hypertonic saline can also lower pressure. They work by removing fluids from your body.

Does exercise increase intracranial pressure?

Effects of positioning and exercise on intracranial pressure in a neurosurgical intensive care unit. Limb exercises left the mean ICP essentially unchanged in both the patients with normal ICP and the patients with high ICP. Isometric hip adduction increased mean ICP by 4 mm Hg in patients with normal ICP.

Does MRI show intracranial hypertension?

While many MRI findings have been reported for IIH, except for optic nerve head protrusion and globe flattening, the majority of these signs of IIH on MRI are not helpful in differentiating between idiopathic and secondary causes of intracranial hypertension. IIH is a diagnosis of exclusion.

Does losing weight help IIH?


The relationship between weight and elevated intracranial pressure is not known, though in many cases of IIH, losing weight helps reduce papilledema and sometimes, induces a remission. This is why weight reduction is very important for those who are overweight and have IIH.

Does caffeine increase intracranial pressure?

These drugs may have acute or chronic effects on patients with traumatic brain injury. Alcohol intoxication increases cerebral blood flow from 8 to 24%. Caffeine decreases cerebral blood flow from 10 to 20%. Intracranial pressure, respiration, heart rate and the mean arterial pressure was monitored.

Can you fly with intracranial hypertension?

Yes - it is safe to fly with or without a shunt if you have controlled and therefore 'normal' ICP levels with your IIH. Some people find that flying causes a temporary worsening of their symptoms especially on take-off and/or landing. Any worsening of symptoms should be short lived once the aircraft has landed.

Does IIH make you tired?

Fatigue, a requisite in chronic fatigue syndrome, is common in IIH. Headache, usual in IIH, is common in chronic fatigue. Headache may be absent, however, in which case the diagnosis is usually made after papilloedema is discovered by an optician or during fundoscopic examination for visual symptoms.

Can you get disability for IIH?

If pseudotumor cerebri causes your eyesight to be 20/200 or worse, you will medically qualify for disability benefits. If you don't meet the specific criteria for a condition in the Blue Book, you can still win your disability claim by using the medical-vocational allowance.

Is IIH classed as a disability?


Owing to a predilection for young individuals of working age, idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a condition with substantial socioeconomic consequences. Loss of income due to IIH is reported by 48% of patients,1 but the exact cause of this substantial disability is yet unknown.

Is IIH a neurological disorder?

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a disorder related to high pressure in the brain. It causes signs and symptoms of a brain tumor. It is also sometimes called pseudotumor cerebri or benign intracranial hypertension. The fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain is called cerebrospinal fluid or CSF.

What drugs increase intracranial pressure?

Vasodilating drugs, such as nitroprusside, nitroglycerin, and nifedipine, can be expected to increase ICP and may reflexively increase plasma catecholamines, which may be deleterious to the marginally perfused injured brain.

What does IIH headache feel like?

That being said a classic IIH headache is severe and throbbing, like a migraine. The pain can be intermittent or constant and may be associated with nausea and/or vomiting. Sometimes, people with an IIH headache will note pain behind their eyes and/or pain with eye movement.

Does IIH ever go away?

IIH may go away on its own. You may need any of the following if your symptoms continue or get worse: Medicines may be given to control migraines or decrease the amount of CSF you produce. This will help relieve pressure in your skull.

Does a Spinal Tap hurt?


In most people, a spinal tap causes no more than a small amount of discomfort. Some may feel some burning and nerve twinges when the needle is inserted. “I tell women who've had epidurals [a form of regional anesthesia sometimes used during labor] that a spinal tap will feel similar to that,” Dr.

What does intracranial pressure feel like?

Classic signs of intracranial pressure include a headache and/or the feeling of increased pressure when lying down and relieved pressure when standing. 3? Nausea, vomiting, vision changes, changes in behavior, and seizures can also occur.

Can IIH cause high blood pressure?

Obesity predisposes to systemic hypertension, which therefore, unsurprisingly, is prevalent in the IIH population. Hypertension has been cited in the medical history of between 20%9 and 32%10 of patients with IIH, although blood pressure recordings at presentation were not given.