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Epidural Blood Patch in a Patient with a Hematological Malignancy.

Postdural puncture headache is a frequently encountered complication following procedures such as lumbar puncture, neuraxial anesthesia, or intrathecal drug delivery device implantation. It classically presents as a painful orthostatic headache that is exacerbated when a patient is upright. For treatment, patients are often started on conservative options such as hydration, caffeine, bedrest, and NSAID analgesics; however, certain patients who fail these therapies may require intervention with an epidural blood patch. The epidural blood patch remains the gold standard for treating refractory postdural puncture headache. Contraindications to epidural blood patch include severe coagulopathy, patient refusal, or infection at the intended site of entry. There are no clear consensus recommendations regarding patients with a hematological malignancy and potential risk that autologous blood may seed malignant cells into the neuraxis. In this case report, we present a patient with acute myeloid leukemia who developed a postdural puncture headache after receiving subarachnoid administration of antineoplastics. The patient was refractory to conservative therapy, prompting multidisciplinary consultation and discussion with the patient about the risks and benefits of proceeding with an epidural blood patch. Ultimately, the patient elected to proceed with the offered epidural blood patch which led to complete resolution of his painful headaches and did not cause any spread of malignant cells into his neuraxis or cerebral spinal fluid.

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