Idiopathic intracranial hypertension in patients with anemia: A retrospective observational study

Zhonghua Ma, Hanqiu Jiang, Chao Meng, Shilei Cui, Jingting Peng, Jiawei Wang
PloS One 2020, 15 (7): e0236828
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) mostly affects obese women in childbearing age, leading to frustrating headache and permanent visual impairment. The exact etiology of this condition is poorly understood, and the population at risk and clinical presentation seems to be homogeneous. However, little attention has been paid to the clinical features of IIH patients with anemia. We herein performed a retrospective observational study by using the data of patients with presumed IIH who were referred to the neurology department of Beijing Tongren Hospital from January 2014 to August 2019 to describe the clinical features and radiological findings in patients with IIH and anemia, and compared these with those without anemia. The patients were divided into two groups based on the presence of anemic diseases. Clinical data including demographic characteristics, clinical features, past medical history, laboratory and neuroradiological findings, diagnoses, treatments and prognosis of these patients were reviewed and compared in both the groups. A total of 153 patients with IIH were enrolled, which included 22 cases with anemia (mean age, 33.23±9.68 years; 19 [86.36%] female) and 131 cases without anemia (mean age 37.11±11.56 years; 97 [74.05%] female). In the anemia group, 19/22 cases had iron deficiency anemia and 3/22 had renal anemia. Compared with patients in the non-anemia group, IIH patients with anemia had a shorter disease course, and tended to present pulsatile tinnitus and transverse sinus stenosis (TSS), faster and better prognosis after treatments for correcting anemia and reducing intracranial pressure. Our findings highlighted the importance of obtaining full blood counts in IIH patients with subacute onset, and provided appropriate and prompt treatments if proven anemic in order to bring better outcomes.

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