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Pain Med. 2003 Dec;4(4):373-8.

Successful treatment of spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak headache with fluoroscopically guided epidural blood patch: a report of four cases.

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  • 1Department of Pain Management, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.


Spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak is a rare clinical entity that may result in disabling headaches. It occurs as a result of dural defects, and the initial symptoms resemble those of postdural puncture headache. However, the positional headache can later evolve into a persistent chronic daily headache. The diagnosis of spontaneous CSF leak can be very challenging, but increasing awareness and improved diagnostic techniques are yielding ever more cases. When conservative management fails, the pain management clinician is called upon to administer an epidural blood patch. The success of this technique is dependent upon accurate diagnosis of the site of leakage and targeted epidural administration of the blood patch to this area. In this report, we describe four consecutive cases that were referred to our pain management department over an 18-month period and were successfully treated with site-directed epidural blood patches.

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