Papilloedema

Papilloedema is essentially an ophthalmoscopic diagnosis and refers to swelling of the optic disc. The MRI appearance relates to the dural anatomy of the optic nerve, which is continuous with the subarachnoid space, thereby allowing increased intracranial pressure (ICP) to be transmitted to the optic disc. The causes are protean, a veritable Augean stable of conditions (see below), the most common of which would be an intracranial mass or collection.

Note however that with the advent of motion correction (e.g. BLADE) sequences, CSF in the dural sheath over the optic nerve is much more frequently seen, and caution should be shown when reporting this. Flattening of bulging of the optic nerve head, is probably a more specific sign.

The differential is also broad for the fundoscopic findings, although most have quite different MRI appearances. These include :

Possible aetiologies of papilloedema

Differential diagnosis

Possible imaging differential considerations include

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Article Information

rID: 1841
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Papillo-edema
  • Papillo-oedema
  • True papilloedema
  • Papilledema

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    benign intracrani...
    Case 3: with benign intracranial hypertension
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