What is idiopathic intracranial hypertension?

Qué es la hipertensión intracraneal idiopática - What is idiopathic intracranial hypertension?

Today we will talk about a really complex condition because although normal or small ventricles can be observed in imaging studies, it presents symptoms such as impaired consciousness that could evolve into a coma and finally death.

Another important characteristic to take into account is that it affects not only adults but also young children.

But what really is idiopathic intracranial hypertension?

It is a disease characterized by an increase in intracranial pressure. It is also known as a pseudotumor cerebri.

Remember that the cranial cavity is made up of the brain parenchyma, the cerebrospinal fluid, and the arteries and veins.

As the skull is a closed space that cannot be enlarged, when there is an increase in pressure of any of these components, an increase in intracranial pressure will occur with the appearance of a series of characteristic symptoms.

What are those symptoms?

  • Headaches almost daily. They can even present with nausea and the perception of noise inside the head. In fact, headache is the most frequent symptom (75-95% of cases), although it does not always appear, and when it does, people tend to believe that it is a migraine attack.
  • If treatment is delayed, vision can be affected, causing double vision or temporary loss of vision (for less than a minute, unilaterally or bilaterally, several times a day).
Hipertensión intracraneal idiopática
  • Sudden vomiting and usually in the morning.
  • There may also be hypertension, bradycardia, and respiratory distress.

How is it diagnosed?

Much of a correct diagnosis in this case depends on the medical history to reflect the symptoms of recent appearance such as headache, vomiting, visual disturbances, changes in the state of consciousness, as well as finding out possible previous head injuries.

Additionally, methods such as brain CT, Magnetic Resonance, cranial radiography and cerebral angiography can be implemented.

And what does your treatment consist of?

Weight loss, diuretics to reduce the amount of fluid in the brain, and regular spinal taps help reduce pressure.

However, in some cases the treatment of choice is surgical, by placing a device in the skull or spine and which diverts fluid to another body cavity.

Contact me to advise you and give you the attention you deserve. Your brain is your ally, but it will only function optimally if you pay attention to the signals and receive the right medical support.

Statistical data source: Idiopathic intracranial hypertension: main neurophysiological, diagnostic and therapeutic aspects. Vol.19 no.2 Holguín Apr.-Jun. 2015 Link: http://scielo.sld.cu/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1560-43812015000200010