Endonasal endoscopic repair of Sternberg's canal cerebrospinal fluid leaks

Laryngoscope. 2007 Feb;117(2):345-9. doi: 10.1097/01.mlg.0000251452.90657.3a.


Objectives: Management of cerebrospinal fluid leaks or encephaloceles of Sternberg's canal is challenging. Transnasal visualization of this area is difficult, especially when large pneumatization is present. External approaches to this region involve aggressive surgery and are often associated with significant morbidity. The aim of the study was to assess the real effectiveness of an endoscopic endonasal approach for treating cerebrospinal fluid leaks of the lateral recess of the sphenoid sinus.

Study design: The authors conducted a retrospective evaluation.

Methods: Clinical charts of patients with cerebrospinal fluid leaks and/or encephaloceles of Sternberg's canal treated at our institution were retrospectively reviewed. All these patients were managed with an endonasal endoscopic procedure.

Results: Fifteen patients (9 female and 6 male) were included in this study. Nine patients underwent a transethmoidal-pterygoidal-sphenoidal approach with a multilayer reconstructive technique. No cerebrospinal fluid leak recurrences were observed during follow up (mean follow up 37.6 +/- 21.7 standard deviation months)

Conclusions: The transethmoidal-pterygoidal-sphenoidal approach provides a wide, safe, and direct route to the lateral recess of the sphenoid sinus. Multilayered reconstruction of the skull base defects must be considered the first option for this kind of lesion.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Transplantation
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea / surgery*
  • Encephalocele / surgery
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Ethmoid Sinus / surgery
  • Fascia Lata / transplantation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull Base / surgery
  • Sphenoid Sinus / surgery