Author(s): Kozikowski GP, Cohen SP
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Abstract Pneumocephalus is a well known complication of spinal and epidural anesthesia, but it is extremely rare after diagnostic or therapeutic lumbar puncture. This uncommonness can obscure the clinical diagnosis and lead to unnecessary procedures and prolonged patient discomfort. We report a 72-yr-old woman with normal pressure hydrocephalus who underwent an unremarkable lumbar puncture that was complicated by a postprocedure pneumocephalus that manifested as a continuous headache. The pneumocephalus resolved spontaneously after 4 days. Possible mechanisms for this occurrence, along with steps that can be taken to prevent this complication, are discussed. IMPLICATIONS: We report a case of symptomatic pneumocephalus in a woman with normal pressure hydrocephalus after an unremarkable lumbar puncture. The possible mechanisms for this occurrence, along with steps that can be taken to prevent this complication, are discussed.
This article was published in Anesth Analg
and referenced in Journal of Spine