Differing presenting features of idiopathic intracranial hypertension in the UK and US

R J Blanch, C Vasseneix, A Liczkowski, A Yiangou, A Aojula, J A Micieli, S P Mollan, N J Newman, V Biousse, B B Bruce, A Sinclair

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AIM: Demographic factors potentially influencing the presentation and severity of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) in the US vs. UK populations include obesity and ethnicity. We aimed to compare the presenting features of IIH between populations in the UK and US tertiary referral centres, to assess what population differences exist and whether these cause different presentations and impact on visual function.

METHODS: Clinical data were collected on 243 consecutive UK IIH patients and 469 consecutive US IIH patients seen after 2012 in two tertiary centres. Visual function was defined as severe visual loss when Humphrey visual field mean deviation was <-15 dB, when Goldmann visual fields showed constriction or when visual acuity was <20/200.

RESULTS: US patients were more commonly of self-reported black race (58.9% vs. 7.1%) than UK patients, but had a similar mean body mass index (38.3 ± 0.63kg/m2 UK vs. 37.7 ± 0.42kg/m2 US; p = 0.626). The UK cohort had lower presenting Frisén grade (median 1 vs. 2; p < 0.001) and severe visual loss less frequently (15.4% vs. 5%; p = 0.014), but there was no difference in mean cerebrospinal fluid-opening pressure (CSF-OP) (35.8 ± 0.88cmH2O UK vs. 36.3 ± 0.52cmH2O US; p = 0.582). African Americans had poorer visual outcomes compared with US whites (19.4% vs. 10% severe visual loss; p = 0.011). Visual function was weakly associated with CSF-OP (R2 = 0.059; p = 0.001), which was similar between UK and US patients.

CONCLUSIONS: The UK and the US cohorts had a similar average presenting BMI. However, the worse presenting visual function in the US IIH cohort was partially attributable to differences in the black populations in the two countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1019
Number of pages6
JournalEye (London, England)
Issue number6
Early online date19 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


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