Thorough Diagnosis and Expert Care for Intracranial Hypertension
Intracranial hypertension refers to elevated pressure inside the skull. When this isn’t caused by inflammation or a mass, we call this pseudotumor cerebri syndrome (PTCS) — pseudotumor meaning false tumor. This often occurs without any clear cause, but medication side effects, kidney disease, sleep apnea and disorders of the veins near the brain can also cause pseudotumor cerebri. When PTCS doesn’t have a clear cause, we call it idiopathic intracranial hypertension. It is currently unknown what causes idiopathic intracranial hypertension, but we know that it’s more common in young women, particularly if they are obese.
Symptoms of PTCS and idiopathic intracranial hypertension may include headaches, neck pain, vision changes and/or pulsing sounds in your ears. While the symptoms can be mild, the disease can sometimes cause rapid vision loss and requires expert care. Our team is highly experienced in the diagnosis, treatment and management of PTCS and idiopathic intracranial hypertension. We provide careful evaluations and use state-of-the-art imaging tools to diagnose your condition and create a personalized treatment plan. Our doctors may also utilize a lumbar puncture, sometimes called a spinal tap, to confirm the presence of high pressure. This procedure can also temporarily relieve your symptoms.
We treat your PTCS and idiopathic intracranial hypertension by addressing any underlying cause of the high pressure. Based on your unique symptoms and needs, treatment options such as medications, weight loss and surgery may be needed to manage your condition. Our team will work in close collaboration to find the treatment plan that’s best for you.
Multidisciplinary, High-quality Care for You
You can expect a thorough evaluation of your symptoms and a careful neurological examination, including testing of your visual fields and optical coherence tomography of your optic nerves.
Our specialists at the USC Intracranial Pressure Center of Excellence create a treatment plan tailored to your PTCS and idiopathic intracranial hypertension symptoms.
We give you access to a multidisciplinary team, including neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, dietitians and ophthalmologists, to provide faster care.