The Effect of Acetazolamide and Weight Loss on Intraocular Pressure in Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Patients

Rudrani Banik, Mark J. Kupersmith, Jui Kai Wang, Mona K. Garvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Acetazolamide (ACZ) lowers intraocular pressure (IOP), acutely in normal eyes and both acutely and chronically in eyes with glaucoma, and cerebrospinal fluid pressure (CSFp), chronically in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). We hypothesize chronic daily ACZ would significantly reduce IOP and contribute to a translaminar pressure gradient change reflected by alteration in the CSFp-IOP difference and the deformation of the neural canal in patients with IIH and no glaucoma. Patients and Methods: Before randomization to ACZ or placebo treatment for 6 months, 165 participants in the IIH Treatment Trial had evaluations that included Goldmann applanation, CSFp measurement, and optical coherence tomography determination of the neural canal deformation. These measures were repeated at the 6-month outcome. Results: The IOP was not significantly decreased from baseline at 1, 3, or 6 months in eyes in both treatment groups. At month 6, the amount of ACZ or weight modification did not correlate with any IOP change. The 6-month mean change in neural canal deformation was 0.96 and-0.04 (P=0.001) and in CSFp was-128 and-38 mm H 2 O (P=0.001), but CSFp-IOP difference change was not significant, in the ACZ and placebo groups, respectively. Conclusions: ACZ does not reduce the IOP in eyes without glaucoma but does decrease the pathologic elevated CSFp, providing evidence that normal systems can compensate for chronic medication effects. The CSFp-IOP is not a direct marker of translaminar pressure gradient and the ACZ normalization of the neural canal deformation appears due to CSFp reduction alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-356
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Glaucoma
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • acetazolamide
  • idiopathic intracranial hypertension treatment trial
  • intracranial pressure
  • intraocular pressure
  • obesity


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