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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 91-94

Pathophysiology of skull base defects and cerebrospinal fluid leak

Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saud Romaih Alromaih
P.O. Box 245, Riyadh 11411
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjoh.sjoh_52_20

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Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak is a rare pathology with many etiologies. It can be spontaneous, congenital, iatrogenic, or traumatic [Figure 1]. A skull base defect may occur along the anterior or lateral skull base manifesting as CSF rhinorrhea or CSF otorrhea. It occurs whenever there is a mucosal, bony, and dural defect. These defects could lead to communication between the nasal cavity, the paranasal sinuses, or the middle ear cavity and the subarachnoid space. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), obesity, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and malignancies are well-known conditions that contribute to the development of a CSF leak (1). In this article, we review the pathophysiology of each etiology.

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