Background: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks have been traditionally managed via craniotomy with an intradural repair. The endonasal endoscopic approach represents a minimally invasive alternative. This study aimed to compare the outcomes of the two methods.
Case series: This is a prospective case series of 18 consecutive patients who underwent endonasal repair of a CSF leak. Thirteen variables were evaluated during the study, including age, gender, body mass index, site of the defect, CSF leak etiology, days of hospitalization, use of lumbar drainage, the success of repair, complications, recurrence, duration, and cost of surgery as well as patient satisfaction. The outcomes were compared with a historical cohort of 25 patients treated for CSF leaks with a craniotomy. Though we found no significant difference in the success of the repair, the endoscopic group had a significantly shorter duration of the procedure and hospitalization, a lower rate of complications, lower cost, and higher patient satisfaction.
Conclusion: The presented data further solidify the endoscopic approach as the preferred method to address CSF leaks located in the anterior and middle skull base in cases not associated with complex intracranial pathology. Hippokratia 2016, 20(4): 299-302.
Keywords: Cerebrospinal fluid leak; complication; cost; craniotomy; endoscopic repair; fistula; patient satisfaction; recurrence; rhinorrhea.