Flow-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging in the evaluation of cerebrospinal fluid leaks

Am J Otol. 1995 Sep;16(5):591-6.


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks involving the skull base are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, and often present a diagnostic challenge. Current diagnostic methods are invasive and cumbersome and involve substantial radiation exposure of the patient. The authors identified seven patients with clinically suspected CSF leaks and evaluated them with a flow-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequence in addition to more conventional studies. In cases with active CSF leakage, flow characteristics were documented with slow-flow and diffusion-weighted MRI. Unlike current approaches, MRI offers the advantages of rapidity, non-invasiveness, and absence of ionizing radiation. Preliminary results suggest that flow-sensitive MRI may have a role in the evaluation of CSF leaks involving the skull base and temporal bone.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Otorrhea / diagnosis*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity