Thoracic epidural blood patch for spontaneous intracranial hypotension: Case report and review of the literature

Fady Girgis, Molly Shing, Stephan Duplessis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is caused by spinal leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Treatment is directed at sealing the site of leak, which is often difficult to localize. We present a case of near fatal SIH that was treated with thoracic epidural blood patching. A 47-yearold male presented with orthostatic headache and bilateral cranial nerve VI palsies progressing over several weeks. Brain magnetic resonance (MR) imaging showed features typical of SIH and identified an epidural collection stretching from spinal levels C6 to T4, but further imaging with MR myelography and radionuclide cisternography failed to identify a precise site of leak. The patient worsened in the hospital requiring craniotomy for evacuation of an evolving subdural hematoma (SDH). Epidural blood patch was performed at the T1-2 level, the presumed location of the leak due to presence of a bone spur on computed tomography and the large corresponding CSF collection. This quickly led to resolution of the headache and cranial nerve palsies, and later to the complete resolution of his SDH. Through this case and review of the literature, we aim to demonstrate that directed cervical or thoracic blood patching should be considered for SIH as an alternative to the conventional lumbar blood patch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-325
Number of pages6
JournalTurkish Neurosurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidural blood patch
  • Intracranial hypotension
  • Thoracic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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