Background: Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is a syndrome characterized by low cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure and postural headaches, and affects 1 per 20,000 individuals every year. Case report: We report an otherwise healthy 38-year-old man admitted to the hospital with orthostatic headache that developed 48 h after a short-haul flight during which he sustained a neck injury due to turbulence. Neurological examination, blood analysis and computed tomography scan performed at the emergency service were normal. Brain and spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed diffuse pachymeningeal enhancement and contrast medium egress from the subarachnoid space into the epidural space at the level of C2. The patient was treated with bed rest, hydration and 1 mg/kg/day oral prednisone for 5 days, with a gradual withdrawal in the following 7 days. Complete symptomatic relief was observed after 16 days, with resolution of the pathological findings on brain and spinal MRI after 1 month, except for localized pachymeningeal enhancement. Clinical relief was maintained over time until last follow-up visit 9 months later. Conclusion: Successful conservative treatment barely exceeds one quarter of cases of SIH. The clinical benefits of steroids may result from several mechanisms of action, for example, improving brain oedema and inflammation, determining fluid retention, and facilitating reabsorption of the CSF from extradural space. Notwithstanding that epidural blood patch remains the most successful treatment for SIH, future studies should explore the effectiveness of steroids as first-line therapy in addition to the most commonly suggested measures of bed rest and hydration.

First-line steroid treatment for spontaneous intracranial hypotension

Grossi U.
;
Trincia E.;Zanus G.
2022

Abstract

Background: Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is a syndrome characterized by low cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure and postural headaches, and affects 1 per 20,000 individuals every year. Case report: We report an otherwise healthy 38-year-old man admitted to the hospital with orthostatic headache that developed 48 h after a short-haul flight during which he sustained a neck injury due to turbulence. Neurological examination, blood analysis and computed tomography scan performed at the emergency service were normal. Brain and spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed diffuse pachymeningeal enhancement and contrast medium egress from the subarachnoid space into the epidural space at the level of C2. The patient was treated with bed rest, hydration and 1 mg/kg/day oral prednisone for 5 days, with a gradual withdrawal in the following 7 days. Complete symptomatic relief was observed after 16 days, with resolution of the pathological findings on brain and spinal MRI after 1 month, except for localized pachymeningeal enhancement. Clinical relief was maintained over time until last follow-up visit 9 months later. Conclusion: Successful conservative treatment barely exceeds one quarter of cases of SIH. The clinical benefits of steroids may result from several mechanisms of action, for example, improving brain oedema and inflammation, determining fluid retention, and facilitating reabsorption of the CSF from extradural space. Notwithstanding that epidural blood patch remains the most successful treatment for SIH, future studies should explore the effectiveness of steroids as first-line therapy in addition to the most commonly suggested measures of bed rest and hydration.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3421107
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