Papilledema: Epidemiology, etiology, and clinical management

Mohammed Rigi, Sumayya J. Almarzouqi, Michael L. Morgan, Andrew G. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Papilledema is optic disc swelling due to high intracranial pressure. Possible conditions causing high intracranial pressure and papilledema include intracerebral mass lesions, cerebral hemorrhage, head trauma, meningitis, hydrocephalus, spinal cord lesions, impairment of cerebral sinus drainage, anomalies of the cranium, and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Irrespective of the cause, visual loss is the feared morbidity of papilledema, and the main mechanism of optic nerve damage is intraneuronal ischemia secondary to axoplasmic flow stasis. Treatment is directed at correcting the underlying cause. In cases where there is no other identifiable cause for intracranial hypertension (ie, IIH) the available options include both medical and surgical modalities. Weight loss and diuretics remain the mainstays for treatment of IIH, and surgery is typically reserved for patients who fail, are intolerant to, or non-compliant with maximum medical therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-57
Number of pages11
JournalEye and Brain
StatePublished - Aug 17 2015


  • Acetazolamide
  • Epidemiology
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
  • Intracranial hypertension
  • Lumboperitoneal shunt
  • Optic nerve sheath fenestration
  • Papilledema
  • Papilledema etiology
  • Papilledema management
  • Venous sinus stenting
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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