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Skull Base. 2001; 11(1): 47–58.
PMCID: PMC1656831

Endonasal Endoscopic Closure of Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea


The authors review their experience with endoscopic repair of skull base defects associated with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea involving the paranasal sinuses. A total of 22 patients was treated endoscopically between 1992 and 1998. The repair method consisted of closure of the CSF fistula with a free autologous abdominal fat graft and fibrin glue, supported with a sheet of silastic. The primary closure rate was 82% (18/22), and the overall closure rate was 95.5% (21/22) without recurrence or complications within an average follow-up of 5 years (14-83 months). A single patient still complains of cerebrospinal rhinorrhea, although this was never proved by any clinical, endoscopic, or biological (β2-transferrin) examination. The repair of ethmoidal-sphenoidal cerebrospinal fluid fistulae by endonasal endoscopic surgery is an excellent technique, both safe and effective. Fat is a material of choice, as it is tight and resists infection well. The technique and indications for endoscopic management of cerebrospinal fluid leaks are discussed.

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