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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-68

Management and outcome of treatment modalities of cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Eldoha ENT Specialized Hospital, Khartoum University, Khartoum, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
Mustafa Tajelsir
MBBS, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Eldoha ENT Specialized Hospital, Khartoum University, Khartoum 79371
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/pajr.pajr_16_19

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Background Management of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea includes either conservative or surgical treatment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the results of management of CSF rhinorrhea in three tertiary care centers in Khartoum state. Patients and methods This was a prospective analysis of 40 consecutive patients who underwent management of CSF rhinorrhea between April 2016 and April 2019. Conservative management consists of a 7–30-day trial of bed rest, head elevation 15–30°, stool softeners, avoidance of straining, and diuretics. All patients were offered conservative treatment except those with meningitis and iatrogenic leak, and patients with tension pneumocephalus were managed surgically from the start. Results A total of 40 patients were included. Spontaneous CSF leak cases were 19 (47.5%), with female to male ratio of 3.75: 1. Posttraumatic CSF leak cases were 16 (40%), with male to female ratio of 2.2: 1. Five (12.5%) patients were iatrogenic, with female to male ratio of 4.0: 1; they were managed? surgically only as well as one patient with history of meningitis. Conservative treatment was successful in 11 (32%) of 34 patients. Surgical treatment was performed for 29 patients, mainly by endoscopic approach in 26 (89.7%) patients, with success rate of 96.1%; osteoplastic flap for two (6.9%) patients, with a success rate of 100%; and intracranial (frontal craniotomy) for one (3.4%) patient, with a success rate of 100%. The success rates following first surgery for patients with posttraumatic, postprocedural, and spontaneous CSF leaks were 100, 100, and 93.3%, respectively. Four patients required second surgery, which was successful in three and failed in one with persistent leak. Conclusion Patients with CSF rhinorrhea were offered conservative treatment initially, except for iatrogenic leaks and past history of meningitis. Failure of conservative management warrants surgical treatment, which has high success rates. Head trauma, technical failures, lack of CSF divergence, and poor management of spontaneous leaks were responsible for recurrence of leak. Decision for surgical repair is appropriate in a teamwork between otorhinolaryngologists and neurosurgeons with attention to surgical approach, operative details, and postoperative care.

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