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Imaging Methods for Differentiating Pediatric Papilledema from Pseudopapilledema

A Report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology

      Purpose

      To review the published literature on the accuracy of ophthalmic imaging methods to differentiate between papilledema and pseudopapilledema in children.

      Methods

      Literature searches were conducted in January 2020 in the PubMed database for English-language studies with no date restrictions and in the Cochrane Library database without any restrictions. The combined searches yielded 354 abstracts, of which 17 were reviewed in full text. Six of these were considered appropriate for inclusion in this assessment and were assigned a level of evidence rating by the panel methodologist. All 6 included studies were rated as level III evidence.

      Results

      Fluorescein angiography, a combination of 2 OCT protocols, and multicolor confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (Spectralis SD-OCT; Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany) demonstrated the highest positive percent agreement (92%–100%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 69%–100%) and negative percent agreement (92%–100%; 95% CI, 70%–100%) with a clinical diagnosis of papilledema in children. However, results must be interpreted with caution owing to methodologic limitations, including a small sample size leading to wide CIs and an overall lack of data (there was only 1 study each for the above methods and protocols). Ultrasonographic measures showed either a high positive percent agreement (up to 95%) with low negative percent agreement (as low as 58%) or vice versa. Autofluorescence and fundus photography showed a lower positive (40%–60%) and negative (57%) percent agreement.

      Conclusions

      Although several imaging methods demonstrated high positive and negative percent agreement with clinical diagnosis, no ophthalmic imaging method conclusively differentiated papilledema from pseudopapilledema in children because of the lack of high-quality evidence. Clinicians must continue to conduct thorough history-taking and examination and make judicious use of ancillary testing to determine which children warrant further workup for papilledema.

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      CI (confidence interval), cSLO (confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy), EDI (enhanced depth imaging), ODD (optic disc drusen), RNFL (retinal nerve fiber layer), SD (spectral-domain)
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