Korean J Neurotrauma.  2020 Oct;16(2):254-261. 10.13004/kjnt.2020.16.e32.

Misdiagnosis of Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension Presenting as Acute Mental Deterioration Caused by Unilateral Acute Subdural Hematoma: Case Report

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea


Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is usually a benign disease which mostly present as orthostatic headache and resolves by conservative treatment or epidural blood patch. However, in severe cases large subdural hematoma or brain caudal herniation can progress to brain herniation and neurologic complications. We introduce a rare case of SIH which presented as acute mental deterioration with unilateral acute subdural hematoma. A 60 years old female visited to emergency room for stuporous mental change and unilateral acute subdural hematoma. Decompressive craniectomy and hematoma removal was performed to release brain herniation and increased intracranial pressure. There was temporary improvement of consciousness, but sustained leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and caudal brain herniation worsened patient's condition. After recognizing that CSF leakage and hypovolemia was the underlying disease, emergent epidural blood patch and early cranioplasty was performed. After treatment CSF volume was normalized and patient recovered completely without neurologic deficits. Acute mental deterioration with unilateral subdural hematoma is a rare presentation for SIH. Treatment strategy for subdural hematoma with concomitant SIH patients, should be planned carefully with concerns to CSF hypovolemia and intracranial pressure.


Intracranial hypotension; Cerebrospinal fluid leak; Subdural hematoma; Epidural blood patch
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