Post-Dural Puncture Headache Evolving to a Subdural Hematoma: A Case Report

S. Dehaene, J. Biesemans, K. Van Boxem, W. Vidts, J. Sterken, J. Van Zundert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction Cervical epidural corticosteroid injections are frequently used for the treatment of subacute cervicobrachial pain. This therapy is considered safe, with the vast majority of the complications being minor and transient. Case Report We present a case of a woman in her fifties who suffered from cervicobrachialgia and received 2 cervical epidural corticosteroid infiltrations. On day 3 after the second infiltration, a new headache appeared and on day 16 a bilateral subdural hematoma was visualized on CT scan. Complete resorption of the hematoma was seen on day 25 without surgical intervention. Discussion Up until now, only 1 case report of an intracranial subdural hematoma after a cervical epidural steroid injection has been published. But several cases of an intracranial subdural hematoma after spinal, epidural, or combined spinal and epidural anesthesia have been reported. Physicians should be aware of this potentially dramatic complication since post-dural puncture headache after any type of procedure can evolve into a subdural hematoma. Clinical differentiation between the two can be difficult; post-dural puncture headache is characterized by relief of symptoms in the supine position and photophobia/phonophobia. A subdural hematoma should be considered if the headache changes in character, does not respond to treatment, or there are neurological signs such as nausea/vomiting and blurred vision. Immediate medical imaging should then be performed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalPain Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • epidural
  • epidural blood patch
  • hematoma
  • hemorrhage
  • injections
  • intracranial hypotension
  • pain
  • subdural


Dive into the research topics of 'Post-Dural Puncture Headache Evolving to a Subdural Hematoma: A Case Report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this