Cerebrospinal rhinorrhea is defined as a rare condition of traumatic, intracranial or unknown etiology in which there is a flow of cerebrospinal fluid by way of the nose.
The first case on record was published in 1834 by King.1 In 1899 St. Clair Thomson2 gave the first good classification, and reported a series of cases. Loftus,3 in 1923, gave a comprehensive review of the literature with the report of a case, and Johnston,4 in 1926, covered the subject extensively.
There are several etiologic factors. First comes trauma and next intracranial pathologic changes, such as tumors. Pressure necrosis due to hypophyseal tumors4 is an attributed cause, and necrosis of the ethmoid labyrinth as a result of infection has also been mentioned. Leber5 believed the condition to be due to hydrocephalus internus, and Loftus3 mentioned a defect of the craniopharyngeal canal; according to this theory,
SMITH C, WALTER L. CEREBROSPINAL RHINORRHEA WITH CYST OF THE PITUITARY BODY: TREATMENT AND APPARENT CURE: REPORT OF A CASE. Arch Otolaryngol. 1931;14(5):610–614. doi:10.1001/archotol.1931.03580020680008
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.