Spinal MR findings in spontaneous intracranial hypotension

C. J. Chen, T. H. Lee, H. L. Hsu, Y. C. Tseung, Y. C. Wong, L. J. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Whole spine magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was used to evaluate the shape, size, signal intensity, and enhancement of the spinal spaces in a series of six patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH). In all patients varying degrees of shrunken dural sacs, expanded extradural spaces with delayed homogeneous enhancement, and distended epidural venous plexuses were noted. In 83% (5/6) of patients, the MR signal of the expanded extradural space was similar to that of cerebrospinal fluid; 17% (1/6) showed an excessive fat deposit in the epidural space. Sixty-seven percent (4/6) of patients had a visible peridural membrane. After relief of the symptoms, one patient (1/4) showed persistence of the spinal abnormalities even though the brain abnormalities disappeared. In conclusion, the spinal MR findings of SIH, like its brain counterpart, are characteristic. In cases with clinical suspicion but without support from brain MR imaging, spinal MR imaging may be helpful in establishing the diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1003
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2002


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Spine
  • Spontaneous intracranial hypotension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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