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While infrequent, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks are known to occur after surgical resection of vestibular schwannomas. Early signs of CSF leak often include headache and altered mental status. If untreated, life-threatening complications can occur, including brainstem herniation and meningitis. The appropriate surgical treatment for a CSF leak requires accurate localization of the source. While the most likely location of a CSF leak after lateral skull base surgery is through the aerated portions of the temporal bone, we present a unique case of a man with a prolonged CSF leak after an acoustic tumor removal who was ultimately found to have an occult spinal perineural (Tarlov) cyst as the source. Accurate localization was ultimately achieved with CT myelogram after empirically obliterating his mastoid failed to restore intracranial CSF volume. Tarlov cysts are the most common cause of idiopathic intracranial hypotension, and this case highlights the importance of considering this entity in the differential diagnosis of postoperative CSF leaks.
View details for DOI 10.7759/cureus.1261
View details for Web of Science ID 000453621500059
View details for PubMedID 28652945
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5476477