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Chapter 20 - Neurosurgical Complications of Head Injury

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 April 2020

Peter C. Whitfield
Derriford Hospital, Plymouth
Jessie Welbourne
University Hospitals, Plymouth
Elfyn Thomas
Derriford Hospital, Plymouth
Fiona Summers
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Maggie Whyte
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Peter J. Hutchinson
Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge
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A traumatic skull base fracture can breach the dura, leading to a communication, or fistula, from the intracranial cavity to the external environment. This leads to a risk of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak in 10%–30% of patients, highest in fractures of the anterior cranial fossa.1 CSF can subsequently leak from the nose (rhinorrhoea) or ear (otorrhoea). Many CSF leaks will seal spontaneously within 1–2 weeks with conservative management, but if CSF leakage is prolonged, then operative repair of the fistula is needed (see Chapter 18 for details on CSF leak diagnosis and management).

Traumatic Brain Injury
A Multidisciplinary Approach
, pp. 247 - 257
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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