Early pain relief from orthostatic headache and hearing changes in spontaneous intracranial hypotension after epidural blood patch

Abstract

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is a neurological condition characterized by orthostatic headache (OH), low cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure and diffuse pachymeningeal enhancement on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Hearing changes (HC) are also a common clinical finding. At present, epidural blood patch (EBP) is the most recommended treatment. Our study aimed at describing clinical variability of SIH patients. We also aimed at measuring the EBP efficacy on OH and HC in patients affected by SIH, by asking them to rate their levels of discomfort on a VAS. 28 consecutive patients were recruited. All of them complained about OH, 16 of them also reported HC. They were all treated with EBP. Two clinical psychologists interviewed them before and after the procedure, asking to rate the intensity of their OH and HC on a VAS at different time points: the day before the procedure, between 24 and 48 h after it and 2 months after treatment. Before EBP, patients rated their OH as 5 (IQR 2–7) and their HC as 4 (IQR 2–5.75). 24/48 h after EBP, a significant improvement in OH (median 0, IQR 0–0; p < 0.001) and HC (median 1, IQR 0–2; p < 0.05) was found. At follow up assessments, all patients reported a complete relief from their OH and four out of 16 patients only still reported mild HC. Our data show for the first time the early and durable efficacy of EBP on OH and HC in patients affected by SIH.

DOI: 10.1007/s13760-016-0617-2

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Cite this paper

@article{Ferrante2016EarlyPR, title={Early pain relief from orthostatic headache and hearing changes in spontaneous intracranial hypotension after epidural blood patch}, author={Enrico Ferrante and Elena Olgiati and Valentina Sangalli and Fabio Rubino}, journal={Acta Neurologica Belgica}, year={2016}, volume={116}, pages={503-508} }