Intracranial hypotension is a condition in which there is low intracranial pressure as a result of excessive CSF drainage. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a colorless fluid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord and acts as a shock absorber. When the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid is reduced in circulation (due to a CSF leak in the dura), it causes intracranial hypotension. The patients suffering from this disorder experience severe positional headaches.

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    A woman showing symptoms of Intracranial Hypotension

    Symptoms of Intracranial Hypotension

    The most common symptom of intracranial hypotension is a postural headache which is worse when standing up and gets better when you lie down. Other signs and symptoms include:

    • Headache, nausea, vomiting, vertigo
    • Sensitivity to light
    • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
    • Memory loss
    • Difficulty concentrating

    Diagnosis of Intracranial Hypotension

    Symptoms like postural headaches may give an indication that you have intracranial hypotension. Your healthcare provider may conduct the following tests:

    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - To see if the normally floating brain is ‘sagy’ within the brain.
    • Computed tomography (CT) Scan - To locate the cerebrospinal fluid leak
    Doctor with a tablet in her hand

    Treatment for Intracranial Hypotension

    Some cases of intracranial hypotension are treated with non-invasive methods such as bed rest or another procedure called ‘Epidural Blood Patch.’ This procedure is used to seal the dural tear and prevent CSF fluid from leaking. If the condition does not respond to conservative measures, at least after two tries, your doctor may suggest surgery to treat the defect. Surgical options include:

    • Surgical repair of Dural tears
    • Duraplasty
    • Stapling the leaking meningeal diverticula

    Why Choose Us?

    At Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery, we have a team of doctors and neurosurgeons that uses a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and presents the safest and most effective surgical treatment for intracranial hypotension, dystonia, and other neurological disorders.


    Advanced diagnostic methods


    State-of-the-art technology


    Minimal Invasive Surgery


    Patient-oriented approach


    Recovery with less downtime


    Outstanding patient care

    For more information call us at (213) 369-4583 or visit our office in Los Angeles today!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What happens if intracranial hypotension is left untreated?

    If a patient with intracranial hypotension doesn’t get treatment on time, the intracranial hypotension pressure may cause brain injury leading to seizure, tumor, stroke, or even death.

    Can we live a normal life with intracranial hypotension?

    Yes. Many people live a normal life with intracranial hypotension and don’t need surgery or any other treatment. However, obese people need to lose weight if they want to control intracranial.

    How long does a headache last in Intracranial Hypotension?

    If you’re suffering from Intracranial Hypotension, the headache will start within 15 minutes of assuming an upright position and be relieved within 15-30 minutes after lying down.

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