Neurology, Neurophysiology and Neuroscience, 2007

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Octreotide: A therapeutic option for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

G. N. Panagopoulos, S. N. Deftereos, G. A. Tagaris, M. Gryllia, T. Kounadi, O. Karamani, D. Panagiotidis, E. Koutiola-Pappa, C. E. Karageorgiou, G. Piadites


PURPOSE: To study the effects of octreotide, a somatostatin analogue, in patients with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH). METHODS: We performed a prospective, open-label study of the effect of Octreotide on 26 patients with symptoms and signs of IIH, investigated by brain MRI and lumbar puncture. Octreotide was administered subcutaneously, at an initial dose of 0.3 mg/day; and was gradually increased until headache was relieved (upper-dose limit: 1 mg/day). Treatment with octreotide at 1 mg/day was administered for a maximum of six to eight months and afterwards the dose was gradually tapered. Patients were followed prospectively every month for three years. CSF opening pressure was measured before the treatment was started and again in the first follow-up examination, on month one. In all follow-up visits the presence of papilledema was evaluated by fundoscopy; visual fields and visual acuity were also examined. RESULTS: Overall 24/26 patients improved significantly (92%). Headache was relieved within days (1-10, median 7 days). Papilledema subsided in all 24 patients, in up to two months (35 to 68, median 45 days). Visual disturbances, initially presenting in 20 of our patients, improved in 18 (90%). The mean reduction in CSF pressure after treatment was 20.72±10.7 cmH2O (range 2 to 48). Patients were followed for three years after cessation of treatment. No recurrence of papilledema, or any other symptoms, has been observed. CONCLUSIONS: Octreotide resulted in a significant and sustained improvement of IIH in our patients. These results suggest that it may be an effective alternative to existing treatments for IIH.

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