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1.  Unilateral Endoscopic Approach for Repair of Frontal Sinus Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak 
Skull Base  2011;21(3):139-146.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak closure remains one of the most difficult surgeries for skull base surgeons, particularly with frontal sinus involvement. Technological advances in endoscopic surgery increasingly allow for less morbid approaches to the frontal sinus. We describe a series of patients who underwent endoscopic frontal sinus CSF leak repair utilizing a unilateral approach, to evaluate the utility and outcomes of this method. We performed a retrospective review of four cases in tertiary care centers. Participants included patients with CSF leak involving the frontal sinus. Main outcome measures included cessation of CSF leak and frontal sinus patency. Three patients were closed on the first surgical attempt; one with a communicating hydrocephalus required a revision procedure. Leak etiologies included prior craniotomy for frontal sinus mucopyocele, spontaneous meningoencephalocele, erosion due to mucormycosis, and prior endoscopic sinus surgery. The frontal sinus remained patent in three of four patients. No patients have evidence of a leak at a minimum of 1 year after surgery. The repair of frontal sinus CSF leaks is possible in specific cases with an endoscopic unilateral approach in leaks with multiple etiologies. Surgeons should consider this approach when selecting the appropriate procedure for repair of frontal sinus CSF leaks.
PMCID: PMC3312112  PMID: 22451816
Cerebrospinal fluid leak; frontal sinus; frontal recess; endoscopic repair; unilateral
2.  Primary Spontaneous Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks and Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension 
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is increasingly recognized as a cause of spontaneous cerebrospinal (CSF) leak in the ENT and neurosurgical literature. The diagnosis of IIH in patients with spontaneous CSF leaks is classically made a few weeks after surgical repair of the CSF leak when symptoms and signs of elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) appear.
Case reports and literature review. Two young obese women developed spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea related to an empty sella in one, and a cribriform plate encephalocele in the other. Both patients underwent surgical repair of the CSF leak. A few weeks later, they developed chronic headaches and bilateral papilledema. Lumbar punctures showed elevated CSF-opening pressures with normal CSF contents, with temporary improvement of headaches. A man with a three-year history of untreated IIH developed spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea. He experienced improvement of his headaches and papilledema after a CSF shunting procedure, and the rhinorrhea resolved after endoscopic repair of the leak.
These cases and the literature review confirm a definite association between IIH and spontaneous CSF leak based on: 1) similar demographics; 2) increased ICP in some patients with spontaneous CSF leak after leak repair; 3) higher rate of leak recurrence in patients with raised ICP; 4) patients with intracranial hypertension secondary to tumors may develop CSF leak, confirming that raised ICP from other causes than IIH can cause CSF leak.
CSF leak may occasionally keep IIH patients symptom-free; however, classic symptoms and signs of intracranial hypertension may develop after the CSF leak is repaired, exposing these patients to a high risk of recurrence of the leak unless an ICP-lowering intervention is performed.
PMCID: PMC4040082  PMID: 24042170
papilledema; rhinorrhea; cerebrospinal fluid leak; idiopathic intracranial hypertension
3.  Endonasal Endoscopic Duraplasty: Our Experience 
Skull Base  2006;16(1):19-24.
Objective: Endoscopic repair of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks is a recognized technique. We consider our experience and evaluate the outcomes in patients who underwent endoscopic repair of CSF leaks. Methods: A retrospective case note review of 135 patients who underwent anterior cranial repairs of CSF leaks between August 1995 and December 2004 at a tertiary referral center. We describe the technical details and outcomes of care by purely endoscopic procedures. Results: Thirteen patients had combined transcranial and endonasal repairs and 122 patients had their repairs using an endoscopic approach only. There were 64 males and 71 females with ages that ranged from 1 to 75 years (mean age 42 years, median age 44 years). The success rate for first attempt only was 93.4%. Eight of the 122 patients (6.6%) needed a second surgical repair. In one patient a bicoronal approach was necessary while in the other cases a revision endoscopic procedure was appropriate. The period of follow-up ranged from 2 months to 9 years (mean 5 years, median 39 months). Conclusions: Our experience confirmed that endoscopic surgery is an effective and safe method of treatment for most CSF leaks. A variety of different endoscopic techniques allowed CSF leaks to be repaired in almost every site of the anterior skull base with very few exceptions.
PMCID: PMC1408077  PMID: 16880897
CSF leak; nasal endoscopy; duraplasty; sphenoidal meningoencephaloceles
4.  Endoscopic repair of cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea — Manipal experience 
Otolaryngologists play a major role in the management of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea. A thorough understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and the various treatment options available is essential to achieve the best possible results.
