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Keywords:

  • acetazolamide;
  • epidural blood patch;
  • headache;
  • spontaneous intracranial hypotension;
  • subdural hematoma;
  • Trendelenburg position

Background:  Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is characterized by orthostatic headache, diffuse pachymeningeal enhancement on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and low cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure. Treatment ranges from conservative management, such as bed rest, overhydration and caffeine, to invasive procedures, such as the autologous epidural blood patch (EBP), computed tomography (CT)-guided fibrin glue injection at the site of the leak and open surgical intervention. EBP has emerged as the treatment of choice for SIH when initial conservative measures fail to bring relief.

Methods:  Forty-two patients with SIH were treated with lumbar autologous EBP in Trendelenburg position preceded by pre-medication with acetazolamide.

Results:  A complete recovery was obtained in all patients after one (90%), two (5%) or three (5%) EBPs. After EBP, two patients (5%) also performed evacuation of bilateral chronic subdural hematoma with mass effect.

Conclusions:  Spontaneous intracranial hypotension can be effectively cured by lumbar autologous EBP in Trendelenburg position pre-medicated with acetazolamide.