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Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.)


INTRODUCTION: Post Dural Puncture Headache (PDPH) is a well-known complication of neuraxial anesthesia, however the occurrence of seizures and vision loss within few days after dural puncture could be alarming. Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES) is associated with reversible edema and leukoencephalopathy in the posterior parieto-occipital cortex. We report the co-presentation of PRES and PDPH after labor epidural analgesia.

CASE PRESENTATION: 25-year-old multiparous African-American woman was admitted for evaluation of new onset seizures and headache in the postpartum period. She had a recent history of multiple needle insertion attempts and inadvertent dural puncture during epidural analgesia for delivery. Soon after delivery, she was diagnosed with PDPH and was treated with epidural blood patch, with no relief of symptoms. Six days later, she developed sudden onset transient blindness, seizures and altered sensorium and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain revealed white matter changes suggestive of PRES.

CONCLUSION: PRES is an uncommon complication of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak and intracranial hypotension. We report the occurrence of PRES in a patient with no known risk factors, except a traumatic dural tap. Is it important to expand the differentials for headache after dural puncture to encompass PRES as a possibility, especially in patients with a delayed presentation of seizures and cortical blindness.

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ePub ahead of print