In this paper, we are highlighting the pathophysiology, diagnosis and surgical technique involved in the repair of cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea. A retrospective study conducted in the department of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal is presented to highlight our experience with cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea.
Eleven patients were managed in the department of otolaryngology between 1999 and 2005. Seven had spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea, three were due to trauma and one iatrogenic, following surgery. Commonest anatomic site of leak was the cribriform plate in 4 cases. Other sites included sphenoid [2], lateral lamella [2], fovea ethmoidalis [2] and olfactory groove [1]. Onlay technique was performed in 10 out of 11 patients. Closure was successful in 10 out of 11 cases in the first attempt. One patient underwent revision surgery. Patients were followed up for a period ranging from 3 months to 3 years.
CSF rhinorrhea is a potentially fatal condition which requires precise and urgent treatment. The transnasal endoscopic repair of CSF leak has a high success rate with low morbidity when performed by experienced endoscopic sinus surgeons. Our experience in managing this condition is presented.
PMCID: PMC3450118  PMID: 23120596
5.  Spontaneous CSF Rhinorrhea Our Experience 
To analyse the possible factors contributing to spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea and to assess the outcome of Transnasal endoscopic repair at our centre. Retrospective case series of patients with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea at our institution from Jan 2006 to May 2010. 7 patients were diagnosed with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea. 5 of the 7 patients were obese, middle aged females managed with Transnasal endoscopic repair with fascia lata auto graft. Successful repair of CSF rhinorrhea was achieved in all the patients with a single endoscopic procedure; no patient required a revision procedure. Spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea is a rare condition seen mostly in middle aged obese females with the anterior part of the cribriform plate being the most common site of leak. HRCT paranasal sinus (1 mm cuts) was an effective modality of investigation in our study with ancillary investigations been CT Cisternography, CSF analysis and MRI for inactive leaks. In the absence of a large breech of the skull base, endoscopic repair of CSF rhinorrhea carries a high success rate with a high safety margin and very low morbidity rate.
PMCID: PMC3738769  PMID: 24427660
Cerebrospinal fluid; Rhinorrhea; Endoscopic sinus surgery
6.  Transnasal Transsphenoidal Endoscopic Repair of CSF Leakage Using Multilayer Acellular Dermis 
Skull Base  2007;17(2):125-132.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks result from a communication between the subarachnoid space and the upper aerodigestive tract. Because of the risk of complications such as meningitis, brain abscess, and pneumocephalus, all persistent CSF leaks should be repaired. Surgical repair may be achieved transcranially or extracranially using a wide variety of autogenous, allogenic, and synthetic patching materials. We report our results with a transnasal transsphenoidal endoscopic approach for the repair of CSF leaks coupled with a multilayer closure using acellular dermis (Alloderm™). We conducted a retrospective review of all patients presenting to our institution over the past 5 years with isolated sphenoid sinus CSF fistulas. Results: Twenty-one patients were included in the study. Nineteen patients (90.5%) had their sphenoid sinus CSF fistula repaired during the first attempt; 2 patients (9.5%) needed a second attempt. The multilayer repair of the CSF leak using acellular dermis via a transsphenoidal endoscopic approach is an effective and successful method of surgical repair of the fistula site. Neither the number, size, nor cause of the CSF fistula affected surgical outcomes. However, the presence of hydrocephalus was a significant negative variable, altering the surgical outcomes of our patients. The acellular dermis offers the advantage of not requiring autogenous tissue for the effective repair of CSF leaks in the sphenoid sinus.
PMCID: PMC1876155  PMID: 17768442
Transnasal approach; multilayer repair; sphenoid sinus; CSF leak
7.  Sellar repair in endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenoma: a report of 240 cases 
Journal of Injury and Violence Research  2012;4(3 Suppl 1): Paper No. 68.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak is a devastating complication after transsphenoidal surgical approach to pituitary adenoma and sellar repair has been postulated as crucial step in this approach. In this study, we describe our experience regarding sellar repair in pure endoscopic endonasal approach in 240 patients with pituitary adenoma.
During April 2005 to April 2011, a total of 240 patients with pituitary adenomas underwent endoscopic endonasal approaches for tumor removal. The degree of intra-operative CFS leak was graded as followed: Grade 0: no leakage was observed; grade 1: leakage in form of drops; and grade 3: flow of CSF was observed. Repair was done according to degree of leak e.g. surgicel for grade 0, fat and fascia for grade 1, with adding synthetic sealant and/or lumbar drain for grade 2. The method of repair is discussed in each group and exceptions were also bolded. No sphenoid sinus obliteration was needed.
