Management of recurrent CSF rhinorrhea of the middle and posterior fossa

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  • 1 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, California
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✓ The authors review 39 patients with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks originating from the middle or posterior fossa. They evaluate the usefulness of preoperative investigative procedures, including cisternal radionuclide scanning and the deliberate increase of intracranial pressure. The results in this series emphasize the important role that abnormal CSF dynamics play in the recurrence of problematic cases of rhinorrhea or otorrhea. The following guidelines are recommended by the authors on the basis of their recent experience: 1) if hydrocephalus is present, if the cisternogram is abnormal, or if the CSF leak is intermittent and slight, the initial treatment should be insertion of a lumboperitoneal shunt; 2) if the leak is localized in the sellar or parasellar area, a transsphenoidal approach to obliterate the leak is advised; 3) if the CSF leak originates through a dural opening into the middle ear, an intracranial repair is indicated.

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