The management of spontaneous otogenic CSF leaks: A presentation of cases and review of literature

Meghan N. Wilson, Lawrence M. Simon, Moises A. Arriaga, Daniel W. Nuss, James A. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective The types of otogenic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulae were previously classified into defects through, adjacent to, or distal to the otic capsule. This article presents cases of the three different types of spontaneous CSF fistulae and reviews pertinent literature. We examine the management of the different types of otogenic CSF leaks with modern audiovestibular testing, imaging, and surgical techniques. Design Case series and review of the literature. Setting Academic tertiary neurotologic referral practice. Participants Four patients identified through a retrospective search. Main outcome measures Resolution of CSF leak and absence of meningitis. Results Surgical intervention was performed on the four cases described in this series; none had a return of CSF otorrhea in the postoperative period or meningitis. Conclusions Otogenic CSF fistulae may lead to life-threatening infection and in congenital forms are typically not diagnosed unless meningitis has occurred. Rapid and proper recognition, work-up, and treatment of such leaks decrease the risk of permanent neurologic sequelae as well as recurrent meningitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-124
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology


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