Changing Pattern of Headache Pointing to Cerebral Venous Thrombosis After Lumbar Puncture and Intravenous High-Dose Corticosteroids

Authors

  • Saadia Aidi MD,

    1. From the Department of Neurology, Lariboisière Hospital, Paris, France (Drs. Aidi, Biousse, and Bousser) and
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  • Marie-Pierre Chaunu MD,

    1. Department of Neurology Reims Hospital (Dr. Chaunu), Paris, France.
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  • Valérie Biousse MD,

    1. From the Department of Neurology, Lariboisière Hospital, Paris, France (Drs. Aidi, Biousse, and Bousser) and
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  • Marie-Germaine Bousser MD

    Corresponding author
    1. From the Department of Neurology, Lariboisière Hospital, Paris, France (Drs. Aidi, Biousse, and Bousser) and
      Address all correspondence to Dr. Marie-Germaine Bousser, Department of Neurology, Lariboisière Hospital, 2 Rue Ambroise Paré 75012 Paris, France.
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Address all correspondence to Dr. Marie-Germaine Bousser, Department of Neurology, Lariboisière Hospital, 2 Rue Ambroise Paré 75012 Paris, France.

Abstract

Objective.—To emphasize the diagnostic importance of change in the headache pattern which pointed to cerebral venous thrombosis in two patients after lumbar puncture and high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone for suspected multiple sclerosis.

Results.—Both patients had a diagnostic lumbar puncture for suspected multiple sclerosis and were treated with high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone. Both developed a postlumbar puncture headache that was initially postural, typical of low cerebrospinal fluid pressure. Three days later, the headache became constant, lost its postural component, and was associated with bilateral papilledema. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain disclosed superior sagittal and lateral sinuses thrombosis. The diagnostic difficulties of such cases and the potential role of lumbar puncture and corticosteroids as risk factors for cerebral venous thrombosis are discussed.

Conclusions.—When a typical postdural puncture headache loses its postural component, investigations should be performed to rule out cerebral venous thrombosis, particularly in the presence of other risk factors.

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