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May 1961

Chronic Spontaneous Cerebrospinal Rhinorrhea

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(5):723-731. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620050089009

Introduction  The drainage of cerebrospinal fluid from the nose or the ear after certain kinds of fractures of the skull is a well-known, but fortunately not-too-common problem of head trauma. On the other hand, the development of spontaneous drainage of cerebrospinal fluid from the nose is unusual. Intracranial tumors which have eroded into the paranasal sinuses and formed a pathway from the nasopharynx to the subarachnoid space of the pituitary fossa may cause spontaneous cerebrospinal rhinorrhea, often complicated by a purulent leptomeningitis.That this is a rare feature of pituitary tumors, or for that matter of any tumor mass in either the paranasal sinuses or the sella turcica, is shown by the low incidence of nasopharyngeal extension in Cushing's cases as followed by Henderson.1 In this series, which dealt solely with pituitary adenomata and adenocarcinomata, only 8 cases out of a total of 339 developed nasopharyngeal extensions which might

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