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Englhard, Anna S.; Volgger, Veronika; Leunig, Andreas; Messmer, Catalina S.; Ledderose, Georg J. (2018): Spontaneous nasal cerebrospinal fluid leaks: management of 24 patients over 11years. In: European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Vol. 275, No. 10: pp. 2487-2494
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PurposeMost cases of non-traumatic nasal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks occur spontaneously without any obvious reason. Severe and life-threatening complications are possible consequences. Endoscopic repair is considered the gold standard;however, diagnosis and therapy of these CSF leaks stay challenging.Methods: In this retrospective analysis, patients who presented with spontaneous nasal CSF leaks from 2006 to 2017 were included. Symptoms, diagnostics, localization of the skull base defect, surgical method, outcome, and postoperative treatment were recorded.Results: Twenty four patients were included. 8 patients presented with symptoms of meningitis. The skull base defects were most commonly located in the anterior ethmoid roofespecially in the cribriform plateand in the lateral part of the sphenoid sinus. 21 patients had a BMI above 25. In only 13 cases the defect could be detected preoperatively via computed tomography or additional magnetic resonance imaging. In all patients intraoperative visualization of the CSF leak was possible using intrathecal application of sodium-fluorescein. Endoscopic repair was the initial surgical method for all patients and proved to be successful in 80% of the cases. In most cases surgical revision was performed endoscopically;however, in two patients an open transpterygoidal approach was necessary.Conclusion: sSpontaneous nasal CSF leaks often initially present with symptomatic meningitis. Imaging does not always clearly identify the skull base defect. Common localizations are the anterior ethmoid roof and the lateral sphenoid sinus. Obesity seems to be a predisposing factor. In most cases, endoscopic repair with low morbidity is possible;however, an individualized approach is necessary.