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Idiopathic intracranial hypertension, formerly known as pseudotumor cerebri and benign intracranial hypertension, is defined by increased cerebro-spinal fluid pressure without any known cause. Symptoms are typical for other types of hydrocephalus - headache, nausea and vomiting, usually combined with tinnitus. However, unlike most cases of hydrocephalus, no blockage of CSF can be seen.

Diagnosis starts with a lumbar puncture to confirm high fluid pressure, and a head scan such as an MRI or CT to rule out other conditions.

IIH is usually easier to treat than other forms of hydrocephalus. In some cases, the lumbar puncture alone will alleviate the symptoms. Many patients respond to medication, but in severe cases, surgery will be required. IIH can happen to anyone.

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension