Endoscopic repair of cerebrospinal fluid leaks after neurosurgical procedures

David R. White, Marc G. Dubin, Brent A. Senior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objectives: Endoscopic repair of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks has proven to be effective and safe. CSF rhinorrhea is a well-known complication of neurosurgical procedures in the anterior cranial fossa. We present a series of endoscopic repairs of CSF rhinorrhea secondary to neurosurgical procedures. Study Design: Retrospective review of 13 cases. Methods: Thirteen patients are included in the study. Eleven had CSF leaks after hypophysectomy, one after clipping of an anterior circle of Willis aneurysm, and one after posttraumatic frontal lobe debridement. Leaks were identified intraoperatively during the neurosurgical procedure (n = 8) or with intrathecal fluorescein injection during a separate procedure (n = 5). Repair was performed by exposing the skull base defect, debriding the defect margins, and sealing the defect with a free mucosal graft or abdominal fat. Results: Leaks were identified in the sphenoid (n = 12) and posterior ethmoid (n = 1) sinuses. Nine patients had lumbar drains placed. One patient had recurrence of CSF rhinorrhea 2 months after initial repair requiring a revision procedure. No other recurrences were noted. One patient developed postoperative meningitis requiring intravenous antibiotics and a prolonged hospital stay. No other postoperative complications were observed. Conclusions: Endoscopic repair is a safe and effective treatment for CSF rhinorrhea encountered as a neurosurgical complication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-216
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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