BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Digital subtraction myelography performed with the patient in the lateral decubitus position has the potential for increased sensitivity over prone-position myelography in the detection of spinal CSF-venous fistulas, a well-established cause of spontaneous intracranial hypotension. We report on the safety of performing routine, consecutive-day right and left lateral decubitus digital subtraction myelography in these patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this retrospective case series, all patients undergoing consecutive-day lateral decubitus digital subtraction myelography for suspected spinal CSF leak between September 2018 and September 2019 were identified. Chart review was performed to identify any immediate or delayed adverse effects associated with the procedures. Procedural parameters were also analyzed due to inherent variations associated with the positive-pressure myelography technique that was used. RESULTS: A total of 60 patients underwent 68 pairs of consecutive-day lateral decubitus digital subtraction myelographic examinations during the study period. No major adverse effects were recorded. Various minor adverse effects were observed, including pain requiring analgesics (27.2%), nausea/vomiting requiring antiemetics (8.1%), and transient neurologic effects such as syncope, vertigo, altered mental status, and autonomic dysfunction (5.1%). Minor transient neurologic effects were correlated with increasing volumes of intrathecal saline injectate used for thecal sac prepressurization. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension and suspected spontaneous spinal CSF leak, consecutive-day lateral decubitus digital subtraction myelography demonstrates an acceptable risk profile without evidence of neurotoxic effects from cumulative intrathecal contrast doses. Higher intrathecal saline injectate volumes may correlate with an increased incidence of minor transient periprocedural neurologic effects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology