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Papilledema: epidemiology, etiology, and clinical management

Authors Rigi M, Almarzouqi S, Morgan M, Lee A

Received 20 March 2015

Accepted for publication 12 June 2015

Published 17 August 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 47—57

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/EB.S69174

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Margaret Wong-Riley

Mohammed Rigi,1 Sumayya J Almarzouqi,2 Michael L Morgan,2 Andrew G Lee2–4

1Robert Cizik Eye Clinic, University of Texas, 2Department of Ophthalmology, Houston Methodist Hospital, Blanton Eye Institute, 3Baylor College of Medicine, 4Departments of Ophthalmology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, Houston, UTMB Galveston, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, USA

Abstract: Papilledema is optic disc swelling due to high intracranial pressure. Possible conditions causing high intracranial pressure and papilledema include intracerebral mass lesions, cerebral hemorrhage, head trauma, meningitis, hydrocephalus, spinal cord lesions, impairment of cerebral sinus drainage, anomalies of the cranium, and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Irrespective of the cause, visual loss is the feared morbidity of papilledema, and the main mechanism of optic nerve damage is intraneuronal ischemia secondary to axoplasmic flow stasis. Treatment is directed at correcting the underlying cause. In cases where there is no other identifiable cause for intracranial hypertension (ie, IIH) the available options include both medical and surgical modalities. Weight loss and diuretics remain the mainstays for treatment of IIH, and surgery is typically reserved for patients who fail, are intolerant to, or non-compliant with maximum medical therapy.

Keywords: papilledema, intracranial hypertension, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, epidemiology, papilledema management, papilledema etiology, acetazolamide, optic nerve sheath fenestration, ventriculoperitoneal shunt, lumboperitoneal shunt, venous sinus stenting

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