Video-assisted thorascopic repair of a subarachnoid-pleural fistula in a child after thoracic tumor resection: technical note

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2010 Apr 20;35(9):E347-50. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181d83538.


Study design: Technical report.

Objective: To describe a minimally invasive surgical approach for the obliteration of a subarachnoid-pleural fistula in a 4-year-old child after resection of an intrathoracic ganglioneuroma.

Summary of background data: Development of a subarachnoid-pleural fistula has been reported after thoracotomy for lung, chest wall, and spinal tumors, when an iatrogenic meningeal laceration results in establishing communication between the spinal subarachnoid space and the pleural cavity.

Methods: Review of a single case in which video-assisted thorascopic surgery (VATS) was used to deposit fibrin glue and to suture a pleural allograft. Literature review was performed to document other options to treat subarachnoid-pleural cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistula.

Results: At 10 months after VATS repair, the CSF fistula has remained closed.

Conclusion: VATS technique should be considered for a safe, efficacious, and durable CSF leak repair and as an alternative to open thoracotomy in the pediatric age group.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fibrin Tissue Adhesive
  • Ganglioneuroma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Pleural Diseases / etiology
  • Pleural Diseases / surgery*
  • Pleural Effusion / etiology
  • Pleural Effusion / surgery
  • Respiratory Tract Fistula / etiology
  • Respiratory Tract Fistula / surgery*
  • Subarachnoid Space*
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / methods*
  • Thoracotomy / adverse effects*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fibrin Tissue Adhesive