A case of papilloedema secondary to respiratory failure is reported which caused considerable diagnostic difficulty and led to extensive neurological investigation. Neurological complaints of headache and visual impairment overshadowed respiratory symptoms and were associated with gross haemorrhagic papilloedema. The case is compared with previous reports and the pathogenesis of papilloedema in respiratory failure is reviewed briefly. The similarity between the pathogenesis of this condition and benign intracranial hypertension is discussed
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