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Pseudotumor cerebri is a condition that mimics symptoms of a brain tumor and literally means "false brain tumor." It is due to a buildup of pressure inside the skull with no clear cause.
Pseudotumor cerebri can cause vision problems and severe headaches.
Typically, doctors treat this condition non-surgically through weight loss and medications. For severe cases of pseudotumor cerebri that don't respond to other treatments, surgery may be necessary.
UPMC neurosurgeons may use ventriculoperitoneal shunts to drain excess fluid and relieve pressure on the brain. In cases with severe vision loss, pressure can be released surgically through the eye by placing a small hole in the sheath around the optic (eye) nerve.
To diagnose pseudotumor cerebri, doctors need to:
Symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri may be similar to symptoms in patients with brain tumors.
The most common symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri include:
Weight loss, diuretics, and other medications may help to relieve the pressure and the resulting symptoms caused by pseudotumor cerebri.
In cases where the symptoms are severe and don't respond to weight loss or medications, surgical treatment may be required to relieve the pressure and to preserve vision.
Ventriculoperitoneal shunts are placed using state-of-the-art image guidance to drain excess fluid and relieve pressure on the brain.
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