Idiopathic intracranial hypertension is a condition consisting of increased intracranial pressure of unknown etiology, predominantly affecting obese women of childbearing age. Symptomatic relief can be provided by lumbar puncture and withdrawal of cerebrospinal fluid, and the technique has been described in laboring women using an intrathecal catheter. We present two patients who achieved both labor analgesia and symptomatic relief via a combined spinal-epidural technique with small volume cerebrospinal fluid withdrawal. Both women complained of headache of at least a 5 on a 10-point pain scale at the time of labor induction. Between 5 and 6 mL of cerebrospinal fluid were withdrawn at the time of combined spinal-epidural insertion and pain relief was successfully achieved with patient-controlled epidural anesthesia. One patient proceeded to cesarean delivery for fetal indications under epidural anesthesia. Both women described significant improvement in headache symptoms that persisted until discharge from hospital, and neither developed new neurologic symptoms. A combined spinal-epidural technique with a small volume of cerebrospinal fluid withdrawal may provide labor analgesia and symptomatic relief in the parturient with idiopathic intracranial hypertension.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine