Association of Postoperative Sigmoid Sinus Occlusion and Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak in Translabyrinthine Surgery

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2023 Mar;168(3):435-442. doi: 10.1177/01945998221102817. Epub 2023 Jan 29.


Objective: To characterize the incidence of sigmoid sinus occlusion (SSO) following translabyrinthine (TL) surgery for posterior fossa tumor resection and determine the association with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak.

Study design: Retrospective case series.

Setting: Tertiary referral center.

Methods: Patients undergoing TL surgery for vestibular schwannoma from 2012 to 2020 were included. Demographic data, medical history, preoperative tumor length and volume, and postoperative complications including CSF leak were recorded. Neuroradiology review of postoperative magnetic resonance imaging was used to determine the presence or absence of flow through the sigmoid sinus.

Results: Of 205 patients undergoing TL, 21 (10.2%) experienced CSF leak postoperatively. Overall 56 (27%) demonstrated SSO on immediate postoperative magnetic resonance imaging. CSF leaks were more likely in those with SSO (19.6%) than those without SSO (6.7%; odds ratio, 3.54 [95% CI, 1.25-10.17]). Tumor volume and body mass index were not significantly associated with CSF leak. In total, 105 (51%) patients had some degree of sigmoid sinus thrombosis, but nonocclusive thrombosis was not associated with CSF leak.

Conclusion: SSO after TL approaches is common and appears to be significantly associated with postoperative CSF leak development. Minimizing manipulation of the sigmoid sinus during TL surgery and compression after surgery may have a role in preventing CSF leak.

Keywords: cerebrospinal fluid leak; complications; skull base surgery; vestibular schwannoma.

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak* / epidemiology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Neuroma, Acoustic* / complications
  • Neuroma, Acoustic* / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Retrospective Studies