This study aimed to identify the reversibility of MRI findings indicative of increased intracranial hypertension in idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) patients after treatment.
This retrospective, observational study included demographic and clinical data from 10 patients with IIH and 10 controls. Brain MRI findings in IIH patients were recorded twice: once when patients had papilledema and again after resolution of papilledema. Neuroradiologists graded MRI findings in both groups based on an imaging grading scale.
After resolution of papilledema, all patients showed improvement in 2 or more of the MRI characteristics of IIH. This was especially the case for the height of the midsagittal pituitary gland and optic nerve sheath thickness (ONST), which were significantly different in all pairwise group comparisons. Sellar configuration, globe configuration, and horizontal orbital optic nerve tortuosity were different between the IIH pre-treatment group and controls, but not between controls and the IIH post-treatment group. We found no difference in optic nerve head hyperintensity or optic nerve thickness among the 3 groups.
We demonstrated that several morphometric MRI characteristics in IIH are reversible to a certain extent after treatment. Enlarged subarachnoid spaces filled with cerebrospinal fluid seem to remain reduced, and the ONST and height of the pituitary gland are not fully normalized after treatment.