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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 22(6); 2011 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2011;22(6): 690-695.
Analysis of Clinical Characteristics and Correct Diagnosis Rate Associated with Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension in the Emergency Department
Ki yong Hong, Dong Woo Seo, Sang sik Choi, Chang Hwan Shon, Won Young Kim, Kyoung Soo Lim
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine University of Ulsan, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. leiseo@gmail.com
Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension (SIH) is rare condition and may accompany other clinical symptoms which inhibit accurate diagnosis in an emergency department (ER). Only a few studies have reported the clinical characteristics and root causes associated with SIH. This study evaluates the rate of accuracy of SIH diagnosis and compares clinical characteristics and diagnostic test results for correct versus incorrect diagnosis groups.
Medical records of SIH patients admitted to an emergency department (ER) over a twelve year period were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were grouped as having received correct or incorrect diagnosis, and their clinical characteristics and diagnostic test results were compared. In the incorrect diagnosis group, the number of times they were misdiagnosed, and the specialties of the clinic (s) they visited prior to arrival at this ER were reviewed.
Adhering to the inclusion criteria of our study, 72 patients were enrolled with 54 patients in the correct diagnosis group and 18 patients in the incorrect diagnosis group. Of the twenty one cases in the incorrect diagnosis group, the majority 7 cases (33.3%) had been examined by an emergency physician. Among the clinical symptoms observed, there was significant variability in the location of the headache (p=0.020) and time interval between symptom onset and diagnosis (p=0.035).
There were no differences in most of the clinical observations and diagnostic test results between the correct and incorrect diagnosis groups. To improve the correct diagnosis rate, it is suggested to have 'SIH' included as a differential diagnosis when encountering patients reporting headache in the emergency department. Emergency physicians should be required to recognize clinical SIH characteristics such as orthostatic headache.
Key words: Spontaneous intracranial hypotension, Misdiagnosis, Clinical characteristics
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