Assessing changes in cervical epidural pressure during biportal endoscopic lumbar discectomy

Taewook Kang, Si Young Park, Soon Hyuck Lee, Jong Hoon Park, Seung Woo Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE Biportal endoscopic spinal surgery has been performed for several years, and its effectiveness is well known; however, no studies on its safety, specifically intracranial pressure, have been conducted to date. The authors sought to evaluate the effect of biportal endoscopic lumbar discectomy on intracranial pressure by monitoring cervical epidural pressure (CEP) changes throughout the procedure. METHODS Twenty patients undergoing single-level biportal endoscopic lumbar discectomy were enrolled in this study. CEPs were monitored throughout the procedure, consisting of phase 1, establishing the surgical portal and working space; phase 2, performing decompression and discectomy; and phase 3, turning off the fluid irrigation system. After discectomy was completed, the authors evaluated changes in CEP as the irrigation pressure increased serially by adding phase 4, increasing irrigation pressure with outflow open; and phase 5, increasing irrigation pressure with outflow closed. RESULTS The mean baseline CEP was measured as 16.65 mm Hg. In phase 1, the mean CEP was 17.3 mm Hg, which was not significantly different from the baseline CEP. In phase 2, the mean CEP abruptly increased up to 35.1 mm Hg when the epidural space was first connected with the working space, followed by stabilization of the CEP at 31.65 mm Hg. In phase 4, the CEP increased as the inflow pressure increased, showing a linear correlation, but not in phase 5. No patients experienced neurological complications. CONCLUSIONS It is important to ensure that irrigation fluid is not stagnant and is maintained continuously. More attention must be paid to keeping pressures low when opening the epidural space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-202
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© AANS 2021.


  • Biportal endoscopic lumbar discectomy
  • Cervical epidural pressure
  • Intracranial pressure
  • Lumbar disc herniation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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