Authors: Yoon SH, Chung YS, Yoon BW, Kim JE, Paek SH, Kim DG.
OBJECTIVE: We analyzed our clinical experience with patients with intracranial hypotension and developed a strategic model for the diagnosis mainly using Radioisotope (RI) cisternography and treatment of spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH).
METHODS AND MATERIALS: We retrospectively analyzed our clinical experiences with 30 cases of SIH from January 2000 through December 2006. All patients had confirmed by magnetic resonance image (MRI). RI cisternography or computed-tomography (CT) myelography was done for disclosing a cerebrospinal fluid leakage point. Initially patients were treated with medication. When patients complained of persistent headache, we performed epidural blood patch (EBP) administration. We performed subdural hematoma evacuation when it grew or worsened neurological status.
RESULTS: Twenty-one women (70%) and 9 men (30%) were enrolled. The mean age was 40 years (range: 30-58 years). After initial diagnosis with MRI, RI cisternography and CT myelography were helpful in pinpointing the exact leakage site. Four patients were treated only with the medication and 24 patients were treated with the epidural blood patch (EBP). Half of them achieved dramatic relief of symptoms after the initial EBP. A blind EBP was performed in 15 patients. Six patients experienced recurrence of symptoms. Hematoma evacuation was performed in 8 patients. None of diagnostic tools or treatment methods showed distinct superiority in predicting a favorable clinical outcome.
CONCLUSION: Clinicians should be systematic in their approach to plan a treatment regimen for patients with SIH. We suggest the use of a flow diagram when determining how to best approach and treat patients with SIH.