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01.12.2014 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2014

Intracranial hypotension caused by cisternal irrigation for vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2014
Atsushi Ishida, Seigo Matsuo
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-8-308) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that there are no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

AI analyzed and interpreted the patient data, wrote the case report and revised the manuscript. SM supervised for the case. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Vasospasm is the most common cause of complication after a subarachnoid hemorrhage and tremendous efforts have been made to prevent it. A subarachnoid clot is the cause of the vasospasm and dissolving and washing it out is considered to be the best practice. Cisternal irrigation with urokinase and ascorbic acid has been widely used due to its proven effect.

Case presentation

A 60-year-old Japanese male presented with a severe headache was diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage and an immediate surgical obliteration was successfully performed. After clipping the aneurysm, a cisternal drainage tube was placed in the chiasmatic cistern. In order to clear the thick subarachnoid hemorrhage, a cisternal irrigation was performed. However, his consciousness deteriorated and his left pupil became dilated on the next day. A T1 sagittal magnetic resonance imaging scan showed an evidence of marked brain sagging with mild tonsillar descent. We continued intensive hydration and head-down positioning and the brain sagging was shown to have improved in the follow-up magnetic resonance imaging scan.


We present a case in which our patient experienced brain sagging after a cisternal irrigation of a subarachnoid hemorrhage. A subdural hematoma and low intracranial pressure suggested intracranial hypotension. Sagittal magnetic resonance imaging images are useful to evaluate brain sagging and are shown sequentially here in our case report.

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Authors’ original file for figure 1
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