Imaging Features of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension in Children

Alexander J.P.W. Hartmann, Bruno P. Soares, Beau B. Bruce, Amit M. Saindane, Nancy J. Newman, Valérie Biousse, Jason H. Peragallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signs of elevated intracranial pressure and idiopathic intracranial hypertension have been well characterized in adults but not in children. The MRIs of 50 children with idiopathic intracranial hypertension and 46 adults with idiopathic intracranial hypertension were reviewed for optic nerve head protrusion, optic nerve head enhancement, posterior scleral flattening, increased perioptic cerebrospinal fluid, optic nerve tortuosity, empty or partially empty sella, tonsillar herniation, enlargement of Meckel's cave meningoceles, and transverse venous sinus stenosis(TSS). Compared to adolescents (11-17 years, n = 40) and adults (>17 years, n = 46), prepubescent children (<11 years, n = 10) had lower frequencies of scleral flattening (50% vs 89% and 85%, P =.02), increased perioptic cerebrospinal fluid (60% vs 84% and 89%, P =.08), optic nerve tortuosity (20% vs 46% and 59%, P =.07), empty or partially empty sella (56% vs 78% and 93%, P =.007), and TSS (67% vs 93% and 96%, P =.04). Children with idiopathic intracranial hypertension have similar MRI findings as adults, but they are less frequent in prepubescent children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-126
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of child neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • MRI
  • Pseudotumor cerebri
  • intracranial pressure
  • pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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