Cranial venous outflow obstruction in the pseudotumour syndrome: incidence, nature and relevance

I. Johnston*, C. Kollar, S. Dunkley, N. Assaad, G. Parker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


This study reports a retrospective analysis of the evidence of cranial venous outflow pathology in 188 patients with pseudotumour syndrome (PTS) investigated over the period 1968-1999. Standard methods of investigation appropriate to the period were used, i.e. cerebral angiography, CT and MR scanning. Recently, some patients had specific venous studies including intraluminal cranial venous sinus pressure measurements. A sub-group (25 patients) was investigated for haematological abnormalities. The overall incidence of cranial venous outflow abnormality was 19.7% (37 cases). In decades, related to the predominant investigative method, the figures were: to 1979, 4.2% (2 cases); to 1989, 15.0% (8 cases); to 1999, 31.0% (27 cases). A cause of the venous abnormality was identified in 20 cases, most commonly haematological and iatrogenic. In 17 patients (all females) no cause was identified. Fifteen of the 25 patients (60%) tested specifically were found to have a haematological abnormality, although no correlation was shown between this and a demonstrable venous outflow abnormality. The conclusion was drawn that there is a high incidence (close to one-third) of venous outflow abnormalities in PTS with detailed investigation. Issues of mechanism and therapy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-278
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Cranial venous outflow abnormality
  • Incidence
  • Mechanism
  • Pseudotumour cerebri (PTS)


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