Optic nerve sheath diameter correlates to intracranial pressure in spontaneous CSF leak patients

Academic Article


  • Background: Spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (sCSF) leaks develop from pressure erosion due to idiopathic intracranial hypertension, treatment of which is paramount to preventing recurrence. Direct measurements of intracranial pressure (ICP) for monitoring response to treatment via lumbar drain (LD) or ventriculostomy are invasive and have risks. The objectives of this study are to determine whether ultrasonographic measurements of optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) correlate with LD ICP in patients with sCSF leaks undergoing treatment, and whether ONSDs are larger in patients with sCSF leaks than controls. Methods: Subjects with sCSF leaks and controls were prospectively recruited. ONSD, sex, and body mass index (BMI) were analyzed. For sCSF leak subjects, ultrasonography was performed at the time of LD opening and each pressure check postoperatively, including the acetazolamide response. In control patients, measurements were obtained at the time of surgery. Pearson's correlation between ONSD and ICP was performed. Results: Subjects with sCSF leaks (n = 9, age 52.4 ± 9.5, all female) and controls (n = 8, age 60.1 ± 14.8, two females) had significantly different BMIs, 38.4 ± 8.1 vs. 29.2 ± 4.8, t(15) = 2.793, p = 0.014. ONSD was strongly correlated with ICP measurements (r = 0.583, p = 0.002). However, percentage change in ONSD and ICP measurements were more strongly correlated (r = 0.733, p < 0.001). Patients with sCSF leaks had significantly higher ONSDs than controls, 0.63 cm ± 0.044 vs. 0.56 cm ± 0.074, t(15) = 2.329, p = 0.034. Conclusion: ONSD significantly correlated with ICP in sCSF leak patients and was wider in sCSF leak subjects than controls. Ultrasonography has utility in monitoring the ICP response to acetazolamide.
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    Author List

  • Tilak AM; Yang LC; Morgan J; Peña-Garcia J; Thompson M; Burleson S; Atkins A; Sheehan D; Cho DY; Woodworth BA