A negative cranial computed tomographic scan is not adequate to support a diagnosis of pseudotumor cerebri

Rana R. Said, Paul Rosman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A 10-year-old boy with daily headache for 1 month and intermittent diplopia for 1 week was found to have a unilateral partial abducens palsy and bilateral papilledema; otherwise, his neurologic examination showed no abnormalities. A cranial computed tomographic (CT) scan was normal. Lumbar puncture disclosed a markedly elevated opening pressure of >550 mm of cerebrospinal fluid with normal cerebrospinal fluid. Medical therapy with acetazolamide for presumed pseudotumor cerebri was begun. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, done several days later because of continuing symptoms, unexpectedly showed multiple hyperintensities of cerebral white matter on T2-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images. Despite high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone for possible demyelinating disease, he failed to improve. A left temporal brain biopsy followed and disclosed an anaplastic oligodendroglioma. In a patient with features indicating pseudotumor cerebri, a negative cranial CT scan is not adequate to rule out underlying pathology; thus, MRI of the brain should probably always be performed. A revised definition of pseudotumor cerebri could better include "normal MRI of the brain" rather than "normal neuroimaging".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-613
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Volume19
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004

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Pseudotumor Cerebri
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Brain
Cerebrospinal Fluid
Oligodendroglioma
Papilledema
Acetazolamide
Spinal Puncture
Diplopia
Methylprednisolone
Neurologic Examination
Demyelinating Diseases
Neuroimaging
Headache
Pathology
Biopsy
Pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

A negative cranial computed tomographic scan is not adequate to support a diagnosis of pseudotumor cerebri. / Said, Rana R.; Rosman, Paul.

In: Journal of Child Neurology, Vol. 19, No. 8, 08.2004, p. 609-613.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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