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Venous sinus stenting for idiopathic intracranial hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Background Stenting of the intracranial venous sinuses is used as a treatment in certain cases of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Interest in, and experience of, this technique is growing, particularly in recent years. We sought to provide an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the use of venous stenting in these patients, examining clinical outcomes.

Methods A literature search of venous stenting in IIH patients was performed. Using random-effects meta-analysis, we evaluated the following outcomes: clinical resolution of papilledema; headaches and pulsatile tinnitus; recurrence of symptoms after stenting; and complications.

Results Twenty articles from 18 different centers were included. In a total of 474 patients. 418 were female (88%). The mean age of the patients was 35, while the mean body mass index (BMI) was 35 kg/m2. Median follow-up was 18 months. The overall rate of improvement in papilloedema was 93.7% (95% CI 90.5% to 96.9%), while the overall rate of improvement or resolution of headache was 79.6% (95% CI 73.3% to 85.9%). Pulsatile tinnitus resolved in 90.3% (95% CI 83.8% to 96.70%), while the overall rate of recurrence of IIH symptoms after stenting was 9.8% (95% CI 6.7% to 13%). The rate of major complications was 1.9% (95% CI 0.07% to 3.1%).

Conclusions Venous sinus stenting in patients with IIH who are refractory to medical therapy appears to have an excellent safety profile and is associated with significant improvements in headaches, pulsatile tinnitus, and papilledema.

  • idiopathic intracranial hypertension
  • stent
  • vein
  • papilledema
  • headache

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