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Case series of six patients diagnosed and managed for idiopathic intracranial hypertension at a tertiary institution eye centre

Naa N Tagoe
Vera M Beyuo
Kwesi N Amissah-Arthur


Background: Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) occurs secondary to raised intracranial pressure (ICP) of unknown etiology and is diagnosed when all other causes of raised ICP have been excluded. It can leave devastating sequelae such as permanent visual loss, hence the need for timely diagnosis and treatment. Anecdotally, one or two cases of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) previously presented at the Eye Centre, KBTH yearly. However, six cases were seen within a 6-month period, prompting the need to study the clinical features of IIH in this population.

Objective: We aim to evaluate the clinical features of patients presenting with IIH at KBTH.

Methodology: This is a retrospective case series with contemporaneous collection of data of six patients who presented to the Eye Centre (KBTH) between October 2016 and March 2017 with clinical features suggestive of IIH. The patients were evaluated and diagnosed based on clinical judgement as well as using the modified Dandy criteria.

Results: All six patients were female and all except one were obese. The age range was 8 to 40 years with median 22.5 years. Symptoms in the 8-year-old were preceded by oral doxycycline for acne treatment. One patient had a history of using oral contraceptive pills prescribed for irregular menses. Clinical features of blurred vision, headache, and papilloedema were relieved with oral acetazolamide.

Conclusion: The upsurge of IIH may be due to the increased incidence of obesity in Ghana. Timely diagnosis and treatment is needed to avoid irreversible blindness.

Funding: None

Keywords: headaches, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, obesity, blindness, raised intracranial pressure.