Neurosurg Focus 27 (5):E14, 2009.DOI: 10.3171/2009.9.FOCUS09165
Multiple pathophysiological mechanisms have been proposed for the increased intracranial pressure observed in idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). The condition is well characterized, with intractable headaches, visual obscurations, and papilledema as dominant features, mainly affecting obese women. With the advent of MR venography and increased use of cerebral angiography, there has been recent emphasis on the significant number of patients with IIH found to have associated nonthrombotic dural venous sinus stenosis. This has led to a renewed interest in endovascular stenting as a treatment for IIH. However, the assumption that venous stenosis leads to a high pressure gradient that decreases CSF resorption through arachnoid villi requires further evidence.
In this paper, the authors analyze the published results to date of dural venous sinus stenting in patients with IIH. They also present a case from their institution for illustration.
The pathophysiological mechanism in IIH requires further elucidation, but venous sinus stenosis with subsequent intracranial hypertension appears to be an important mechanism in at least a subgroup of patients with IIH. Among these patients, 78% had complete relief or improvement of their main presenting symptoms after endovascular stenting.
Resolution or improvement in papilledema was seen in 85.1% of patients.
Endovascular stenting should be considered whenever venous sinus stenosis is diagnosed in patients with IIH.