Diagnostic value of the optic nerve sheath subarachnoid space in patients with intracranial hypotension syndrome

Clinical article

Nobuyasu Takeuchi M.D., Toru Horikoshi M.D., Hiroyuki Kinouchi M.D., Ph.D., Arata Watanabe M.D., Takashi Yagi M.D., Kentaro Mitsuka M.D., Ph.D., and Nobuo Senbokuya M.D.
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  • Department of Neurosurgery, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering, University of Yamanashi, Chuo, Yamanashi, Japan
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Object

The size of the subarachnoid space in the optic nerve sheath (ONS) on MR images is thought to reflect intracranial pressure. The diagnostic value of this space was investigated in patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) syndrome.

Methods

Coronal fat-saturated T2-weighted MRI of the orbit was performed in 15 patients with SIH fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for headache caused by low CSF pressure of the International Classification of Headache Disorders or the criteria for spontaneous spinal CSF leaks and intracranial hypotension. The size of the subarachnoid space in the ONS was measured in 2 slices behind the eyeballs. The images were compared before and after treatment. The CSF pressure was measured by lumbar puncture.

Results

Before treatment, the diameter of the ONS subarachnoid space ranged from 2.58 to 4.21 mm (mean 3.34 mm) and the thickness from 0 to 0.48 mm (mean 0.15 mm). Both measurements showed significant correlations with CSF opening pressure, and 8 patients had no CSF space before treatment. The size of CSF space increased in many patients after effective treatment.

Conclusions

Disappearance of the CSF space in the ONS was frequently observed in patients with SIH. This characteristic finding may be useful in the diagnosis of SIH as well as in the evaluation of treatment effectiveness.

Abbreviations used in this paper:EBP = epidural blood patch; ONS = optic nerve sheath; SIH = spontaneous intracranial hypotension.

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Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Toru Horikoshi, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering, University of Yamanashi, 1110 Shimokato, Chuo, Yamanashi 409-3898, Japan. email: tohruh@yamanashi.ac.jp.

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online June 8, 2012; DOI: 10.3171/2012.5.JNS1271.

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