The Optic Nerve
Optic disc edema in a patient with pseudotumor cerebri demonstrates complete obliteration of the cup as well as the blood vessels.

  • A syndrome that is defined by:
    • Papilledema occurs in over 90% of patients
    • Elevated intracranial pressure with normal CSF composition
    • Normal neuroimaging studies
    • Normal neurologic exam
  • Occurs primarily in young obese females.
  • Clinical features:
    • Most common symptom is headache.
    • Other symptoms include normal or uncommonly decrease visual acuity, transient obscurations of vision, photopsias, diplopia, nausea, vomiting, pulsatile tinnitus and visual field loss secondary to optic disc swelling.
    • Signs:
      • Bilateral optic disc edema
      • May have abducens nerve palsy
  • Work up:
    • Complete ophthalmological and neurological examinations including visual acuity, color vision, pupillary reactivity, fundus examination and visual field study of patients with papilledema
    • Neuroimaging study and lumbar puncture
    • Fundus photographs are also important to monitor disc swelling.
  • Management:
    • Depends on visual status and whether or not the associating cause can be identified or treated.
    • Treatment of underlying causes.
    • Weight-loss program for obese patients.
    • Cessation of substances causing PTC, such as vitamin A, tetracycline, etc.

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