Sphenoid cranial base defects in siblings presenting with cerebrospinal fluid leak

Skull Base Surg. 1997;7(4):193-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1058595.


Two sisters presented to our medical center with nontraumatic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas from left sphenoid sinocranial junction defects. One sister had recurrent meningitis over a 20-year period that prompted a skull base evaluation. Four years later, her younger sister presented with profuse CSF rhinorrhea. Transethmoid sphenoidotomy with sinus obliteration and lumbar-subarachnoid temporary CSF diversion successfully treated one sister, while the other required reoperation and permanent lumbar-peritoneal shunting. In both cases the skull base defect was identically located in the posterolateral left sphenoid sinus. Embryological considerations, evaluation and management are presented.

Publication types

  • Case Reports