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ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2005;67(1):51-5. Epub 2005 Mar 7.

Cerebrospinal fluid leaks of temporal bone origin: etiology and management.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital, School of Medicine, Mainz, Germany.



Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks of the temporal bone region require surgical treatment as they pose life-threatening risks such as meningitis.


The aim of the study was to determine the surgical outcome depending on different operation techniques and grafts.


We performed a retrospective review of 28 cases of CSF leaks, operated in our department from 1983 to 2002. After a mean follow-up of 8 years, patients were interviewed concerning otorrhea or rhinorrhea and meningitis. In this context, our management of CSF leaks is presented.


The CSF leak had arisen spontaneously (n = 3), traumatically (n = 6) or postoperatively (n = 19). The surgical CSF leak repairs were performed via a transmastoid (n = 13), a middle fossa (n = 11) or a combined (n = 4) approach. Surgical outcome was independent on the used graft. CSF leak could be sealed in 25 of 28 cases. Only 3 patients suffered from recurrences. Meningitis or other complications did not occur.


Comparing different techniques and grafts, there were no differences in the surgical outcome.

Copyright (c) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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