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Minimally invasive endoscopic repair of refractory lateral skull base cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea: case report and review of the literature

Brandon Lucke-Wold, Erik C. Brown, Justin S. Cetas, Aclan Dogan, Sachin Gupta, Timothy E. Hullar, Timothy L. Smith, and Jeremy N. Ciporen

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks occur in approximately 10% of patients undergoing a translabyrinthine, retrosigmoid, or middle fossa approach for vestibular schwannoma resection. Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea also results from trauma, neoplasms, and congenital defects. A high degree of difficulty in repair sometimes requires repetitive microsurgical revisions—a rate of 10% of cases is often cited. This can not only lead to morbidity but is also costly and burdensome to the health care system. In this case-based theoretical analysis, the authors summarize the literature regarding endoscopic endonasal techniques to obliterate the eustachian tube (ET) as well as compare endoscopic endonasal versus open approaches for repair. Given the results of their analysis, they recommend endoscopic endonasal ET obliteration (EEETO) as a first- or second-line technique for the repair of CSF rhinorrhea from a lateral skull base source refractory to spontaneous healing and CSF diversion. They present a case in which EEETO resolved refractory CSF rhinorrhea over a 10-month follow-up after CSF diversions, wound reexploration, revised packing of the ET via a lateral microscopic translabyrinthine approach, and the use of a vascularized flap had failed. They further summarize the literature regarding studies that describe various iterations of EEETO. By its minimally invasive nature, EEETO imposes less morbidity as well as less risk to the patient. It can be readily implemented into algorithms once CSF diversion (for example, lumbar drain) has failed, prior to considering open surgery for repair. Additional studies are warranted to further demonstrate the outcome and cost-saving benefits of EEETO as the data until now have been largely empirical yet very hopeful. The summaries and technical notes described in this paper may serve as a resource for those skull base teams faced with similar challenging and otherwise refractory CSF leaks from a lateral skull base source.

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Innovative growth and development of a neurological surgery residency cadaveric spine-simulation training program: a single-institution experience

Robert Unger, Bryan Schreiner, Brandi W. Pang, James T. Obayashi, Shirley McCartney, Jackie Dingman, Nathan R. Selden, Aclan Dogan, and Jeremy N. Ciporen


Cadaveric and dry 3D model-based simulation training is a valuable educational tool for neurosurgical residents. Such simulation training is an opportunity for residents to hone technical skills and decision-making and enhance their neuroanatomy knowledge. The authors describe the growth and development of the Oregon Health & Science University Department of Neurological Surgery resident-focused, hands-on, spine-simulation surgery courses and provide details of course evaluations, layout, and setup.


A four-part spine surgical simulation series, including two human cadaveric and two dry 3D model-based courses, was created to provide resident spine procedure training. Residents participated in the spine simulation series (2017–2021) and completed annual course curriculum and anonymous post-course evaluations. Evaluations included both Likert scale items and free-text responses. Responses to Likert scale items were analyzed in Python. Free-text responses were quantified using the Valence Aware Dictionary for Sentiment Reasoner. Descriptive statistics were calculated and plotted using Python’s seaborn and matplotlib library modules.


The analysis included 129 spine (occipitocervical, thoracolumbar, and spine model fusion I and II) simulation course evaluations. Likert responses demonstrated high average responses for evaluation questions (4.67 ± 0.90 and above). The average compound sentiment value was 0.58 ± 0.28.


This is the first time Likert responses and sentiment analysis have been used to demonstrate how neurosurgical residents positively value a hands-on spine simulation training. Simulation is an essential component of neurosurgical resident education training. The authors encourage other neurosurgical education programs to develop and leverage spine simulation as a teaching tool.