Existing tools to diagnose spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH), namely spinal opening pressure (OP) and brain MRI, have limited sensitivity. We investigated whether evaluation of brain MRI using the Bern Score, combined with calculated craniospinal elastance, would aid in diagnosing SIH and provide insight into its pathophysiology.A retrospective chart review was performed of patients who underwent brain MRI and pressure-augmented dynamic CT myelography (dCTM) for suspicion of SIH. Two blinded Neuroradiologists assigned Bern Scores for each brain MRI. OP and incremental pressure changes after intrathecal saline infusion were recorded to calculate craniospinal elastance. The relationship between Bern Score, OP, elastance, and whether a leak was found were analyzed.72 consecutive dCTMs were performed in 53 patients. 12 CSF-venous fistulae, two ruptured meningeal diverticula, two dural defects, and one dural bleb were found (17/53=32%). Among patients with imaging proven CSF leak/fistula, OP was normal in all but one patient, and was not significantly different in those with a leak compared to those without (15.1 vs 13.6 cm H2O, p = 0.24, A=0.40). Average Bern Score in individuals with a leak was significantly higher than in those without (5.35 vs 1.85, p < 0.001, A=0.85), even when excluding pachymeningeal enhancement from the score (3.77 vs 1.57, p = 0.001, A=0.78). Average elastance in those with a leak was higher than in those without, but this difference was not statistically significant (2.05 vs 1.20 mL/cm H2O, p = 0.19, A=0.40). Increased elastance was significantly associated with an increased Bern Score (p < 0.01, 95% CI -0.55, 0.12), and was significantly associated with venous distention, pachymeningeal enhancement, prepontine narrowing, and subdural collections, but not a narrowed mamillopontine or suprasellar distance.OP is not an effective predictor for diagnosing CSF leak, and if used in isolation would result in misdiagnosis of 94% of patients in our cohort. The Bern Score was associated with a higher diagnostic yield of dCTM. Elastance was significantly associated with certain components of the Bern Score.
View details for DOI 10.1212/WNL.0000000000207267
View details for PubMedID 37015821