62yo man, with a history of pseudotumor cerebri, presents to your clinic with progressive headache and vision changes. You would like to confirm an increased intracranial pressure before sending him to the neurologist.

  1. What are two (2) ways at the bedside you can confirm and what are the thresholds for positive findings?


  1. The old and busted bedside way to determine if a patient has increased intracranial pressure is the fundoscopic examination. What you are looking for specifically is the cup:disc ratio of the optic nerve. Normal is around 0.3, or 1/3rd. If it is increased, it suggests increased intracranial pressure.

2. The new, hotness is using bedside POCUS to measure the optic nerve directly. Using the high frequency linear probe with a tegaderm placed over the patient eye, place a generous amount of gel over the globe and measure the optic nerve 3mm from the retina. A normal optic nerve should be < 5mm in diameter and anything over than suggests increased intracranial pressure

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