There were 208 macroadenomas and 32 microadenomas. One hundred and thirteen patients (55.4%) had grade 0 CSF leaks, 78 patients (32.5%) grade 1 CSF leaks, and 29 patients (12%) showed grade 2 leaks. There were 2 documented post operative CSF leak (0.8%) one of them was treated by lumbar drainage and the other with revision endoscopic repair. There was also one case of pneumocephalus (0.4%) with no obvious leak in nasal endoscopic exam which managed medically. There were also 2 cases of post-operation meningitis (0.8%) with no leak that one of them was due to outbreak of acinetobacter in ICU.
Findings of this study showed that intra-operative CSF leak is an important factor determining the need and extend of sellar repair in endoscopic endonasal approach for pituitary adenoma. The low rate of post-operative CSF leak is in favor of the applicability of grading system and method chosen for repair.
Sellar repair, Endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery, Pituitary adenoma,Intra-operative Cerebrospinal fluid leak
PMCID: PMC3571594
8.  A case of spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea: Accurate detection of the leak point by magnetic resonance cisternography 
Spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea is a rare entity. The accurate preoperative localization of the leak point is essential for planning surgical treatment, but is sometimes difficult. To localize the leak point, magnetic resonance cisternography (MRC) is the method of choice, but its effectiveness remains unclear.
Case Description:
A 34-year-old mildly obese female experienced spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea after an attack of bronchial asthma. High-resolution computed tomography (CT) failed to reveal the leak point, while MRC demonstrated an arachnoid herniation at the olfactory cleft. The patient underwent endoscopic endonasal repair of the CSF leak with success. There has been no recurrence of CSF rhinorrhea for 14 months after surgery followed by the administration of acetazolamide.
We report a rare case of spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea associated with benign intracranial hypertension, in which the leak point was successfully detected by MRC. The CSF leak was completely repaired by minimally invasive endoscopic endonasal surgery. MRC may be a reliable method for detecting CSF leak points.
PMCID: PMC4033760  PMID: 24872916
Benign intracranial hypertension; endoscopic endonasal surgery; leak point; magnetic resonance cisternography; spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea
9.  Endoscopic Management of Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea: The Charing Cross Experience 
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/m2 in spontaneous and 27.8 kg/m2 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.
PMCID: PMC3699213  PMID: 24436890
cerebrospinal fluid; rhinorrhea; endoscopic; skull base; spontaneous leaks
10.  Nasoseptal Flap Closure of Traumatic Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks 
Skull Base  2011;21(2):93-98.
The vascularized nasoseptal flap has become a principal reconstructive technique for the closure of endonasal skull base surgery defects. Despite its potential utility, there has been no report describing the use of the modern nasoseptal flap to repair traumatic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks and documenting the outcomes of this application. Specific concerns in skull base trauma include septal trauma with disruption of the flap pedicle, multiple leak sites, and issues surrounding persistent leaks after traumatic craniotomy. We performed a retrospective case series review of 14 patients who underwent nasoseptal flap closure of traumatic CSF leaks in a tertiary academic hospital. Main outcome measures include analysis of clinical outcome data. Defect etiology was motor vehicle collision in eight patients (57%), prior sinus surgery in four (29%), and assault in two (14%). At the time of nasoseptal flap repair, four patients had failed prior avascular grafts and two had previously undergone craniotomies for repair. Follow-up data were available for all patients (mean, 10 months). The overall success rate was 100% (no leaks), with 100% defect coverage. The nasoseptal flap is a versatile and reliable local reconstructive technique for ventral base traumatic defects, with a 100% CSF leak repair rate in this series.
PMCID: PMC3312593  PMID: 22451808
Cranial base; nasoseptal flap; cerebrospinal fluid leak; reconstructive techniques; endoscopy
11.  Pseudomeningoceles of the sphenoid sinus masquerading as sinus pathology 
The Laryngoscope  2011;121(12):2507-2513.
To describe the clinical presentation, pathophysiology and treatment of spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks of the sphenoid bone, with an emphasis on a previously undescribed form in this location, in which CSF is trapped under the mucosa of the sinonasal cavity or in the soft tissue of the skull base.
Study design
Case series and literature review. Level of evidence 4.
Analysis of cases through medical records and literature review.
Four examples of unusual spontaneous CSF leaks of the skull base are presented. In each case, a CSF collection was contained behind the sinonasal mucosa of the sphenoid sinus, resembling a nasal polyp or mucocele on exam or imaging. In one case, the fluid collection was also associated with significant bone resorption and extravasation into the soft tissue of the infratemporal fossa. In each case, small defects of the ventral skull base (sphenoid bone) were the source of the CSF leaks. Successful treatment was achieved after transnasal endoscopic repair of the skull base defects using a combination of free abdominal fat grafts, free fascial grafts and pedicled nasoseptal flaps. Postoperatively, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt was placed if the intracranial pressure was elevated.
