Epidural blood patch in Trendelenburg position pre-medicated with acetazolamide to treat spontaneous intracranial hypotension

Eur J Neurol. 2010 May;17(5):715-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2009.02913.x. Epub 2009 Dec 29.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Acetazolamide / administration & dosage*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Patch, Epidural / methods*
  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Head-Down Tilt / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hypotension / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Positioning / methods*
  • Patient Positioning / standards
  • Premedication / methods*
  • Recovery of Function / physiology
  • Subdural Effusion / complications
  • Subdural Effusion / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors
  • Acetazolamide