Revue Neurologique
2023 Oct 10:S0035-3787(23)01046-9.doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2023.07.014. Online ahead of print.

J PascaudS RedonM ElzièreA Donnet


Background: The diagnosis of spontaneous or post-traumatic intracranial hypotension (IH) mainly relies on clinical features and neuro-imaging. However, the results of brain and spine magnetic resonance imaging are not always contributive. There is an interest for other non-invasive procedures, able to confirm or refute the diagnosis. The use of oto-acoustic emissions (OAE) was previously reported on isolated cases of IH associated with endolymphatic hydrops (ELH). The aim of this study was to assess the real-life utilization of this electrophysiological method in a larger population of suspected IH.

Methods: A retro-prospective cohort study was conducted from November 2013 to July 2022 in patients with a suspected or doubtful diagnosis of IH. They were assessed for ELH by recording bilateral distortion product of oto-acoustic emissions (DPOAE) in sitting then in supine position.

Results: Among the 32 patients assessed, the diagnostic of IH was confirmed in 18 patients. An ELH was shown in 15 of them (83%), but also in seven other patients. They had several differential diagnoses: chronic migraine, Chiari malformation, rebound intracranial hypertension and perilymph fistula.

Conclusions: This procedure seems to be insufficient to exclude differential diagnosis when intracranial hypotension is suspected.

Keywords: CSF leak; Cochleovestibular symptoms; Endolymphatic hydrops; Intracranial hypotension; Orthostatic headache; Oto-acoustic emissions.

Real-life study of the use of oto-acoustic emissions in the diagnosis of intracranial hypotension