Risk Factors for Intraoperative and Postoperative Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks in Endoscopic Transsphenoidal Sellar Surgery

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 May;158(5):952-960. doi: 10.1177/0194599818756272. Epub 2018 Feb 6.


Objective To determine the factors associated with intra- and postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks in setting of endoscopic transsphenoidal sellar surgery. Study Design Retrospective cohort. Setting Tertiary referral center. Subjects and Methods This study included 806 patients who underwent endoscopic transsphenoidal sellar surgery between 2004 and 2016. The associations between CSF leaks (intra- and postoperative) and patient demographics, medical history, tumor characteristics, and intraoperative repair techniques were analyzed. Results In sum, 205 (25.4%) patients had a CSF leak: 188 (23.3%) intraoperative leaks and 38 (4.7%) postoperative leaks. Twenty-one (2.6%) patients had postoperative leaks after having repair of an intraoperative leak; 55% of patients with a postoperative leak had an intraoperative leak repaired. On multivariate analysis, body mass index (BMI), hydrocephalus, suprasellar extension, and craniopharyngioma significantly predicted intraoperative CSF leaks, while only BMI and hydrocephalus predicted postoperative CSF leaks. Patients having septal flap repairs of CSF leaks had a higher postoperative leak rate relative to other repair techniques (odds ratio, 6.37; P = .013). Rigid reconstruction did not correlate with leaks. Conclusion For this large cohort of patients undergoing endoscopic transsphenoidal sellar surgery, BMI and hydrocephalus were identified as predictors of postoperative CSF leaks, including those occurring after repair of intraoperative leak. These variables may put stress on the surgical repair of sellar defects, and consideration of these risk factors may help counsel patients and guide perioperative decision making in regard to repair strategies and CSF diversion techniques.

Keywords: cerebrospinal fluid leak; endoscopic transsphenoidal sellar surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak / etiology*
  • Endoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / complications
  • Intraoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / complications
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors