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Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
  1. C. J. Lueck*,
  2. G. G. McIlwaine
  1. *Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh, UK, E-mail: cl{at};
  2. Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, Chalmers Street, Edinburgh, UK



We have recently completed a review for the Cochrane Library on interventions for idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) but could not find any relevant randomised controlled trials (Lueck & McIlwaine 2002). There is therefore inadequate evidence on which to base the management of this condition, and yet patients still need to be treated. Many different treatments have been suggested over the years, and various clinicians have their own preferred method of management. What we are presenting here is really ‘how we do it’, with the reasons why we do what we do (where we can provide them!).


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension has had a number of different names in the century since it was first described by Quincke under the name of ‘meningitis serosa’ (Quincke 1897). The most commonly used synonyms are ‘pseudotumour cerebri’ (Nonne 1904) and ‘benign intracranial hypertension’ (Foley 1955). However, there are problems with both these names

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