CSF Leaks and Meningocoeles
Leakage of cerebrospinal fluid, the liquid that bathes and cushions the brain, through the nasal passages can occur either spontaneously or as a results of prior brain, skull base or sinus surgery. Sometimes the covering of the brain can herniate into the sinuses causing a CSF leak – this is called a “Meningocoele.” If some of the brain also herniates into the sinuses this is called an “Encephalocoele. If brain fluid leaks out through the nose, there is a risk of acquiring an infection of the brain called meningitis or encephalitis.The nasal discharge is usually clear and is persisitant . It may increase with physical exertion. Thus, the area of the leak must be closed as soon as possible. Traditionally, a large skull opening was required to see the site of the leak after lifting up the frontal lobe of the brain. Now, with minimally-invasive endoscopic techniques, the site of the fluid leak can be approached directly through the nose and closed, without touching the brain or opening up the skull.