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J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2013 Apr;74(2):61-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1333620. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Endoscopic management of cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea: the charing cross experience.

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  • Department of ENT, Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare, London, United Kingdom.


Objective To describe our experience of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea management. Design Retrospective. Setting Charing Cross Hospital, London, a tertiary referral center. Participants Fifty-four patients with CSF rhinorrhea managed from 2003 to 2011. Main outcome measures Surgical technique; Recurrence. Results Etiologically, 36 were spontaneous and 18 traumatic. Eight patients with spontaneous and two with traumatic leaks had previous failed repairs in other units. Success rates after first and second surgery were 93% and 100%, respectively. Mean follow-up was 21 months. Four patients, all of spontaneous etiology, had recurrences; three of these underwent successful second repair with three layered technique, and the fourth had complete cessation of the leak after gastric bypass surgery and subsequent weight reduction. Adaptation of anatomic three-layered repair since then averted any further failure in the following 7 years. Mean body mass index was 34.0 kg/m(2) in spontaneous and 27.8 kg/m(2) in traumatic cases (p < 0.05). Fifty percent of spontaneous leaks were from the cribriform plate, 22% sphenoid, 14% ethmoid, and 14% frontal sinus. In the traumatic CSF leak group: 33.3% were from the cribriform plate, 33.3% sphenoid, 22.2% ethmoid, and 11.1% frontal. Conclusion Endoscopic CSF fistula closure is a safe and effective operation. All sites of leak can be accessed endoscopically. We recommend the use of an anatomic three-layered closure in difficult cases.


cerebrospinal fluid; endoscopic; rhinorrhea; skull base; spontaneous leaks

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