To assess intracranial pressure (ICP), body mass index (BMI), surgical repair, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion in patients presenting with spontaneous CSF otorrhea.Retrospective series review.Tertiary referral center.Thirty-two patients were treated surgically from 2004 to 2013 for spontaneous CSF otorrhea by the principal investigators. Patients with a history of chronic ear disease and cholesteatoma, previous mastoid surgery, head trauma, or iatrogenic injury were excluded. Average age was 56 years. Twenty-two patients (69%) were female.Middle fossa repair, transmastoid repair, lumbar puncture, V-P shunt, L-P shunt, and magnetic resonance imaging.Patients underwent middle fossa or transmastoid repair of tegmen defects. Intracranial pressures were determined with lumbar puncture at time of surgical repair or shortly after surgery. CSF diversion procedures were performed in patients who were found to have elevated ICP, which was not controlled medically, presented with recurrent leak or had ICP of 25 cm or greater of H2O. Preoperative BMI was calculated.Thirty-two patients underwent 37 operations. Average BMI was 35.0 kg/m2 (median, 34.7; range, 18.7-53.2 kg/m2). There were 21 repairs on the left and 16 on the right. The majority underwent a middle fossa craniotomy for repair (27/32). Two patients had bilateral repairs. Three patients (8%) underwent revision surgery, of which, 2 had untreated intracranial hypertension (ICP 24.5 and 24 cm H2O). ICP measurements were available for 29 patients. The mean ICP was 23.4 cm H2O (median, 24; range, 13-36 cm H20). Twenty-two patients (69%) had ICP of 20 cm or greater of H20; of those, 13 had an ICP of 25 cm or greater of H20. Seventeen patients (53%) underwent CSF diversion procedures.Our findings of elevated ICP and BMI in patients presenting with spontaneous CSF otorrhea are consistent with previous reports in the literature. The percentage of patients that underwent CSF diversion procedures was high at 53% and represents an aggressive stance in managing elevated ICP in a population that may be at risk for subsequent leaks.
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