Brainstem evoked potentials and magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities in differential diagnosis of intracranial hypotension

Vincenzo Di Stefano, Vincenzo Di Stefano, Camilla Ferrante, Roberta Telese, Massimo Caulo, Raffaella Franciotti, Laura Bonanni, Marco Onofrj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare brainstem acoustic evoked potentials (BAEP)and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)in the differential diagnosis of intracranial hypotension (IH), Chiari malformation (CM)and sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). Methods: BAEP were recorded in 18 IH, 18 CM, 20 SNHL patients and 52 controls. MRI were acquired in all IH and CM patients. Results: Abnormal BAEP were observed in 94% of IH patients, in 33% of CM and 70% of SNHL patients. After recovery from IH, BAEP abnormalities disappeared. Internal auditory canal (IAC)MRI abnormalities were described in 88% of IH patients. MRI signs of IH were observed in 33–78% in IH patients, but the most frequent MRI sign was 8th nerve T2 hyperintensity, with contrast enhancement in T1 sequences. This finding, combined with wave I latency, yielded highest specificity and sensitivity for IH diagnosis. Conclusions: Our study points out how IH can be effectively distinguished from CM and SNHL through the contribution of neurophysiology and MRI; in particular, evaluation of the 8th nerve achieves a high sensitivity and specificity in patients with IH. Further studies are required to examine the combined use of BAEP recordings ad MRI in diagnosis and monitoring of patients affected by IH.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-226
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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