Spontaneous CSF leaks arising in the sphenoid sinus may not always present with overt CSF rhinorrhea but with a submucosal fluid collection (pseudomeningocele) that may mimic a mucocoele or nasal polyp. These bona fide pseudomeningoceles of the skull base may be associated with elevated intracranial pressure and can be managed using endoscopic endonasal surgery.
PMCID: PMC3223265  PMID: 22052361
CSF leak; mucocele; meningocele; skull base; sinus
12.  Impact of Chemoradiotherapy on CSF Leak Repair after Skull Base Surgery 
Background Transnasal endoscopic resection (TER) has become the treatment of choice for many skull base tumors. A major limitation of TER is the management of large dural defects and the need for repair of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks, particularly among patients who are treated with chemotherapy (CTX) or radiotherapy (RT). The objective of this study is to determine the impact of CTX and RT on the success of CSF leak repair after TER.
Methods We performed a retrospective chart review of a single-institution experience of TER from 1992 to 2011.
Results We identified 28 patients who had endoscopic CSF leak repair after resection of malignant skull base tumors. Preoperative RT was utilized in 18 patients, and 9 had undergone CTX. All patients required CSF leak repair with rotational flaps after cribriform and/or dural resection. CSF leak repair failed in three patients (11%). A history of RT or CTX was not associated with failed CSF leak repair.
Conclusion Adjuvant or neoadjuvant CTX or RT is not associated with failed CSF leak repair. Successful CSF leak repair can be performed in patients with malignant skull base tumors with an acceptable risk profile.
PMCID: PMC4176540  PMID: 25276601
cerebrospinal fluid leak; endonasal endoscopic surgery; skull base tumors; skull base reconstruction; chemotherapy; radiotherapy; postoperative complications; pedicled septal mucosal flap; neurological sequelae; neurosurgical patients
13.  Refractory Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea Secondary to Occult Superior Vena Cava Syndrome and Benign Intracranial Hypertension: Diagnosis and Management 
Skull Base  2009;19(4):279-285.
Objective: This study is designed to describe the association between benign intracranial hypertension (BIH) and spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea and address the effect of extracranial venous flow dynamics on intracranial pressure (ICP). Methods: We present a 58-year-old woman with refractory spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea who was later found to have superior vena cava syndrome. The patient had undergone two prior transnasal endoscopic repair attempts. In retrospect, a preoperative magnetic resonance venogram (MRV) suggested very prolonged cerebral transit time, despite otherwise normal intracranial venous anatomy. Results: The CSF leak was repaired through a bifrontal craniotomy. The intraoperative and postoperative course was complicated due to the patient's significant comorbidities. She ultimately made a good recovery and has not had any further CSF rhinorrhea in more than 2 years of follow-up. Conclusions: Refractory, spontaneous CSF leak must prompt aggressive investigation for multiple causes of elevated ICP. A cerebral transit time can be obtained from scout imaging when a magnetic resonance angiogram or MRV is performed, and this may disclose elevated ICP if it is prolonged. If endoscopic transnasal repair fails, craniotomy and direct suture repair and autologous tissue reinforcement of the skull base may prove successful and durable, even if BIH persists.
PMCID: PMC2731465  PMID: 20046596
Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea; benign intracranial hypertension; superior vena cava syndrome; craniotomy
14.  How to Choose? Endoscopic Skull Base Reconstructive Options and Limitations 
Skull Base  2010;20(6):397-404.
As endoscopic skull base resections have advanced, appropriate reconstruction has become paramount. The reconstructive options for the skull base include both avascular and vascular grafts. We review these and provide an algorithm for endoscopic skull base reconstruction. One hundred and sixty-six skull base dural defects, reconstructed with an endonasal vascular flap, were examined. As an adjunct, avascular reconstruction techniques are discussed to illustrate all options for endonasal skull base reconstruction. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak rates are also discussed. Small CSF leaks may be successfully repaired with various avascular grafting techniques. Endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEAs) to the skull base often have larger dural defects with high-flow CSF leaks. Success rates for some EEA procedures utilizing avascular grafts approach 90%, yet in high-flow leak situations, success rates are much lower (50 to 70%). Defect location and complexity guides vascularized flap choice. When nasoseptal flaps are unavailable, anterior/sellar defects are best managed with an endoscopically harvested pericranial flap, whereas clival/posterior defects may be reconstructed with an inferior turbinate or temporoparietal flap. An endonasal skull base reconstruction algorithm was constructed and points to increased use of various vascularized reconstructions for more complex skull base defects.
