The efficacy of fluoroscopy-guided epidural blood patch in the treatment of spontaneous and iatrogenic cerebrospinal fluid leakage

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate patient outcomes following fluoroscopy-guided epidural blood patch (FGEBP), factors affecting the outcome, and to identify the rate of fluoroscopy-guided lumbar punctures (FGLP) requiring FGEBP.

METHODS: All FGLPs and FGEBPs between January 2014 and May 2017 were retrospectively evaluated. Information regarding patient characteristics, details of previous dural puncture (DP), details of the FGEBP, and FGEBP outcome were recorded. The outcome was classified into three categories as "complete response", "partial response", and "no response". Patients with "complete response" were compared to the combined group of "no response" and "partial response", classified as "incomplete response". Two-sample/Fisher's exact (continued/categorical variables) tests were used (p < 0.05).

RESULTS: Sity-seven FGEBPs were performed in 63 patients (female/male, 36/27; mean age/BMI 38/28.2). Fifty-nine were referred following DP; 31 were performed by radiologists. The rate of FGLPs requiring FGEBP was 1.78% within 3.5 years. The mean DP-FGEBP interval was 4.8 days. "Complete response" was achieved in 56 (84.8%), "no response" was found following 4 (6%) procedures. Average applied blood volume was 16 cc (5-30 cc). No difference was found between "complete response" and "incomplete response" groups regarding age, sex, BMI, DP performer, DP level, DP fluoroscopy time, DP needle caliber/type, FGEBP level, FGEBP needle caliber/type, FGEBP fluoroscopy time, FGEBP performer, and applied blood volume (p > 0.05). Despite approaching significance, no statistically significant difference was found regarding the presence of previous DP (p = 0.06).

CONCLUSIONS: The efficacy of FGEBP is high in a group of patients referred to radiology for treatment of CSF leakage with complete response in 84.8% of patients.

KEY POINTS: • Fluoroscopy-guided epidural blood patch completely resolved symptoms in 85% of post-dural puncture headaches. • The success approaches 95% when including the patients with partial resolution of symptoms. • Epidural blood patch rate is found 1.8% following 1703 fluoroscopy-guided lumbar punctures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4088-4095
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, European Society of Radiology.


  • Epidural blood patch
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Intracranial hypotension
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Post-dural puncture headache
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Blood Patch, Epidural/methods
  • Fluoroscopy/methods
  • Radiography, Interventional/methods
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak/diagnostic imaging
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Iatrogenic Disease

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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