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".
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology