Spontaneous Temporal Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak

Caltabiano, G. A.; Viglianesi, A.; Bellomia, D.; Chiaramonte, R.; Pero, G.; Chiaramonte, I.
August 2010
Neuroradiology Journal;Aug2010, Vol. 23 Issue 4, p420
Academic Journal
Case Study
An abnormal communication between the subarachnoid spaces and the tympanic cavity and mastoid cells can determine a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak in the air spaces of the temporal bone. The etiology of CFS leak in the temporal air cells includes acquired, congenital and spontaneous causes. Spontaneous CSF leak, defined as a leak without a manifest cause, is present in about 4% of cases and often occurs in the middle cranial fossa. We describe a case of spontaneous CSF leak in the right temporal air cells that mimicked a skull fracture in a subject with headache and apparent rhinorrhea after a head trauma. Both CT and MRI play a key role in the differential diagnosis between post-traumatic temporal CSF leak due to a fracture and spontaneous leak: traumatic CSF leak often does not require a surgical approach, whereas spontaneous CSF leak may need surgical treatment because of the risk of meningitis.


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