Spontaneous postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leaks following application of anti-adhesion barrier gel: case report and review of the literature

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2001 Apr 1;26(7):748-51. doi: 10.1097/00007632-200104010-00009.


Study design: This report documents cerebrospinal fluid leakage after application of anti-adhesion barrier gel in a single-surgeon clinical series of 27 patients treated with ADCON-L (Gliatech, Cleveland, OH) during surgery.

Objective: To discuss a heretofore unreported postoperative complication when using an anti-adhesion barrier gel for lumbar spinal surgery.

Summary of background data: Anti-adhesion barrier gel has been touted as a beneficial adjunct to lumbar surgery. No previous report has been identified that documents the complication encountered in this series.

Methods: During the time that ADCON-L was used, in a 9-month period, all spinal surgeries were reviewed, and those cases where ADCON-L was used were documented. The reports of all surgeries then were reviewed for complications during surgery, and clinical follow-up information was obtained.

Results: Five of 27 cases receiving ADCON-L during surgery developed cerebrospinal fluid leakage. Three of these patients required reoperation.

Conclusion: The excessive rate of cerebrospinal fluid leakage after the use of ADCON-L is significant, and the morbidity associated with its use outweighs the potential benefit of the product.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea / etiology*
  • Female
  • Gels / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Postoperative Complications


  • Gels
  • Organic Chemicals