PMCID: PMC3134819  PMID: 21772795
Skull base reconstruction; nasoseptal flap; AlloDerm; CSF leak rate; algorithm; skull base; pericranial flap; vascular reconstruction
15.  Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea: endoscopic repair based on a combined diagnostic approach 
The treatment of cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea has evolved since the first recorded instance of this condition by Willis in 1676. The advancements in radiology and endoscopic nasal surgery have provided ways to solve this potentially dangerous condition. But even now quite a few questions remain unanswered while tackling this difficult clinical situation. Laboratory tests for confirming the presence of cerebrospinal fluid in nasal fluid can yield false positive results and radiological evaluation has never been foolproof when it comes to small leaks and multiple leaks. Also the postoperative recurrence needs to be brought within acceptable limits.
We have tried to evaluate endoscopic repair of CSF rhinorrhea based on a combined diagnostic approach. The methods for diagnosis of CSF rhinorrhea have been reevaluated based on our experience with a view to prevent recurrences and complications.
Materials and methods
The study group included twenty patients of CSF rhinorrhea who have been treated by endoscopic repair and spans over a period of five years from January 2001 to December 2005. A combination of retrospective and prospective methods of study has been used. Patients have been subjected to laboratory, radiological and dye studies for confirmation and localization of leak. Endoscopic repair of CSF fistula with composite graft and fibrin glue has been performed. Postoperative management included intracranial pressure reducing measures and control of primary condition in cases of spontaneous leak.
Endoscopic repair of CSF rhinorrhea produced a first time success rate of 92%. CT/MR Cisternogram could localize the defect in 85% cases while intrathecal fluorescein aided localization whenever it was used. The use of fibrin glue with composite graft and postoperative intracranial pressure reducing measures could improve the success rate.
Management of a suspected CSF leak requires a combined diagnostic approach. Endoscopic repair with composite graft and fibrin glue should be the first line of management in cases of CSF rhinorrhea requiring surgical closure. Intracranial pressure reducing measures play an important role in preventing postoperative recurrence.
PMCID: PMC3449996  PMID: 23120618
Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea; Endoscopic skull base surgery; Fluorescein dye; Endoscopic repair of CSF leak; Mondini’s dysplasia; CSF otorhinorrhea
16.  Low Complication Rates of Cranial and Craniofacial Approaches to Midline Anterior Skull Base Lesions 
Skull Base  2008;18(4):229-241.
Objective: Surgery is a cornerstone of treatment for a wide variety of neoplastic, congenital, traumatic, and inflammatory lesions involving the midline anterior skull base and may result in a significant anterior skull base defect requiring reconstruction. This study is a retrospective analysis of the reconstruction techniques and complications seen in a series of 58 consecutive patients with midline anterior skull base pathology treated with craniotomy or a craniofacial approach. The complication rates in this series are compared with other retrospective series and specific techniques that may reduce complications are then discussed. Design: This is a retrospective analysis of 58 consecutive patients who had surgery for a midline anterior skull base lesion between January 1994 and July 2003. Data were collected regarding pathology, surgical approach, reconstruction technique, and complications. Results: Twenty-nine patients underwent surgery for a meningioma (50%). The remainder had frontoethmoidal cancer, mucoceles/invasive nasal polyps, encephalocele, esthesioneuroblastoma, anterior falx dermoid cyst with a nasal sinus tract, or invasive pituitary adenoma. In most patients, a low and narrow two-piece biorbitofrontal craniotomy was used. When possible, the dura was repaired before entering the nasal cavity. Thirteen patients experienced a complication (22%). There was one case of postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak (2%), one case of meningitis (2%), two cases of bone flap infection (3%), and two cases of symptomatic pneumocephalus (3%). There were no deaths, no reoperations for CSF leak, and no patient had a new permanent neurologic deficit other than anosmia. Conclusions: Transcranial approaches for midline anterior skull base lesions can be performed safely with a low incidence of postoperative CSF leak, meningitis, bone flap infection, and symptomatic pneumocephalus. Our results, particularly with regard to CSF leakage, compare favorably with other retrospective series.
PMCID: PMC2467480  PMID: 19119338
Anterior skull base; cerebrospinal fluid leak; complications; craniofacial approach; meningioma; skull base surgery
17.  Endoscopic Contralateral Superiorly Based Mucoperiosteal Nasal Septal Flap for Closure of Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak 
Objective A novel local contralateral superiorly based mucoperiosteal nasal septal flap (CSBMNSF) for closure of a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak from the middle anterior base of the skull is described.
