Anterior Skull Base
What is CSF?
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Its function is to provide protection both as a mechanical buffer and immunological.
What is a CSF leak?
CSF leaks refer to the leaking of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. This leaking can be caused by a tear in the membrane around the brain and spinal cord. When the fluid leaks out, the pressure in the brain decreases. Some common causes include traumatic injuries to the head, tumours or on occasion it may occur spontaneously without any cause. CSF leak increases the risk of developing meningitis (infection of the membrane that surrounds the brain).
What are the symptoms?
Some common symptoms include leaking clear salty water from the nose or ears, headaches, light sensitivity, nausea, and a stiff neck.
How can it be treated?
Occasionally CSF leak can stop without any intervention, but often the origin of the leak needs to be identified and repaired surgically. This can often be done with the use of a minimally invasive surgery whereby the surgeon accesses the tumours through the nasal cavities using specialised cameras and equipment.