Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea secondary to idiopathic intracranial hypertension: Long-term outcomes of endoscopic repairs

Raewynn G. Campbell, Douglas Farquhar, Nina Zhao, Alexander G. Chiu, Nithin D. Adappa, James N. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Endoscopic endonasal repair of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea secondary to idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), also known as pseudotumor cerebri or benign intracranial hypertension, has varying success rates, from 25-87%, with minimal morbidity. However, often these series have a relatively short-term follow-up. Given the pathophysiology of IIH, long-term follow-up is necessary to identify true CSF leak recurrence rates. Our investigation aimed to evaluate long-term outcomes in endoscopically repaired CSF leaks. Methods: A retrospective chart review of all the patients with CSF rhinorrhea due to IIH who met inclusion criteria between 1996 and 2009. Outcome measures included the following: demographics, intracranial pressure, location of skull base defect, presence of encephalocele and/or meningoencephalocele, surgical repair technique, treatment with acetazolamide, whether a ventriculoperitoneal shunt was inserted, location of recurrence, history of meningitis or previous sinus surgery, and duration of follow-up. Results: Thirty-two patients with a total of 44 skull base defects were reviewed over a mean follow-up of 10.2 years. The mean body mass index and intracranial pressure were 36.8 kg/m2 and 27.7 cm H2O, respectively. Seven patients (18%) required revision surgery at the same site or a distant site. We found no statistical significance that identified the recurrence risk in the outcome measurements most likely due to our small failure rate. However, early recurrences were noted to recur at the same repair site, whereas late recurrences were noted to recur at a distant site along the skull base. Conclusion: IIH is an increasingly recognized entity treated by otorhinolaryngologists. We present the first long-term IIH CSF leak repair series. Long-term follow-up is necessary because delayed CSF leaks occur in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-300
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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