benign intracranial hypertension (BIH)

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Pseuodtumour cerebri describes raised intracranial pressure in the absence of a mass lesion or of hydrocephalus. It usually occurs in young obese females in their third or fourth decade and is often idiopathic.

  • the absence of a clear identifiable etiology for a clinical syndrome characterized by elevated ICP exists in nearly 90% of cases, and this ambiguity inevitably led to the replacement of the misnomer 'benign' intracranial hypertension with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) in light of the incidence of vision loss resulting from this condition (1)

The condition appears to be due to impaired CSF absorption from the subarachnoid space across the arachnoid villi into the dural sinuses.


  • Giuseffi V, Wall M, Siegel PZ, et al . Symptoms and disease associations in idiopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri): a case-control study. Neurology 1991;41:239-4

Last reviewed 01/2018