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Benign Intracranial Hypertension

An idiopathic disorder characterized by chronic increase in the intracranial pressure. It occurs predominantly in obese females of childbearing age. It is associated with papilledema.

Symptoms of Benign Intracranial Hypertension

The following features are indicative of Benign Intracranial Hypertension:
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • pain in neck and shoulders
  • pulsatile tinnitus
  • whooshing sensation in one or both ears
  • numbness of the extremities
  • generalized weakness
  • loss of smell
  • loss of coordination
  • weakness of the muscles of facial expression on one or both sides of the face
  • episodes of difficulty seeing that occur in both eyes
  • visual loss

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Common Causes of Benign Intracranial Hypertension

The following are the most common causes of Benign Intracranial Hypertension:
  • medications such as high-dose vitamin A derivatives
  • long-term tetracycline antibiotics
  • hormonal contraceptives
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • chronic kidney disease

Other Causes of Benign Intracranial Hypertension

The following are the less common causes of Benign Intracranial Hypertension:
  • Behcet's disease

Risk Factors for Benign Intracranial Hypertension

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Benign Intracranial Hypertension:
  • overweight
  • long-term use of tetracycline antibiotics

Prevention of Benign Intracranial Hypertension

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Benign Intracranial Hypertension. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • eliminate excessive vitamin A or tetracyclines
  • begin a low sodium weight reduction diet

Occurrence of Benign Intracranial Hypertension

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Benign Intracranial Hypertension cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Extremely rare less than 1000 cases

Common Age Group

Benign Intracranial Hypertension can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Benign Intracranial Hypertension can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Benign Intracranial Hypertension

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Benign Intracranial Hypertension:
  • Computed tomography: To obtain the images of the brain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): To conduct neuroimaging
  • Magnetic resonance (MR) venogram: To exclude the possibility of venous sinus stenosis or obstruction or cerebral venous sinus thrombosis
  • Lumbar puncture: To measure the opening pressure as well as to obtain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to exclude alternative diagnoses

Doctor for Diagnosis of Benign Intracranial Hypertension

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Benign Intracranial Hypertension:
  • Neurologist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Neurointerventionalist

Complications of Benign Intracranial Hypertension if untreated

Yes, Benign Intracranial Hypertension causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Benign Intracranial Hypertension is left untreated:
  • vision loss

Procedures for Treatment of Benign Intracranial Hypertension

The following procedures are used to treat Benign Intracranial Hypertension:
  • Lumbar puncture: To control the symptoms and drain the cerebrospinal fluid
  • Venous sinus stenting: To conduct stenting of transverse sinus
  • Optic nerve sheath fenestration: To treat intracranial hypertension
  • Shunt surgery: To control the symptoms of intracranial hypertension

Self-care for Benign Intracranial Hypertension

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Benign Intracranial Hypertension:
  • maintain healthy weight: Helps person to prevent being obese

Patient Support for Treatment of Benign Intracranial Hypertension

The following actions may help Benign Intracranial Hypertension patients:
  • Join support groups: Join online supporting organizations that helps providing support to patients

Time for Treatment of Benign Intracranial Hypertension

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Benign Intracranial Hypertension to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Benign Intracranial Hypertension.
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