Reversal of increased intracranial pressure with removal of a torcular epidermoid: Case report

Cornelius H. Lam, Robin K Solomon, H. Brent Clark, Sean O. Casey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE AND IMPORTANCE: Venous obstruction has been postulated as a cause of increased intracranial pressure, but it has been documented rarely. We present a case of obstruction of the torcula by a slow-growing epidermoid. The tumor caused increased intracranial pressure, which was relieved when it was excised. In addition, the torcular epidermoid is associated with a bifid straight sinus. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: A 35-year-old man presented with a headache and a lump on the back of the head. Physical examination revealed a firm, bony lesion approximately 4 × 4 cm in size. Lumbar puncture demonstrated an intraspinal pressure of 39 cm H2O. Neuroradiological studies revealed an epidermoid that compressed and almost completely occluded the torcula. INTERVENTION: After the tumor was resected, the intraspinal pressure decreased to 19 cm H2O and remained stable 6 months later. CONCLUSION: Pure venous obstruction causes increased intracranial pressure. Removal of the obstruction relieves the intracranial hypertension. In addition, computed tomographic venography is a safe and easy method of documenting torcular anatomy, and it was useful in the follow-up of this patient. Computed tomographic venography can demonstrate a double straight sinus, which is a congenital variant that may be associated with the epidermoid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-932
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Epidermoid
  • Increased intracranial pressure
  • Venous congestion


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