Materials and Methods A retrospective review of patients having endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) with a CSF leak between 2000 and 2009 was performed. The surgical technique is described. Two vertical parallel incisions are performed anteriorly and posteriorly in the contralateral septal mucosa, joined inferiorly by a horizontal incision. Elevation of the flap is completed, leaving it pedicled superiorly. A window is created at the highest aspect of the nasal septum to allow transfer of the flap to the affected side.
Results Four patients with a CSF leak post-ESS for excision of a congenital meningocele, tumor removal, and chronic sinusitis are described. All were treated successfully using a CSBMNSF.
Conclusion A novel, easy-to-handle local flap for closure of defects in the anterior middle skull base is described. The use of this flap offers less morbidity and less bulkiness compared with other local or regional flaps.
PMCID: PMC3709954  PMID: 24436901
CSF leak; sinus surgery; local flap
18.  Surgical technique for repair of complex anterior skull base defects 
Modern microsurgical techniques enable en bloc resection of complex skull base tumors. Anterior cranial base surgery, particularly, has been associated with a high rate of postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, meningitis, intracranial abscess, and pneumocephalus. We introduce simple modifications to already existing surgical strategies designed to minimize the incidence of postoperative CSF leak and associated morbidity and mortality.
Medical records from 1995 to 2013 were reviewed in accordance with the Institutional Review Board. We identified 21 patients who underwent operations for repair of large anterior skull base defects following removal of sinonasal or intracranial pathology using standard craniofacial procedures. Patient charts were screened for CSF leak, meningitis, or intracranial abscess formation.
A total of 15 male and 6 female patients with an age range of 26–89 years were included. All patients were managed with the same operative technique for reconstruction of the frontal dura and skull base defect. Spinal drainage was used intraoperatively in all cases but the lumbar drain was removed at the end of each case in all patients. Only one patient required re-operation for repair of persistent CSF leak. None of the patients developed meningitis or intracranial abscess. There were no perioperative mortalities. Median follow-up was 10 months.
The layered reconstruction of large anterior cranial fossa defects resulted in postoperative CSF leak in only 5% of the patients and represents a simple and effective closure option for skull base surgeons.
PMCID: PMC4338489  PMID: 25722926
Cerebrospinal fluid leak; reconstruction; skull base defect
19.  Use of the Hadad-Bassagasteguy flap for repair of recurrent cerebrospinal fluid leak after prior transsphenoidal surgery 
Allergy & Rhinology  2013;4(3):e155-e161.
The Hadad-Bassagasteguy vascularized nasoseptal pedicled flap (HBF) is an effective technique for reconstruction of skull base defects with low incidence of postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. Advanced planning is required as posterior septectomy during transsphenoidal surgery can preclude its use due to destruction of the vascular pedicle. We present four cases in which the HBF was successfully used to repair recurrent CSF leaks despite prior posterior septectomy and transsphenoidal surgery. A retrospective chart review was performed on all patients who developed recurrent CSF leak after transsphenoidal surgery over a 7-year period (2006–2013). Data were collected regarding demographics, clinical presentation, intraoperative findings, and surgical outcomes. Four patients who developed recurrent CSF drainage after transsphenoidal surgery were managed with HBF reconstruction during the study period. Two were men and two were women with a mean age of 37 years (range, 24–48 years). All had previously undergone resection of a pituitary macroadenoma via a transsphenoidal approach, with intraoperative CSF leaks repaired using multilayered free grafts. Recurrent CSF rhinorrhea arose 0.37–12 months (mean, 2.98 months) after the initial pituitary surgery. Active CSF drainage could be visualized intraoperatively with posterior septal perforations present. The HBF was successfully used in all cases, with no evidence of recurrent CSF leak after a mean follow-up of 2.35 years. The HBF may be salvaged for repair of recurrent CSF leaks even in the context of prior posterior septectomy and transsphenoidal surgery. However, longer follow-up is necessary to determine the long-term efficacy of this procedure in such revision cases.
PMCID: PMC3911805  PMID: 24498521
Cerebrospinal fluid leak repair; nasoseptal flap; transsphenoidal surgery
20.  Spontaneous sphenoid sinus cerebrospinal fluid leak and meningoencephalocele – are they due to patent Sternberg's canal? 
Sternberg's canal is a congenital bony defect in the lateral wall of the sphenoid sinus. If it persists to adulthood, it may become a source of spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak (CSF) and meningoencephalocele. The aim of the study was to describe the authors’ experience and review articles related to spontaneous sphenoid sinus CSF leaks and Sternberg's canal. We analysed patients managed surgicallly due to sphenoid sinus CSF leak and performed a PubMed database search. Two female patients with spontaneous CSF leak of sphenoid origin were found. Both patients underwent surgery with the endoscopic endonasal approach, and the defect was closed using the multi-layer technique. Twelve articles related to CSF leaks of sphenoid origin (due to Sternberg's canal) were found in the PubMed database. Lines of lesser resistance within sphenoid bone may underlie CSF leak pathology together with intracranial hypertension. The endoscopic transnasal approach to the sphenoid sinus is an excellent alternative to standard transcranial procedures.
