The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

Main Articles

The endoscopic treatment of cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhoea: the Nottingham experience

R. G. M. Hughesa1, N. S. Jonesa2 c1 and I. J. A. Robertsona1

a1 Department of Neurosurgery, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK.

a2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK.


The conventional neurosurgical management of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhoea has been by intracranial access. Otorhinolaryngologists have undertaken extracranial approaches where access has been possible, and more recently an endoscopic approach has been advocated. We report 17 patients with confirmed CSF rhinorrhoea treated with endoscopic techniques between 1993 and 1996. Follow-up ranged from four to 32 months and showed an overall closure rate of 16 out of 17 patients with no complications. No patient undergoing primary endoscopic repair developed anosmia. The use of fluorescein helped localize the site of the CSF leak in four patients in whom the computed tomography (CT) scan had not identified the site of the defect.

We conclude that the endoscope is a valuable tool in the evaluation and subsequent treatment of CSF rhinorrhoea. Where the skull base defect is accessible to the endoscope, we propose that an endoscopic approach should be considered as the preferred method.

(Accepted November 16 1996)


c1 Address for correspondence: N. S. Jones, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH.