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Neurology. 2000 Nov 14;55(9):1321-7.

Syndrome of cerebral spinal fluid hypovolemia: clinical and imaging features and outcome.

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Department of Neurology, University of Ulsan, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea.



To investigate clinical, MRI, and radioisotope findings and therapeutic outcome of the syndrome of CSF hypovolemia.


Retrospective review was performed of 30 consecutive patients (10 men, 20 women; mean age 37 years) with the syndrome of CSF hypovolemia.


All patients had an orthostatic headache, which was alleviated to a variable extent on recumbency. Additional clinical symptoms included nausea, dizziness, neck stiffness, blurring of vision, tinnitus, plugged ear, hearing difficulties and radicular pain of the arm. Eighty-two percent of the patients had CSF opening pressure less than 60 mm H2O, 59% had CSF pleocytosis, and 95% had increased CSF protein. Brain MRI showed diffuse pachymeningeal gadolinium enhancement on T1-weighted image in 83%, which was seen as hyperintense signals on T2-weighted imaging. Other features included subdural hematoma/hygroma in 17% and descent of the brain in 48% of the patients. Radioisotope cisternographic results identified CSF leakage sites in 52%, most often at the lumbar region. Also observed were limited ascent of the tracer to the cerebral convexity (91%), early appearance of radioisotope in the bladder (65%), and early soft tissue uptake of radioisotope (43%). Epidural blood patches were performed in 23 patients, which produced complete resolution of headaches in 70%. Two patients underwent drainage of subdural hematoma. None died or were disabled during hospitalization.


Patients with CSF hypovolemia frequently have distinct MRI and radioisotope cisternographic abnormalities and often respond favorably to an epidural blood patch.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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