Idiopathic intracranial hypertension



Idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Nervous system


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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High Yield Notes

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Idiopathic intracranial hypertension

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 25-year-old woman comes to the clinic because of recurrent, pulsating headaches and transient vision changes for the past week. She initially gained relief from taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, but they are no longer sufficient due to the worsening of her symptoms. Her current medications include the combined oral contraceptive pill and a tetracycline for acne. Her temperature is 37.2°C (98.9°F), pulse is 88/min, respirations are 12/min, and blood pressure is 138/82 mm Hg. Her BMI is 32 kg/m2. A focused neurological examination shows papilledema during fundoscopy, and testing of visual fields reveals some peripheral constriction. Magnetic resonance imaging is obtained and shows flattening of the posterior sclera and reduced soft tissue occupying the sella turcica. The brain parenchyma and ventricles appear normal. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?  

External References

First Aid








Acetazolamide p. 253, 573, 632

pseudotumor cerebri p. 540

Danazol p. 682

pseudotumor cerebri p. 540

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension p. 540

Pseudotumor cerebri p. 540

acetazolamide for p. 632

vitamin A toxicity p. 64

Tetracyclines p. 189

pseudotumor cerebri and p. 540


pseudotumor cerebri p. 539

Vitamin A (retinol) p. 63, 64

pseudotumor cerebri p. 539

Weight loss

pseudotumor cerebri treatment p. 540


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) also known as pseudotumor cerebri, is a neurological condition characterized by an increased intracranial pressure, without evidence of a space-occupying lesion or hydrocephalus on brain imaging. It causes symptoms like headache, tinnitus, and visual disturbances like diplopia.


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