Study: Johns Hopkins brain stent saves patients from blindness

A stent appears to work much better than a shunt in relieving fluid buildup in the brain, addressing a condition that can lead to intense skull pressure and blindness in obese younger women. Johns Hopkins researchers tested their technique in 12 patients, which involved using intravascular ultrasound imaging to thread an expandable metal stent through a catheter from an opening in the groin to the main blood vessels in the neck. The goal: to drain fluid from the brain and relieve a condition known as pseudotumor cerebri, which can narrow a vein at the base of the brain, leading to intense skull pressure and possible blindness if left untreated. It's common in obese premenopausal women between ages 18 and 40, the researchers note. Details are published in the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology. Release