Multidisciplinary consensus guideline for the diagnosis and management of spontaneous intracranial hypotension

Sanjay Cheema, Jane Anderson, Heather Angus-Leppan, Paul Armstrong, David Butteriss, Lalani Carlton Jones, David Choi, Amar Chotai, Linda D'Antona, Indran Davagnanam, Brendan Davies, Paul J. Dorman, Callum Duncan, Simon Ellis, Valeria Iodice, Clare Joy, Susie Lagrata, Sarah Mead, Danny Morland, Justin NissenJenny Pople, Nancy Redfern, Parag P. Sayal, Daniel Scoffings, Russell Secker, Ahmed K. Toma, Tamsin Trevarthen, James Walkden, Jürgen Beck, Peter George Kranz, Wouter Schievink, Shuu Jiun Wang, Manjit Singh Matharu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background We aimed to create a multidisciplinary consensus clinical guideline for best practice in the diagnosis, investigation and management of spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) due to cerebrospinal fluid leak based on current evidence and consensus from a multidisciplinary specialist interest group (SIG). Methods A 29-member SIG was established, with members from neurology, neuroradiology, anaesthetics, neurosurgery and patient representatives. The scope and purpose of the guideline were agreed by the SIG by consensus. The SIG then developed guideline statements for a series of question topics using a modified Delphi process. This process was supported by a systematic literature review, surveys of patients and healthcare professionals and review by several international experts on SIH. Results SIH and its differential diagnoses should be considered in any patient presenting with orthostatic headache. First-line imaging should be MRI of the brain with contrast and the whole spine. First-line treatment is non-targeted epidural blood patch (EBP), which should be performed as early as possible. We provide criteria for performing myelography depending on the spine MRI result and response to EBP, and we outline principles of treatments. Recommendations for conservative management, symptomatic treatment of headache and management of complications of SIH are also provided. Conclusions This multidisciplinary consensus clinical guideline has the potential to increase awareness of SIH among healthcare professionals, produce greater consistency in care, improve diagnostic accuracy, promote effective investigations and treatments and reduce disability attributable to SIH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-843
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • CSF dynamics
  • headache
  • interventional
  • neuroradiology
  • neurosurgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Multidisciplinary consensus guideline for the diagnosis and management of spontaneous intracranial hypotension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this