Spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea: Prevalence of multiple simultaneous skull base defects

Seth M. Lieberman, Si Chen, Daniel Jethanamest, Roy R. Casiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Background: Spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks are caused by intracranial hypertension. Given this underlying etiology, patients may be at risk for developing multiple skull base defects. Objective: The purpose of our study is to present the prevalence of multiple simultaneous skull base defects in patients with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review in a tertiary care practice of 44 consecutive patients with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea who underwent endoscopic repair by the senior author (R.R.C.) to determine the prevalence of having multiple simultaneous skull base defects identified at the time of surgery. We defined this as two or more bony defects identified endoscopically with intact intervening bone with or without soft tissue prolapse into the nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cavity. Results: Eight of 44 patients (18.2%) were found to have multiple simultaneous skull base defects. The average body mass index (BMI) of the study population was 34.5 (range, 22.7-59). Conclusion: A significant number of patients with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea may have more than one skull base defect present at the time of presentation. The clinical significance of this finding in surgical and medical decision making is not clear at this time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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