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Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea complicating septoplasty: A novel mechanism of injury

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January 1, 2010
by Annabelle C. Leong, MRCS, Toral Patel, MBBS, Faizal Rehman, MS, Manuel Oyarzabal, FRCS (ORL), and Paul Gluckman, FRCS (ORL)


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea after a septoplasty procedure is very rare and potentially life-threatening. We present a case of iatrogenic postseptoplasty CSF rhinorrhea. To the best of our knowledge, only 2 other cases of CSF rhinorrhea complicating septoplasty have previously been reported. However, neither resolved in the manner that our case did, when spontaneous cessation of CSF rhinorrhea unexpectedly occurred upon removal of intranasal splints. We discuss the clinical importance of anatomic variations and potential causative mechanisms of CSF rhinorrhea during septoplasty. Our experience with this case suggests a mechanism of injury to the cribiform plate during septoplasty that has not been described previously.

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