Papilledema: Are We Any Nearer to a Consensus on Pathogenesis and Treatment

Authors: Lee AG, Wall M.

Papilledema is a term generally reserved (at least in the English language use of the term) by neuro-ophthalmologists for optic disc edema due to increased intracranial pressure. The etiology for the intracranial hypertension may be known (e.g., brain tumor, meningitis, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis) or may be idiopathic (idiopathic intracranial hypertension ). IIH is a disorder that predominantly affects overweight women of childbearing age and these epidemiologic factors should offer clues to pathogenesis. The main morbidity of papilledema is visual loss and the major mechanism for permanent optic nerve damage is axoplasmic flow stasis and resultant intraneuronal ischemia. The current initial management of papilledema in IIH includes weight loss and medical therapy (e.g., acetazolamide or furosemide). Patients who fail, are intolerant to, or noncompliant with maximum tolerated medical therapy might require optic nerve sheath fenestration or cerebrospinal fluid diversion (i.e., shunting) procedures.

Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2012 Feb 23.

Source: Unbound Medline