Empty sella and rhinorrhea. A report of eight treated cases

J Neurosurg. 1979 Apr;50(4):466-71. doi: 10.3171/jns.1979.50.4.0466.


The association of an empty sella with rhinorrhea is an unusual finding. Of 29 cases of empty sella observed by the authors, eight underwent surgery for rhinorrhea. None of the patients showed clinical evidence of increased intracranial pressure or hydrocephalus. Seven were cases of primary empty sella, the eighth was an acromegalic patient, who had received radiotherapy 4 years before. Except for this patient, the others showed no clinical signs of a previous tumor. In the surgical treatment of these patients, the authors used both the transfrontal and transsphenoidal approaches. In spite of generally accepted good results following surgical closure of this type of fistula, four patients needed more than one operation. The fistula closed in only three of them; in the last patient rhinorrhea persisted after three operations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea / etiology*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea / surgery
  • Child
  • Empty Sella Syndrome / complications*
  • Empty Sella Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Frontal Bone
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumoencephalography
  • Recurrence
  • Sphenoid Bone