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Normal pressure hydrocephalus due to an iatrogenic giant lumbar pseudomeningocele after posterior lumbar interbody fusion: illustrative case

Yoshiomi Kobayashi, Kanehiro Fujiyoshi, Toshiyuki Shimizu, Yosuke Kawano, Toshiki Okubo, Yoshihide Yanai, Takashi Kato, Kohei Matsubayashi, Keitaro Matsukawa, Mitsuru Furukawa, Tsunehiko Konomi, Junichi Yamane, Masakazu Takemitsu, and Yoshiyuki Yato


Iatrogenic pseudomeningocele incidence after lumbar surgery is 0.068%–2%, and most lumbar pseudomeningoceles are smaller than 5 cm; however, in rare cases, “giant” pseudomeningoceles greater than 8 cm in size may develop. Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is another rare condition in which the ventricles expand despite the presence of normal intracranial pressure. To date, pseudomeningocele associated with NPH has not been reported.


An 80-year-old woman underwent L3–5 laminectomy and posterior lumbar interbody fusion, and her symptoms improved after surgery. However, dementia appeared 1 month after surgery. Repeated brain computed tomography showed ventricular enlargement, and lumbar magnetic resonance imaging showed a long pseudomeningocele in the subcutaneous tissues at the L4 level. Here, the authors report a rare case of an iatrogenic giant pseudomeningocele accompanied by NPH after lumbar surgery. The symptoms of NPH in the present case occurred after spinal surgery and recovered after dural repair surgery, indicating that the changes in cerebrospinal fluid circulation and/or pressure due to pseudomeningoceles may cause NPH.


The prevention of dural tears through precise surgical technique and primary repair of dural tears are the best approaches to prevent pseudomeningocele incidence and subsequent events.