Intracranial Hypotension


Spontaneous intracranial hypotension is probably an under diagnosed cause of headache, even though its estimated to affect only about one in 50,000 individuals.


The symptoms may include headache, neck stiffness and arm pain.

Causes and Risk Factors

The condition is usually caused by the leakage of cerebrospinal fluid. A combination of an underlying weakness of the spinal meninges and a more or less trivial traumatic event, such as riding a roller coaster or jet skiing, is often found to cause spontaneous intracranial hypotension.


Computerized tomography scanning (CT) is the most reliable method for finding out exactly where the leak is.


Treatment is usually done with surgery to patch the leak. The Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurosurgery is one of the leading medical centers where this procedure is done. The procedure is safe and generally successful.

© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Want More Information?

Cedars-Sinai has a range of comprehensive treatment options.

Looking for a Physician?

Choose a doctor and schedule an appointment.

Need Help?


Available 7 days a week, 6 am - 9 pm PT

Need Help?


Looking for a Physician

Choose a doctor and schedule an appointment.