Iatrogenic spinal hematoma as a complication of lumbar puncture: What is the risk and best management plan?

Surg Neurol Int 2016 29;7(Suppl 22):S581-9. Epub 2016 Aug 29.

Department of Neurosurgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Lumbar puncture (LP) rarely results in complications such as spinal hematomas. However, it remains unclear if certain variables increase likelihood of these events, or if surgical intervention improves outcome.

Methods: In addition to two clinical vignettes, we evaluated the post-1974 literature for cases of spinal hematoma and subsequent intervention. Based on our compilation of data, we evaluated outcome relative to numerous distinct variables.

Results: Based on 35 LP-related spinal hematoma cases in the post-1974 literature and our encounters, we found 28.6% of patients presenting with preexisting coagulopathy had poor outcomes regardless of intervention, relative to 14.3% of patients without coagulopathy; a highly significant difference (P = 0.02). Once diagnosed, 21 patients were treated surgically and 14 nonsurgically. Of the 60% surgical patients, 57.1% had good outcomes, and 42.9% had poor outcomes within 12 months. Of 40% nonsurgical patients, 57.1% had good outcomes and 42.9% had poor outcomes. Results in these groups were not statistically different.

Conclusions: We found a significant correlation between preexisting coagulopathy and poor neurological outcome irrespective of intervention. However, outcomes for these patients may be confounded by comorbidities including underlying conditions contributing to their coagulopathy. No significant correlation between type of surgical intervention and good outcome was found, possibly attributable to the paucity of details in existing case reports and the difficulty defining the degree of spinal cord compromise from a given lesion. Despite our findings, emergent neurosurgical intervention may be beneficial for the management of complications such as cauda equina syndrome secondary to intrathecal spinal hematoma.

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http://surgicalneurologyint.com/surgicalint_articles/iatroge
Publisher Site
http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/2152-7806.189441DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5009572PMC
September 2016
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