Intracranial hypotension

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension: case reports and literature review

Authors: O'Brien M, O'Keeffe D, Hutchinson M, Tubridy N.

The clinical syndrome of spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) was first proposed in 1938 and describes a headache syndrome virtually identical to the headaches, which may follow dural puncture. Orthostatic headache, low cerebrospinal fluid opening pressure, and diffuse meningeal enhancement on post-contrast T1-weighted MRI brain studies are the major features of this increasingly recognised syndrome. We describe a case series of patients diagnosed with SIH, their treatment and outcome, and a review of the literature. We propose that this is an important cause of new daily persistent headaches, which is usually relatively easy to diagnose, and if recognised early, is eminently treatable.

Clinical experiences with spontaneous intracranial hypotension: A proposal of a diagnostic approach and treatment

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.

Headache Attributable to Nonvascular Intracranial Disorders

Authors: Mark Obermann, Dagny Holle, Steffen Naegel and Hans-Christoph Diener.

Headache attributable to nonvascular intracranial disorder is a basket of multiple, partly complex, and very diverse idiopathic or secondary disorders. By definition, the headache has to occur in a close temporal relationship to the intracranial disorder. Some of these headache disorders are caused by high or low cerebrospinal fluid pressure; noninfectious inflammatory diseases such as neurosarcoidosis, aseptic (noninfectious) meningitis, and lymphocytic hypophysitis; or intracranial neoplasm. Other nonvascular headaches, including hemicrania epileptica and postseizure headache, Chiari malformation type I, and the syndrome of transient headache and neurological deficits with cerebrospinal fluid lymphocytosis, are attributed to hypothalamic or pituitary hyper- or hyposecretion, intrathecal injection, or epileptic seizures. The clinical presentation of all these disorders can be diverse and often mimics the characteristics of primary headaches, which may delay the diagnosis.

Cough headache secondary to spontaneous intracranial hypotension complicated by cerebral venous thrombosis

Authors: T. Ferrante, L. Latte, G. Abrignani, M. Russo, G. C. Manzoni and P. Torelli.

Cough headache may be the clinical manifestation, sometimes isolated, of an intracranial disease. There are several possible causes of secondary cough headache. The hypothesis that cough headache may be the expression of spontaneous intracranial hypotension has been advanced only recently. In fact, this would represent an exception to the rule that cough headache is generally secondary to conditions leading to an increase in intracranial pressure and/or volume. We report and discuss a case of cough headache secondary to spontaneous intracranial hypotension in an otherwise healthy 59-year-old man. The condition was complicated by cerebral venous thrombosis.

Chronic daily headache in the adults: differential diagnosis between symptomatic Chiari I malformation and spontaneous intracranial hypotension

Authors: Eliana Mea, Luisa Chiapparini, Massimo Leone, Angelo Franzini, Giuseppe Messina and Gennaro Bussone.

This article briefly reviews the spectrum of headaches associated with Chiari type I malformation (CMI) and specifically analyzes the current data on the possibility of this malformation as an etiology for some cases of chronic daily headache (CDH). CMI is definitely associated with cough headache and not with primary episodic headaches, with the rare exception of basilar migraine-like cases. With regard to CDH, there is no clear evidence supporting an association with CMI. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study would be justified only in patients showing either a Valsalva-aggravating component or cervicogenic features. Hydrocephalus and low-intracranial pressure syndrome should be ruled out in patients showing tonsillar herniation in an MRI study and consulting due to daily headache.

Diagnostic Criteria for Headache Due to Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension: A Perspective.

Authors: Schievink WI, Dodick DW, Mokri B, Silberstein S, Bousser MG, Goadsby PJ.

The clinical and radiographic manifestations of spontaneous intracranial hypotension are highly variable and many patients do not satisfy the 2004 International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria. We developed new diagnostic criteria for spontaneous intracranial hypotension based on cases we have seen reflecting the variable manifestations of the disorder. These criteria provide a basis for change when the classification criteria are next revised. The diagnostic criteria consist of A, orthostatic headache; B, the presence of at least one of the following: low opening pressure (≤60 mm H(2) O), sustained improvement of symptoms after epidural blood patching, demonstration of an active spinal cerebrospinal fluid leak, cranial magnetic resonance imaging changes of intracranial hypotension (eg, brain sagging or pachymeningeal enhancement); C, no recent history of dural puncture; and D, not attributable to another disorder.

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