PMCID: PMC4520829  PMID: 26240642
Sternberg's canal; spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak; endoscopic endonasal approach; multilayer dural repair; sphenoid sinus meningoencephalocele
21.  Long-Term Outcome of Endonasal Endoscopic Skull Base Reconstruction with Nasal Turbinate Graft 
Skull Base  2008;18(5):297-308.
Objective: To study the long-term outcome of endonasal endoscopic skull base reconstruction with nasal turbinate tissue free graft. Patients and Methods: This study included 55 consecutive patients who underwent endonasal endoscopic skull base reconstruction with nasal turbinate graft and were available for follow-up. They were 30 patients with pituitary adenomas, 20 with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea of different etiologies, three with meningoencephalocele, and two with skull base meningiomas. Autologous nasal turbinate tissue materials were used in reconstructing the skull base defect. Clinical follow-up with endoscopic nasal examination was done routinely 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging were performed when indicated. The follow-up period ranged from 6 months to 8 years. Results: There were no major operative or postoperative complications. Nasal turbinate graft was effective in sealing of intraoperative CSF leak, obliteration of dead space, and anatomic reconstruction of the skull base. There was no evidence of graft migration or inflammatory changes. Starting from 3 months after surgery to the rest of the follow-up period, endonasal endoscopic view of the site of duraplasty showed that: with small skull base defect (less than 5 mm), there was neither dural pulsation nor prolapse; with moderate-sized defect (5 to 10 mm), there was dural pulsation without prolapse; with larger defect (> 10 mm), there was dural pulsation and prolapse. These finding were constant regardless of the etiology of the lesion and the reconstruction material used. Conclusions: This long-term study demonstrated the efficacy of nasal turbinate graft in sealing of CSF leak without any delayed complications. Other rigid materials may be considered in reconstruction of large skull base defect (more than 10 mm) to prevent dural prolapse and herniation. For any future endonasal procedure for those patients, who had previous endonasal endoscopic duraplasty, the surgeons should be fully aware of the state of duraplasty (e.g., dural prolapse) to avoid any intraoperative complication (e.g., penetration of the prolapsed dura during nasal packing).
PMCID: PMC2637066  PMID: 19240829
Endonasal; endoscopic; skull base; nasal turbinate
22.  The Efficacy and Safety of Preoperative Lumbar Drain Placement in Anterior Skull Base Surgery 
This study assesses the efficacy of preoperative lumbar drain (LD) placement prior to elective open cranial and endoscopic anterior skull base (ASB) surgery in reducing postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. A retrospective review of 93 patients who underwent LD placement at our institution between 2006 and 2011 was performed. Of these patients, 43 underwent elective LD placement prior to ASB surgery; 2 patients had evidence of CSF rhinorrhea prior to surgery, and 41 had no evidence of a preoperative CSF leak. Of those 41 patients, 2 developed CSF rhinorrhea (2/41= 4.9%) as a result of surgery—all in our endoscopic patient population (N = 21; 2/21= 9.5%). No postoperative CSF leaks were noted in our open ASB surgery cohort (N = 20). Other complications were rare, but we encountered two instances of delayed malignant cerebral edema in the open ASB cohort that are discussed in detail. Overall, preoperative LD placement was found to be an effective means of preventing postoperative CSF leaks after ASB approaches, but potential and significant intracranial complications may occur in select patients that merit careful consideration prior to LD placement.
PMCID: PMC3713560  PMID: 23943713
cerebrospinal fluid; lumbar drain; craniotomy; anterior skull base; endoscopic
23.  Endoscopic Repair of Lateral Sphenoid Recess Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks 
Endoscopic repair of anterior cranial base has been widely reported. However there is still no uniformity in the technique of endoscopic repair of lateral sphenoid cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. To highlight the management of CSF leak or encephalocele in the lateral sphenoid recess and relate our experiences. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all our patients who underwent an endoscopic repair of CSF leaks in the lateral sphenoid recess during the period from September 2003 to January 2010 at our tertiary hospital. Fifteen cases with CSF leaks/encephalocele that were repaired by the endoscopic approach were included. The majority of our cases were spontaneous leaks. In all our cases we approached the site of defect by an end on approach. All our patients were successfully treated in the first attempt. Endoscopic repair of lateral sphenoid recess has shown better surgical outcome with reduced morbidity.
