Endoscopic endonasal approach for cerebrospinal fluid fistulae

Minim Invasive Neurosurg. 2006 Apr;49(2):88-92. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-932188.


Different techniques have been proposed to repair cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea. Advances in nasal surgery led to a high success rate and low morbidity for the endonasal approach. It has become the favorite route for treating cerebrospinal fluid leaks of the anterior skull base. Better results have been obtained with the improvement of rigid endoscopes and intrathecal sodium fluorescein. In a prospective study, twenty-four patients with cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea were evaluated and treated by endoscopic endonasal surgery. In all cases intrathecal sodium fluorescein enabled a precise localization of the bone defect. The most common causes of CSF rhinorrhea were traumatic (8 cases, 33 %), spontaneous (6 cases, 25 %), and iatrogenic (5 cases, 20.8 %). Preoperative radiological evaluations (plane CT, CT cisternogram and MRI) showed the exact site and size of the defect in all patients. The most common site of leakage was the ethmoidal roof-cribriform plate. Primary closure was achieved in all patients. There were no major operative or postoperative complications. The endoscopic endonasal approach can be considered the first choice in the treatment of cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat / transplantation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cellulose, Oxidized
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea / diagnosis
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea / etiology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea / surgery*
  • Child
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Fibrin Tissue Adhesive
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Periosteum / transplantation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Tract Fistula / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Tract Fistula / etiology
  • Respiratory Tract Fistula / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cellulose, Oxidized
  • Fibrin Tissue Adhesive
  • Surgicel