Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is a poorly understood condition that presents with a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from mild headaches to coma. It is typically caused by continuous spontaneous leakage of spinal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), resulting in orthostatic headaches. However, the appropriate management of refractory SIH remains unclear. A 50-year-old man presented with orthostatic headache followed by a rapid decline in mental status. The imaging findings were consistent with the diagnosis of SIH, with bilateral cerebral subdural hematomas and abnormal fluid collection in the posterior epidural space from the T2 to T12 levels. Computed tomography myelography of the whole spine revealed multiple high-flow CSF leakages at the T6 to T8 levels. Despite treatment with bilateral burr hole drainage for subdural hematomas and repeated lumbar epidural blood patch (EBP) three times, the patient's condition worsened and he developed stupor. A lumbar intrathecal saline bolus (90 ml) was administered to restore CSF depletion. The patient's verbal function improved immediately, and continuous intrathecal saline infusion was administered at a rate of 10 ml/hour for two days. The patient's stupor gradually resolved, and after his symptoms improved, the EBP injection was repeated at the T8 level. The patient recovered completely, and during the six-year follow-up, there were no signs of recurrence. SIH may cause a refractory decline in mental status, and lumbar intrathecal saline infusion may help arrest or reverse an impending central (transtentorial) herniation. This case demonstrates an appropriate bolus and continuous infusion of normal saline, and documents the resolution of SIH. This maneuver may change the CSF flow pattern and aims to seal the CSF fistula. Further studies are needed to better understand the mechanism of intrathecal saline infusion and establish effective treatment strategies for refractory cases of SIH.
Chiu, Po-Fan; Lin, Yu-Hsiang; Lu, Hui-Shan; Hsiao, I-Han; and Lin, Hung-Lin
"Continuous Intrathecal Saline Infusion for Treating Refractory Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension: A Case Report,"
BioMedicine: Vol. 13
, Article 6.
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