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Little known facts about Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension (SIH) caused by spinal fluid leaks

There is little awareness about Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) caused by #CSF leaks. Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is a debilitating and often invisible medical condition resulting from a spontaneous spinal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. CSF is a clear fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and the spinal cord, and cushions it from injury or damage. A CSF leak stems from a tear or abnormality in the dura, the fibrous tissue that covers CSF circulating around the brain and the spinal cord.

The most common symptom is postional headaches which are headaches that improve when laying down, other signs and symptoms are: head pressure, a feeling of a grabbing sensation in the back of the head, extreme fatigue, nausea and vomiting; neck stiffness or pain, brain fogginess– feeling disconnected, photophobia, phonophobia etc.

Under-diagnosis and/or misdiagnosis of a spinal CSF leak/ SIH is extremely common, resulting in little or no treatment for some patients suffering from it. Spinal CSF leaks can exist without any evidence of a leak on imaging, so it can be difficult to get a proper diagnosis and requires a specialist to assess and investigate the symptoms which is crucial. A negative MRI of the brain or spine does not rule out a spinal CSF leak. This brochure covers prognosis, treatment options, symptoms, causes, diagnosis and more.

brochure on csf leaks
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