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J Neurosurg Spine. 2016 Jun;24(6):960-4. doi: 10.3171/2015.10.SPINE15855. Epub 2016 Feb 5.

Digital subtraction myelography for the identification of spontaneous spinal CSF-venous fistulas.

Author information

1
Departments of 1 Neurosurgery and.
2
Radiology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE In most patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension, a spinal CSF leak can be found, but occasionally, no leak can be demonstrated despite extensive spinal imaging. Failure to localize a CSF leak limits treatment options. The authors recently reported the discovery of CSF-venous fistulas in patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension and now report on the use of digital subtraction myelography in patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension but no CSF leak identifiable on conventional spinal imaging (i.e., non-digital subtraction myelography). METHODS The patient population consisted of 53 consecutive patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension who underwent digital subtraction myelography but in whom no spinal CSF leak (i.e., presence of extradural CSF) was identifiable on conventional spinal imaging. RESULTS The mean age of the 33 women and 20 men was 53.4 years (range 29-71 years). A CSF-venous fistula was demonstrated in 10 (19%) of the 53 patients. A CSF-venous fistula was found in 9 (27%) of the 33 women and in 1 (5%) of the 20 men (p = 0.0697). One patient was treated successfully with percutaneous injection of fibrin sealant. Nine patients underwent surgery for the fistula. Surgery resulted in complete resolution of symptoms in 8 patients (follow-up 7-25 months), and in 1 patient, symptoms recurred after 4 months. CONCLUSIONS In this study, the authors found a CSF-venous fistula in approximately one-fifth of the patients with recalcitrant spontaneous intracranial hypotension but no CSF leak identifiable on conventional spinal imaging. The authors suggest that digital subtraction myelography be considered in this patient population.

KEYWORDS:

DSM = digital subtraction myelography; ICHD-3 = International Classification of Headache Disorders, Third Edition; MiDAS = Migraine Disability Assessment; cerebrospinal fluid; headache; intracranial hypotension; low-pressure syndrome; technique

PMID:
26849709
DOI:
10.3171/2015.10.SPINE15855
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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