J Pediatr Neurol 2015; 13(01): 038-041
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1555152
Review Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Tinnitus and Pediatric Pseudotumor Cerebri Syndrome

Dominique De Vivo1, Emanuele David2, 3, Anna Claudia Romeo1, Antonino Costa1, Piero Dotto4, Rosa Morabito2, Giovanni Stroscio2, Enrico Maria Mormina2, Francesca Granata2, Salvatore Savasta5
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
  • 2Department of Radiology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
  • 3Department of Radiology, Anatomopathology and Oncology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
  • 4Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
  • 5Department of Pediatrics, University of Pavia, IRCCS San Matteo, Pavia, Italy
Further Information

Publication History

22 December 2014

14 February 2015

Publication Date:
13 July 2015 (online)


Pseudotumor cerebri syndrome (PTCS) is defined by increased pressure of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), with normal CSF contents and without any intracranial disease found on brain imaging. PTCS is a disease with a predilection for childbearing obese women, but it may also occur in children and in man. The most common symptoms include headache, double vision, transient visual obscuration, and pulsatile tinnitus. The reason for which patients with increased CSF pressure experience tinnitus is not clear, and only a few studies have focused on the etiology of this peculiar clinical feature in the context of PTCS presentation. Besides tinnitus, additional otologic manifestations in children with PTCS include aural fullness, low-frequency hearing loss, and vertigo; these symptoms altogether can easily mimic Ménière disease. We hereby present two girls, who presented tinnitus as the first clinical symptom of PTCS, prior to developing headache and visual anomalies, and speculate on a shared pathophysiologic basis for both PTCS and Ménière disease.