Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension

Deep venous structures distortion in spontaneous intracranial hypotension as an explanation for altered level of consciousness

Authors: Ajlan AM, Al-Jehani H, Torres C, Marcoux J.

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is a syndrome of low pressure headache associated with low CSF pressure. The condition is generally considered benign but extreme cases of SIH can lead to changes in the level of consciousness. We describe a case in which alteration in the level of consciousness was prolonged and severe, and could not be explained solely by the presence of subdural collections. MRI of the brain showed evidence of impaired venous flow secondary to brain sagging causing distortion of deep venous structures.

Treatment of spontaneous intracranial hypotension: evolution of the therapeutic and diagnostic modalities

Authors: Franzini A, Messina G, Chiapparini L, Bussone G.

Magnetic resonance imaging in patients affected by orthostatic headache often allows the diagnosis of spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH). Nevertheless, in the last 5 years, the diagnostic and therapeutic strategy for spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) has been significantly modified. Specifically, all invasive techniques aimed at localization and demonstration of "spontaneous" spinal fistulas (myelography, isotopic cisternography, and so on) have been progressively abandoned. Also myelo-MR, although not an invasive exam, is no longer considered necessary to establish the most appropriate treatment. This change is due to the development and demonstration of a pathogenetic theory which considers the cerebrospinal fistula not as the primary cause of intracranial hypotension, but as the consequence of an imbalance between epidural and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressures. In a consecutive series of 80 patients, we performed a standardized epidural lumbar injection of a dense compound aimed to raise the epidural pressure irrespective of the presence and site of CSF leaks. The technique used, the long-term results of this treatment and the diagnostic pathways will be discussed.

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension and epidural blood patch: a report involving seven cases

Authors: Ferraro F, Marano E, Petruzzi J, Tedeschi E, Santulli L, Elefante A.

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension is a rare condition caused by spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak. It is characterised by orthostatic headache, diffuse pachymeningeal enhancement on brain imaging and low cerebrospinal fluid pressure. Seven patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension were treated conservatively: of these, four responded to drug treatment and three underwent a lumbar autologous epidural blood patch (EBP). A complete response was obtained in two patients after a single EBP; one patient underwent a second EBP and then became asymptomatic. Clinical improvement coincided with a dramatic reduction of pachymeningeal enhancement. The aetiology and brain imaging findings, and the technique and effectiveness of EBP are discussed.

Concentric visual field defect related to spontaneous intracranial hypotension

Authors: Pilo-de-la-Fuente B, Gonzalez Martin-Moro J, Navacerrada F, Plaza-Nieto FJ, Jimenez-Jimenez FJ.

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is a rare syndrome characterized by postural headache associated with a low cerebrospinal fluid pressure in the absence of dural puncture or penetrating trauma. Cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) typically shows diffuse pachymeningeal gadolinium enhancement, subdural fluid collections, prominence of cerebral venous sinuses and brain descent. Visual signs and symptoms have been described infrequently in patients with SIH. These include third or sixth nerve palsy, superior nasal quadrantanopia and temporal hemianopia. We report a 34 year-old woman who presented with a two-year history of orthostatic headache, dizziness and transient visual obscurations. Campimetry showed a bilateral concentric visual field defect. She also described that intermittently a transparent fluid leaked out of her nose. She had no past history of trauma, sinus surgery or intracranial surgery. Cranial MRI was normal. Neuro-ophthalmological examination ruled out any other causes of concentric visual field defects. Lumbar puncture showed a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) opening pressure of 9 cm H(2)O. Radioisotope cisternography suggested a dural leak at cribiform plate. The cribiform plate region was repaired endoscopically with improvement of all symptoms. One year later she remains asymptomatic and the visual field defects have improved.

Stroke and Death Due to Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension

Authors: Schievink WI.

BACKGROUND: Spontaneous intracranial hypotension has become a well-recognized cause of headaches and a wide variety of other manifestations have been reported. Recently, several patients with asymptomatic spontaneous intracranial hypotension were reported. I now report two patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension who developed multiple arterial strokes associated with death in one patient, illustrating the spectrum of disease severity in spontaneous intracranial hypotension.

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension secondary to anterior thoracic osteophyte: Resolution after primary dural repair via posterior approach

Authors: Veeravagu A, Gupta G, Jiang B, Berta SC, Mindea SA, Chang SD.

INTRODUCTION: Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is an uncommon syndrome widely attributed to CSF hypovolemia, typically secondary to spontaneous CSF leak. Although commonly associated with postural headache and variable neurological symptoms, one of the most severe consequences of SIH is bilateral subdural hematomas with resultant neurological deterioration.
PRESENTATION OF CASE: We present the case of a patient diagnosed with SIH secondary to an anteriorly positioned thoracic osteophyte with resultant dural disruption, who after multiple attempts at nonsurgical management developed bilateral subdural hematomas necessitating emergent surgical intervention. The patient underwent a unilateral posterior repair of his osteophyte with successful anterior decompression. At 36months follow up, the patient reported completely resolved headaches with no focal neurological deficits.
DISCUSSION: We outline our posterior approach to repair of the dural defect and review the management algorithm for the treatment of patients with SIH. We also examine the current hypotheses as to the origin, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of this syndrome.
CONCLUSION: A posterior approach was utilized to repair the dural defect caused by an anterior thoracic osteophyte in a patient with severe SIH complicated by bilateral subdural hematomas. This approach minimizes morbidity compared to an anterior approach and allowed for removal of the osteophyte and repair of the dural defect.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


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