PMCID: PMC3392343  PMID: 23730584
Para nasal sinus; Sphenoid sinus; Rhinorrhoea; Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhoea; Spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhoea; Surgical procedure; Endoscopic
24.  Missile Injuries of the Anterior Skull Base 
Skull Base  2004;14(1):1-8.
Missile injuries of the anterior skull base usually occur during war or warlike situations. These injuries may be isolated or associated with multiple traumatic injuries. We report 23 such cases managed during military conflicts and peacekeeping operations. All were adult males. Four of these patients sustained bullet injuries; the rest were injured from shrapnel. Eighteen patients had injury to the visual apparatus with permanent blindness. Proptosis was seen in 16, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak from the wound in seven, and CSF orbitorrhea in three patients. Sixteen had irreparable injury to the eye necessitating evisceration/enucleation, and two had retrobulbar optic nerve injury. Three patients were comatose [Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) 3/15], and 14 had altered sensorium. Six patients were fully conscious. All were investigated by computed tomography (CT), which revealed injury to the eyeball and skull base, orbital fracture, frontal hematoma, contusion, and pneumocephalus. Seventeen patients underwent emergency surgery, and six patients were initially managed conservatively. Neurosurgical management consisted of making bifrontal flaps, craniotomy/craniectomy, debridement, and repair of the base with fascia lata. Reconstruction of the orbital rim was required in three cases. All were managed postoperatively with cerebral decongestants and antibiotics in antimeningitic dosages. There was one death in the postoperative period; outcome was good in 16 and moderate in four patients. Twelve patients had retained intracranial splinters; three of these developed recurrent suppurative meningitis. Of the six patients initially managed conservatively, three were subsequently operated for CSF rhinorrhea. Gross communition, dural loss, and injury to the frontal scalp often preclude the use of pericranial repair of the skull base. Fascia lata is extremely useful for reconstruction and repair. Anterior cranial fossa injury probably carries a better prognosis; however, there is increased risk of suppurative complications due to breach of air-filled sinuses by the missile and contamination of the intradural compartment, as compared with supratentorial vault injuries not involving the orbit or paranasal sinuses. Three patients who underwent no operative procedure and remain asymptomatic are under follow-up.
PMCID: PMC1151666  PMID: 16145579
Brain abscess; gunshot wound; head injury; meningitis; missile injury; orbitocranial injury
25.  Bilateral meningoencephaloceles with cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea after facial advancement in the Crouzon syndrome 
Allergy & Rhinology  2015;6(2):e138-e142.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea and encephaloceles are rare complications of craniofacial advancement procedures performed in patients with craniofacial dysostoses (CD) to address the ramifications of their midface hypoplasia including obstructed nasal airway, exorbitism, and impaired mastication. Surgical repair of this CSF rhinorrhea is complicated by occult elevations in intracranial pressure (ICP), potentially necessitating open, transcranial repair. We report the first case in otolaryngology literature of a patient with Crouzon syndrome with late CSF rhinorrhea and encephalocele formation after previous LeFort III facial advancement surgery.
Describe the case of a patient with Crouzon syndrome who presented with CSF rhinorrhea and encephaloceles as complications of Le Fort III facial advancement surgery. Review the literature pertaining to the incidence and management of post-operative CSF rhinorrhea and encephaloceles. Analyze issues related to repair of these complications, including occult elevations in ICP, the utility of perioperative CSF shunts, and the importance of considering alternative repair schemes to the traditional endonasal, endoscopic approach.
Review of the literature describing CSF rhinorrhea and encephalocele formation following facial advancement in CD, focusing on management strategies.
CSF rhinorrhea and encephalocele formation are rare complications of craniofacial advancement procedures. Occult elevations in ICP complicate the prospect of permanent surgical repair, potentially necessitating transcranial repair and the use of CSF shunts. Though no consensus exists regarding the utility of perioperative CSF drains, strong associations exist between elevated ICP and failed surgical repair. Additionally, the anatomic changes in the frontal and ethmoid sinuses after facial advancement present a challenge to endoscopic repair.
Otolaryngologists should be aware of the possibility of occult elevations in ICP and sinonasal anatomic abnormalities when repairing CSF rhinorrhea in patients with CD. Clinicians should consider CSF shunt placement and carefully weigh the advantages of the transcranial approach versus endonasal, endoscopic techniques.
PMCID: PMC4541637  PMID: 26302737
Anterior skull base repair; complications of facial advancement surgery; craniofacial dysostosis; Crouzon syndrome; CSF leak recurrence; CSF leaks; encephaloceles; endoscopic repair of encephaloceles; transcranial repair of encephaloceles

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