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July 1965

Cerebrospinal Rhinorrhea and Otorrhea: Radiographic Diagnosis and Surgical Treatment

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;82(1):56-61. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00760010058014

THE MOST frequent causes of cerebrospinal rhinorrhea and otorrhea are (1) fracture of the base of the skull; (2) openings through the skull and dura created by surgery; (3) destruction by tumors such as pituitary adenomas, osteoma of cranionasal sinuses, and malignancies of the nasopharynx; and (4) erosion by infection. Sometimes a fistula is not recognized until meningitis occurs,24 and occasionally it seals spontaneously after the inflection.5

Spontaneous cerebrospinal rhinorrhea has been observed in obstructive hydrocephalus,18 in congenital defects of the cribriform plate or petrosa, and following a ruptured intranasal meningocele or encephalocele.

Most traumatic cranionasal and cranioaural fistulas closed spontaneously, and only in relatively few instances did they fail to seal and become chronic. Recently, in his collection of 84 cases, Lewin17 found that rhinorrhea had existed over 28 days only in 11. During the past 23 years, Adson,1 Adson and Uihlein,2 Dandy,