Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) are common considerations in young patients presenting with isolated intracranial hypertension. We report two patients with progressive visual failure and polyradiculopathy with areflexic quadriparesis, secondary to raised intracranial pressure (ICP). Both underwent cerebrospinal fluid diversion with complete recovery. Such a fulminant presentation of raised ICP with an excellent outcome has rarely been reported in the literature. © 2012 The Neurosurgical Foundation.