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Can J Neurol Sci. 2013 Mar;40(2):144-57.

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension: recommendations for management.

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Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


A literature search found no clinical trials or guidelines addressing the management of spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH). Based on the available literature and expert opinion, we have developed recommendations for the diagnosis and management of SIH. For typical cases, we recommend brain magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with gadolinium to confirm the diagnosis, and conservative measures for up to two weeks. If the patient remains symptomatic, up to three non-directed lumbar epidural blood patches (EBPs) should be considered. If these are unsuccessful, non-invasive MR myelography, radionuclide cisternography, MR myelography with intrathecal gadolinium, or computed tomography with myelography should be used to localize the leak. If the leak is localized, directed EPBs should be considered, followed by fibrin sealant or neurosurgery if necessary. Clinically atypical cases with normal brain MR imaging should be investigated to localize the leak. Directed EBPs can be used if the leak is localized; non-directed EBPs should be used only if there are indirect signs of SIH.

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