What is the ideal CSF closing pressure at lumbar puncture for IIH?

Cerebrospinal fluid removal for idiopathic intracranial hypertension: less cerebrospinal fluid is best

Perloff MD, Parikh SK, Fiorito-Torres F, McAdams MT, Rayhill ML.

J Neuroophthalmol 2019; 39:330-332.



Although lumbar punctures (LPs) are used for diagnostic evaluation in idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), they can also provide relief from IIH-associated headache. Conversely, low-pressure headache secondary to LP can be debilitating. Low-volume cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) removal to a “high-normal” closing pressure (CP), approximately 18-20 cm H2O, may result in relief of IIH-associated headache with a lowered frequency of post-LP headache.


We conducted a single-center retrospective analysis from 2011 to 2016 of patients who underwent fluoroscopic LPs aiming for high-normal CPs. Inclusion criteria were as follows: 1) pre-existing diagnosis of IIH, or opening pressure (OP) and clinical findings diagnostic for IIH; 2) height and weight recorded within 1 year; 3) documented LP data parameters; and 4) one week post-LP follow-up documenting whether headache was worse, unchanged, or better.


One hundred forty-six patients met the inclusion criteria. Mean age was 34.9 years ± 11.0, and mean body mass index was 39.2 kg/m ± 10.5. Mean volume removed was 9.7 mL ± 4.6. The mean CP was 17.9 cm H2O ±2.7. The mean pressure change (OP-CP) per volume removed was 1.50 cm H2O/mL ±0.6. Headache symptoms at follow-up were improved in 64% (80/125) of patients, worse in 26% (33/125), and unchanged in 10% (12/125). Eleven patients were headache-free, and 11 patients required hospital care for post-LP headache.


Low-volume CSF removal to approximately 18 cm H2O resulted in relief of IIH-associated headache in most patients and a low incidence of post-LP headache. Although clinically variable, these data suggest that for every 1 mL of CSF removed, the CP decreases approximately 1.5 cm H2O.

This paper is cited in the neurochecklist:

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH): other investigations

Abstract link

By unknown, maybe L.A. Marty, M.D, Kansas City (author of other photographies in this book) – Sophian, Abraham: Epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis (1913), St. Louis, C.V Mosby, p. 171 (Scan from, Public Domain, Link