Intrathecal blood injection: A case report of a rare complication of an epidural blood patch

Joseph Seemiller, Sankeerth Challagundla, Travis Taylor, Ramin Zand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Intrathecal injection is a rare complication of spinal anesthesia and an underreported complication of epidural blood patches. Although there are other reported cases of intrathecal blood injection, these cases lack confirmatory imaging and others report injection of mixed blood with other agents. Case presentation: We present a case report of post-laminectomy cerebrospinal fluid leak who underwent epidural blood patch placement. CT and MRI brain imaging was obtained, depicting intrathecal blood products. The patient had subsequent seizures and respiratory distress, received supportive care, and returned to baseline after several days. Conclusion: The patient's clinical course illustrates the potential complications of blood products within CSF, including seizures and respiratory distress, which improved with supportive care in this case. Importantly, to our knowledge, this is the only report that clearly depicts injection of purely blood products, without other confounding agents (such as gadolinium), into intrathecal space and with diffuse spread through the CSF as visualized on CT and MRI imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number187
JournalBMC Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 13 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology


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