Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks: A Case Series of Sinus Opacification on Computed Tomography (CT) Imaging

Authors

  • Andrew Wilson, M.S. Kansas City University
  • Carissa N. Walter, MPH University of Kansas Medical Center
  • Lauren Clark, M.S. University of Kansas School of Medicine
  • Peng Shi, M.A. University of Kansas School of Medicine
  • Mitchell Guenther, M.D. University of Kansas Medical Center

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17161/kjm.vol15.16299

Keywords:

CSF leak, skull base defect, sinus opacification, CT

Abstract

Introduction. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks occur when fluid seeps through a dural or skull base defect, typically in the nose or ear. CSF leaks are commonly identified and diagnosed by use of computed tomography (CT) and CT cisternogram. CT findings suggestive of a CSF leak include a skull-based bone defect along with opacification of the contiguous sinus. Our study examined a series of CSF leaks on CT imaging to document imaging findings.

Methods. A single-institution retrospective review of cases of CSF leak diagnosed by CT maxillofacial or CT cisternogram from 1/1/2008 – 3/12/2018 was performed. Patient demographics, history, imaging findings, and treatment were recorded.

Results. Thirty-nine patients met the inclusion criteria for the study. The average age was 51, and a large majority were female (76.9%). Among the 25 patients in which it was reported, the mean size of skull base defect was 0.472 cm. Of the 39 total cases, 27 patients (69.2%) presented with sinus opacification on CT imaging.

Conclusions. Radiologists should be aware of the possibility of notable sinus opacification observable on CT when investigating a potential CSF leak. Opacification may vary in both location and size depending on the nature and location of a CSF leak. Further research is needed to draw a correlation between sinus opacification seen on CT scan and the diagnosed origin of a CSF leak.

Author Biographies

Carissa N. Walter, MPH, University of Kansas Medical Center

Department of Radiology, Research Manager

Lauren Clark, M.S., University of Kansas School of Medicine

Department of Biostatistics

Peng Shi, M.A., University of Kansas School of Medicine

Department of Biostatistics

Mitchell Guenther, M.D., University of Kansas Medical Center

Department of Radiology

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Published

2022-06-20

How to Cite

Wilson, A., Walter, C., Clark, L., Shi, P., & Guenther, M. (2022). Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks: A Case Series of Sinus Opacification on Computed Tomography (CT) Imaging. Kansas Journal of Medicine, 15(2), 205–207. https://doi.org/10.17161/kjm.vol15.16299

Issue

Section

Original Research