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Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks of Temporal Bone Origin: Etiology and Management

Stenzel M.a · Preuss S.a · Orloff L.b · Jecker P.a · Mann W.a
aDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital, School of Medicine, Mainz, Germany; bDivision of Otolaryngology, University of California, San Diego, Calif., USA ORL 2005;67:51–55 (DOI:10.1159/000084306)


Background: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks of the temporal bone region require surgical treatment as they pose life-threatening risks such as meningitis. Aim: The aim of the study was to determine the surgical outcome depending on different operation techniques and grafts. Method: We performed a retrospective review of 28 cases of CSF leaks, operated in our department from 1983 to 2002. After a mean follow-up of 8 years, patients were interviewed concerning otorrhea or rhinorrhea and meningitis. In this context, our management of CSF leaks is presented. Results: The CSF leak had arisen spontaneously (n = 3), traumatically (n = 6) or postoperatively (n = 19). The surgical CSF leak repairs were performed via a transmastoid (n = 13), a middle fossa (n = 11) or a combined (n = 4) approach. Surgical outcome was independent on the used graft. CSF leak could be sealed in 25 of 28 cases. Only 3 patients suffered from recurrences. Meningitis or other complications did not occur. Conclusions: Comparing different techniques and grafts, there were no differences in the surgical outcome.


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