Airplane flights triggering spontaneous intracranial hypotension: Observations from the Danish headache centre

Vlasta Vukovic-Cvetkovic*, Henrik W Schytz

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


OBJECTIVE: Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) manifests as orthostatic headache, which can be confirmed by radiological signs of low intracranial pressure on magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. The most common mechanisms of SIH are ruptured meningeal diverticula, ventral dural tears and CSF-venous fistulas. SIH is associated with connective tissue disorders, and cases of SIH onset after trivial trauma have been reported. As SIH is often underdiagnosed, the aim of this study is to identify possible new risk factors of SIH onset in a case series of SIH patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 36 patients diagnosed with SIH. We reviewed and identified potential factors that led to or presented at headache onset in SIH patients.

RESULTS: We identified 4/36 (11%) patients that had a close temporal relationship between the onset of SIH symptoms and airplane travel. In all four patients, the clinical and imaging features confirmed the diagnosis of SIH.

CONCLUSION: This is the first report of a case series of four patients with SIH that could be related to airplane travel. Describing four cases (11%) is not proof but should alert us to a possible causal relationship, which calls for further research. We suggest that when taking medical history, thorough details about the patient's activities, such as headache onset, should be documented because of their importance in correctly diagnosing SIH, which is a debilitating, yet treatable, disease.

TidsskriftActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)92-98
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 2022


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