Increased intracranial pressure (ICP) can present with symptoms of headache, vomiting, visual changes, and tinnitus. Papilledema may be seen on physical exam. Thyroid disease has been a rare secondary cause of increased ICP. We present a 16-year-old female who had a worsening headache for 6 months. She was found to have signs, symptoms, physical exam findings, and diagnostic studies consistent with both increased ICP and previously undiagnosed Graves’ disease. The patient was treated with a 19-month course of methimazole 40 mg daily. Her headache and papilledema resolved shortly after medication initiation. The timeline of symptoms and resolution of her increased ICP symptoms with treatment of Graves’ disease suggests that hyperthyroidism was the underlying cause of her increased ICP. Clinicians should consider Graves’ disease as the etiology in pediatric patients presenting with signs and symptoms of increased ICP with papilledema.
Symptoms of increased intracranial pressure (ICP) include headache, vomiting, transient visual changes, and tinnitus.
Secondary causes of increased ICP should be considered in males, young children, older patients, and those not overweight.
Clinicians should consider Graves’ disease as the etiology in pediatric patients presenting with signs and symptoms of increased ICP with papilledema. They should assess for orbitopathy and thyromegaly and inquire about symptoms that would be indicative of hyperthyroidism.