Objective: Endoscopic repair of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks is a recognized technique. We consider our experience and evaluate the outcomes in patients who underwent endoscopic repair of CSF leaks.
Methods: A retrospective case note review of 135 patients who underwent anterior cranial repairs of CSF leaks between August 1995 and December 2004 at a tertiary referral center. We describe the technical details and outcomes of care by purely endoscopic procedures.
Results: Thirteen patients had combined transcranial and endonasal repairs and 122 patients had their repairs using an endoscopic approach only. There were 64 males and 71 females with ages that ranged from 1 to 75 years (mean age 42 years, median age 44 years). The success rate for first attempt only was 93.4%. Eight of the 122 patients (6.6%) needed a second surgical repair. In one patient a bicoronal approach was necessary while in the other cases a revision endoscopic procedure was appropriate. The period of follow-up ranged from 2 months to 9 years (mean 5 years, median 39 months).
Conclusions: Our experience confirmed that endoscopic surgery is an effective and safe method of treatment for most CSF leaks. A variety of different endoscopic techniques allowed CSF leaks to be repaired in almost every site of the anterior skull base with very few exceptions.