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Endoscopic closure of the Eustachian tube orifice for refractory lateral skull base cerebrospinal fluid leak using autologous fat graft: illustrative case

Gautam U. Mehta, Nida Fatima, Gregory P. Lekovic, and William H. Slattery


Rhinorrhea due to lateral skull base cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks can be a challenge to manage. Multiple strategies exist for treating CSF leaks in this region including direct repair, posterior Eustachian tube packing, and CSF diversion. Endonasal closure of the Eustachian tube has been reported using cerclage and mucosal flaps.


We present the first reported case of endoscopic autologous fat packing of the Eustachian tube orifice to repair a CSF leak. In this case a 42-year-old woman who underwent middle fossa meningioma resection 20 years ago presented with refractory CSF rhinorrhea despite blind sac closure of the ear canal. This persisted after CSF diversion and only resolved after endoscopic endonasal Eustachian tube closure described herein.


This technique is simple to perform with minimal risk of morbidity. Eustachian tube orifice fat packing may be particularly useful for patients with refractory CSF rhinorrhea with low CSF pressure.