Q:

What happens when spinal fluid leaks?

A:

Quick Answer

When spinal fluid leaks out, there is a drop in the pressure around the areas of the spinal cord and brain according to MedlinePlus. Fluid leakage can also cause symptoms, such as fluid drainage from the ears. Spinal fluid leaks may require the consideration of various treatments.

 Know More

Full Answer

MedlinePlus maintains that the medical term for this clear and colorless fluid is cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF. A puncture in the dura, a thick membrane that surrounds the spinal cord and brain, can cause this fluid to leak out. Leakage can occur as a result of surgical procedures, head traumas and lumbar punctures. In some cases, a spinal fluid leak can be spontaneous or have an unknown cause.

Mount Sinai Hospital indicates that after a CSF leak, a person can experience symptoms that include fluid drainage from the nose as well as the ears, nausea, blurred vision and neck stiffness. However, a main symptom is a headache that is more severe in a sitting or an upright position, which is alleviated by lying down.

Johns Hopkins Medicine advises that diagnosing a CSF leak can involve the use of different tests, such as a head or spine MRI, CT scan and a radioisotope test. Another possible test according to Johns Hopkins Medicine is a nasal fluid analysis to detect the presence of the protein beta-2 transferrin.

According to the Yale School of Medicine, most CSF leaks tend to heal on their own, requiring a few days of bed rest and possible pain medication for headache symptoms. However, if CSF leaks do not heal, then other treatment options, such as a lumbar drain or surgery to repair the damage, may be necessary.

Mount Sinai Hospital claims that some complications or risks of CSF leaks include meningitis and pneumocephalus. While meningitis is a bacterial infection, pneumocephalus is an intracranial buildup of air; both of these medical conditions can be life-threatening.

Learn more about Nerves

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the function of association neurons?

    A:

    The Free Dictionary explains that an association neuron is a neuron found in the brain and spinal cord that conducts impulses between neurons. These neurons are commonly referred to as internuncial neurons or interneurons. According to Wikipedia, an interneuron is a neuron that forms connection between other neurons.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of the central nervous system?

    A:

    The central nervous system, composed of the brain, spinal cord and an extensive neuron network, serves as the control center for all bodily functions. It functions as the transmitter and receiver as well as the pathway for information flow and determines how the body responds to changes in its internal and external environment.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of sensory nerves?

    A:

    Sensory nerves carry signals from organs that respond to stimuli to the spinal cord and brain. The information that travels from one point to another does so via the central nervous system.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of pia mater?

    A:

    The pia mater, the innermost membrane covering the central nervous system, protects delicate nerve tissue, supplies blood to the brain, and produces and circulates spinal fluid. It also connects different parts of the central nervous system to one another and provides support to the spinal cord.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore