Spontaneous CSF rhinorrhoea from separate defects of the anterior and middle cranial fossa

J Laryngol Otol. 2002 Jul;116(7):546-7. doi: 10.1258/002221502760132674.


Multiple congenital dehiscence of the skull base is rare and can give rise to spontaneous CSF rhinorrhoea. A search of the world literature revealed only five reports of CSF leak with more than one concomitant skull base defect. When treating a patient with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhoea the possibility of its originating from the middle ear and eustachian tube should be considered. An intrathecal injection of fluorescein is useful in establishing the site of a CSF leak especially when a computed tomography scan (CT) or magnetic resonance image (MRI) has not localized the site. We discuss a case of a 72-year-old lady presenting with CSF rhinorrhoea, who had an anterior skull base defect localized with the help of intrathecal fluorescein and repaired surgically. Subsequent to this she had a further episode of CSF rhinorrhoea that originated from a middle-ear meningocele that was then repaired.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea / etiology*
  • Ear Diseases / complications*
  • Ear Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Ear, Middle*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Meningocele / complications*
  • Meningocele / diagnostic imaging
  • Skull Base / abnormalities*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed