Case report Spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak following a pilates class

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Spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak following a pilates class: a case report

Case report:

Spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak following a pilates class: a case report

James Davis, Irini Yanny, Sukhdev Chatu, Patrick Dubois, Bu Hayee and Nick Moran

Journal of Medical Case Reports 2014, 8:456 doi:10.1186/1752-1947-8-456

Published: 21 December 2014

Abstract (provisional)


A spinal cerebrospinal fluid leak is the most common cause of spontaneous intracranial hypotension which is an uncommon but increasingly recognized cause of headache. This article describes the first reported case of pilates being associated with a spontaneous spinal cerebrospinal fluid leak whilst also highlighting the key information about spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leaks that will be useful to the general clinician.

Case presentation:

We present the case of a 42-year-old Caucasian woman who developed a low-pressure headache following a pilates class. A computed tomography scan of her head demonstrated bilateral chronic subdural hematomas and cerebellar descent. Magnetic resonance imaging of her spine revealed the presence of extensive extradural cerebrospinal fluid collections. She responded to conservative management and repeat neuroimaging after symptom resolution revealed no abnormalities.


Awareness and early recognition of spontaneous intracranial hypotension is important to prevent unnecessary investigations and delay in treatment. Pilates may be a risk factor for the development of a spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak.“


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